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I’ve been working in the daycare of a gym for 2 months now, and it’s clear that the new job honeymoon phase is already over.
I absolutely love the actual “work” part of my job (playing with and supervising the kids), but the rest of it is really getting to me.
At first I was impressed by how the daycare operated. They have polices and procedures, resources, supplies, staff that actually cares, and a very reasonable adult to child ratio – all things that were lacking when I worked my previous theatre job. I thought that working here was going to be a cake-walk compared to what I had experienced, but it didn’t take long to discover the flaws in the system.
I mentioned before that calling in sick (or taking time off) at the gym is still something I don’t understand – and that hasn’t changed. Back in mid-December, I called in sick to work and felt guilty about it. Since then, my health improved, but that cold was still lingering. And sure enough, I woke up on Saturday morning feeling like hell, once again.
I spent my weekend sleeping and trying to get better, but after much debate, I called in sick today (Monday). Again, to help alleviate my guilt, I called in early to give them several hours to find someone to cover for me. But this time, that wasn’t good enough.
Nope. Instead of making ONE phone call to my supervisor (like I had done before, and like all my co-workers do when they need time off), I was told that I have to call ALL of my coworkers and ask them to take my shift for me. Seriously?
So, instead of resting and recuperating so that I don’t have to call in sick tomorrow, I’m now anxiously waiting by my phone for my coworkers to call me back – who will likely tell me they can’t cover my shift, anyways.
If this is the “company policy”, why am I just learning that now? And why isn’t it being enforced with everyone?
Being Late/Staying Late
For hourly employees, the gym still uses a punch card system, which kinda sucks. The clock on the system is is 2 minutes fast, so even if you arrive to work right on time, you’re recorded as being 2 minutes late. It’s also located in the back corner of the staff room, so if the room is full, it’s not exactly accessible.
My biggest issue, however, is that time-cards are broken into 15-minute chunks. So, if you are those 2 minutes late, your pay is deducted 15 minutes.
I have been “late” twice. Once was because my car wouldn’t start and I had to wait for a cab. I called work and let them know, but because I was 20 minutes late, I was deducted half an hour pay. The other time was because I was called to come in early for a shift. I busted my ass to get ready in time, but because I didn’t punch in until 10:31, my pay was deducted 15 minutes again – despite the fact I was doing them a favour.
I hate that being even 1 minute late means being docked 15 minutes, but I get it.
What I don’t get, though, is why it doesn’t work both ways.
There have been several occasions now that I’ve stayed 15 minutes or more past the end of my scheduled shift. Sometimes it’s because someone else was late and I couldn’t leave, or there was something happening with one of the kids that I needed to be there for, or because management asked me to stick around to talk to us. But I have NEVER been compensated for this “extra” time.
How is that fair?
I’m the only daycare attendant that doesn’t have another job or that isn’t still in school. This means that management and my coworkers assume that I’m always available and am always “on-call” – even though I’ve told them several times that I’m NOT. But that doesn’t stop them from calling me 10 times over the weekend. (Yes, 10.)
It’s probably my own fault though, because I have a really hard time saying no. This last week, for example, I was scheduled to work 25 hours, and ended up working 44. Why? Because someone is off sick, someone quit, and someone had a death in the family. Instead of dividing up the hours amongst the rest of us, they asked me to cover the majority of them, and I obviously said yes. (Which is probably why I’m sick again or still!)
I am not being paid to be on-call, nor did I sign up for an on-call position. I don’t think I’m being unreasonable when I ask not to be bothered when I’m at home.
I knew when I accepted this job that it’s NOT a career, and is NOT something I want to be doing for the rest of
my life this year. But I had hoped that the honeymoon phase would have lasted a bit longer. I still look at the new job listings every day, but I wasn’t expecting to be back to desperately searching for a new job again quite so soon.
How long have your “new job honeymoon phases” lasted?
Is 2 months a reasonable amount, or is it indicative that this job isn’t the right fit?
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