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I respect what you do, and I think it's great that you're trying to give them a chance and work around their schedule. That being said, you sound like one of those moms that want to be friends to their children, instead of mothers. Schedules are set, they can't work, not your problem (but it is because you cover them). Midterms are announced at the beginning of the semester/quarter, so there's no excuse for them not telling you. Request new availability times from them, and just keep scheduling that. If they fail to show, write them up. Yeah, college kids need jobs, but they also need to learn about the real world and that future workplaces won't be lenient of you just decide to not show up.


what katia said.

if i tried to pull that kind of shit at my job, i would be written up so fast that i would land in next month.

Copy Center Dude

There's a fine line between being fair and flexible and being taken advantage of. Things happen in life, but people, especially college students need to learn to plan and prioritize multiple competing priorities. When I was in school that meant getting classwork done ahead because I was working 2-3 jobs and wanted to pick up shifts.

When I have worked as a manager the people who came in when needed were rewarded with extra flexibility, they proved that they would help me when I needed it so I returned the favor. Those who called off regularly and never covered for others got the minimum of extra flexibility.


I don't feel bad for doormats. Hire some non students


WHAT KATIA SAID. I was going to say fire everyone who routinely pulls stupid stuff. How hard can it be to fill their posts in a college town? And say to the new people, "I understand college, but give me your availability when I need it, otherwise you ARE RESPONSIBLE for what you are scheduled." You know who (more often than not) has a legit problem and who (more often than not) is taking advantage. If you think just telling them not to bother coming in is too harsh, have a staff meeting and explain that those who can't commit to their shifts, which are scheduled according to the availability they gave (when you asked for it, not when they finally got around to it), need to start looking elsewhere.


Yeah, my advice would be to hire some people who aren't in college. If you know, you can't bear to toughen up some.

Mrs. Lovett

I agree with what everyone else said about establishing negative consequences for those who can't act like responsible employees (such as write-ups and giving them last preference when they ask for time off) and positive consequences for those who go above and beyond (such as commending them and giving them the shifts they ask for). The most important thing is to try to be consistent with consequences so your employees know what to expect from you.

One thing I'd like to add, though: When the girl called in sick, I feel it was your responsibility as a manager to find a replacement, not hers. If she was faking, then she sucks, but if she was legitimately sick, then she should be allowed to sleep and take care of herself, not stay awake and stress over finding someone to cover her shift. It might not seem fair to you, but unfortunately life's not always fair. As a manager, you get paid more and have a position of authority, but you also have greater responsibility. It's just the way it is. Note that this only applies when someone is sick or dealing with an emergency. If they failed to ask for time off for a class or to see a concert or hang out with friends, finding a sub is entirely their own responsibility.

I hope you figure out something that works for you and lets you be happy, whether it's at your current store or at another job. Best of luck!

NC Tony

Most managers I know would have been handing out write ups left and right if they were in your position. I gotta go with what everyone else said. You're being far too lenient, and they're taking advantage of you. It's time to put your foot down and let them know that if they can't handle the responsibility of school and a job, you'll find someone who can.

Queer Geek

I feel you. I know being a manager (much less a store manager) is a difficult position. I remember back when I was at Big Fancy how all my coworkers worked as a team except for one person. (We were all full timers and non-college students so there's no excuse not to come in.) I had one coworker who would fuck up everyone's schedule with her call-ins and excuses to the point we had to cover her shifts. The worst was when I worked an almost 13 hour day (my manager was on sick leave so we pretty much were responsible for ourselves) because she CONVENIENTLY called in and I had to rush over and work all day to cover the department (and I'm not even a manager).

Anyway, she ended up quitting and things sort of got back to normal. Ironically enough Big Fancy failed to recognize my dedication and work ethic and laid me off anyway. Whatever.

The Worst

Another vote for Katia's point here. Also, midterms and usually even the final are on the syllabus on the first day of class. Start telling these kids you need their exam schedules ahead of time, and if they don't give them to you, then you can't be responsible for scheduling them during an exam and they need to find someone to cover or get written up/fired for it.


Well, I'm not saying you should be too strict, but come on, you're being taken advantage of here. The rule at my old retail company was: schedules are posted two weeks before. Want time off? Make sure you fill in the form beforehand. Does your school schedule change? Let us know otherwise we'll keep planning you according to your old schedule. Want to trade shifts? Sure but you need to find your own substitute.

When someone's sick it's another problem, but my company had a lot of flexible people. I was one of them. I needed the money so I put in the time. That also meant that if I needed some extra time of they we're more flexible with me.



a.m and p.m, please, not a and p. It doesn't mean anything without 'meridiem' after it.

Nancy Drew

Thanks, all! I will take everything you guys said into consideration. I just needed to bitch & this seemed like a fun place to do it. It was good to hear from people who have been there/done that, though! :)


As a college student working full time hours, THIS PISSES ME OFF TO NO END. (Not you, but the situation of students pulling this shit!) It gives all students a bad name. If it wasn't for the fact that I had worked at this particular convenience haven prior to starting school, they would have seen I was a student and not hired me because of a lot of bad experiences with students.

I absolutely agree with the comment on availability at the beginning of semesters. I've NEVER had a professor not at least have dates for major tests and exams. Some go as far as breaking down every week of the semester so we know when ALL of the homeworks are due.

I also agree that if someone is genuinely sick, you should be responsible for finding someone, but I'm also a worker who would find my own replacement before I even attempted to call off just to save my manager the stress. I always feel guilty calling off, so try to alleviate that myself.

Finally, the biggest point is trying to find non-college students. In a college town, that's HARD, and I get it. But at least having a handful of non-college students with open availability would probably help your stress problems a lot by having a reliable group who can work any time in case something like a case of Irresponsible-Undergrad pops up again.

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