Help! Saying "no" to overtime

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Monique
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Help! Saying "no" to overtime

Post by Monique » Wed Mar 14, 2018 3:55 pm

Hey guys, apologies in advance for the long wall of text lol. I need your advice and a bit of courage!

A bit of background - I work in retail as a supervisor for 3 days a week with a small team of 8 people. I really enjoy it and my colleagues are awesome, but it's immensely draining on my mental and physical health, as I have fibromyalgia and general anxiety disorder as well as dyspraxia. The days I have off are my recovery times for the chronic pain and mental exhaustion. Also in my spare time, I'm an artist with exhibitions to prepare for and an art youtube channel to run. It's practically a second job and I spend probably 15-30 hours a week working on art stuff on top of my part time job.

Anyway, one of my full-time colleagues in the management team was ill for a very long time last year and I was covering both his shifts and mine for nearly 5 months. I'm contracted to work 17 hours and I was working 37 to 40 hours a week for most of it! I'm not sure how I got through it but by the end of it I was feeling very burned out and my art career fell by the wayside for a long time because of it. It's still affecting me even now.

This week, he fell ill again, and likely won't be back for weeks if not months. In addition, my work friend, who I'm pretty close to, walked out yesterday because the manager upset her. She won't be coming back (my colleague called me yesterday to explain everything to me). She's blocked all calls from the store and manager, and unfriended everyone except me on facebook. The only person who knows why she walked out is me.

So obviously, as the only part timer that isn't in high school, this immediately puts a lot of pressure on me. The store is now two members of staff down. I've already had a missed call from the shop earlier today, and they have left a voicemail which I have yet to listen to. I'm not sure I can face listening to it.

They do have other means to get cover, as this is a chain store and they can just call HR or other stores to transfer someone to cover for a while. But my manager has always been super reluctant to do this. I'm already having anxiety attacks at the thought of saying "no" to my boss when she asks me to do overtime. I really struggle with saying no and can be a bit of a pushover. That's why I got dragged into doing overtime last year for so long, even though I didn't want to! I already have a lot of commitments outside work and my health to look after. At the same time I don't want to create a rift between me and the rest of the staff, especially the manager. I get on with her well, but she can be a bit stroppy sometimes.

I'm back in work on Friday and I'm not sure that I can take the pressure! I'm honestly so scared to face them. Help and advice on what I should do would be greatly appreciated :(

Tom fod
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Re: Help! Saying "no" to overtime

Post by Tom fod » Wed Mar 14, 2018 8:48 pm

Hi Monique and welcome

I know I would not find it easy either but you need to tell her (and if necessary higher up the chain) that they need to get someone new in to replace/fill in for your management team colleague. I'm hoping the fact he's had to take long term sick leave is not directly related to the stress of the role? You need to be clear in stating that regrettably taking on (excessive) additional hours to cover his absence would compromise your own health and wellbeing.

Hoping it was not the case, but If your colleagues resignation was as a result of a serious matter, for example bullying/harassment, would it be in the interests of the workplace that she informs someone about her reasons for walking out, or was it merely a clash of personalities?

Apologies if I'm barking up the wrong trees. I hope this is of some help?
Tom
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With a foot full of bullets I tried to run faster but I just hobbled on to the next disaster.
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SwervingCentaur
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Re: Help! Saying "no" to overtime

Post by SwervingCentaur » Sat Mar 17, 2018 11:49 pm

It's a tricky one. I have actually been forced in the past to do overtime that I shouldn't have done. It's overtime, you don't need to do it, if you don't want to do, because it's forced overtime, and that is considered to be an illegal act. If you are only contracted to work a certain set of hours, and they are forcing you to work more, then they have broken the contract. You could always ring ACAS, or join a union, which then they can protect you in the workplace.

Monique
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Joined: Tue Nov 07, 2017 4:47 pm

Re: Help! Saying "no" to overtime

Post by Monique » Fri Jul 13, 2018 9:50 pm

Hey guys, been a while since I made this thread but your advice really helped me back in March. Thank you so much.

My colleague is thankfully a lot better for now and he recovered fairly quickly after my original post (he has some chronic health issues that I can't disclose). My manager still tries to pressurise me into doing overtime on almost a weekly basis, and she leaves doing the rotas very last minute so it continues to be very frustrating! I am getting more confident at saying "no", however I still feel really pressured into having to justify every single little reason why I can't do overtime on a week by week basis! It's not great for my anxiety.

The thing is, I feel pressurised into saying "yes" from my anxiety issues - and because of my verbal "yes", I don't think I have legitimate grounds for claiming that I am being forced to do overtime, if that makes sense. As much as that sucks ](*,)

The reason why my friend walked out so suddenly was, ironically enough, due to unsolicited overtime! The day she quit she was meant to have a day off as time in lieu, but because another colleague called in ill earlier in the week, the manager never informed her of her day off and just let her come in as if it was a normal work day. When she found out she could have had the day off but was deliberately never told about it, she confronted the manager who just laughed it off. My friend was livid!

I just looked at the rota for this coming week and she has put me down for 5 full work days, again, without asking me first! I'm thinking finding a different job elsewhere because I am getting really fed up with it now. Are all retail managers like this?! #-o

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