Remember the reader whose boss gave her a choice of offices — and then punished her for the one she chose? Here’s her update.
I’m afraid this update isn’t an extremely happy one. Not too long after I got some responses from my original question, I went to my manager and asked if there was anything else I could do and if she would rather I moved to the office directly next to her (the “used to be a closet” office). I was told that everything was fine and not to worry about it. As it turns out, I should have been worried.
In October, I had to report for a week long jury duty summons. Prior to going on jury duty, I asked if I needed to do anything and was told that in the past people wrote letters to try to be exempted and I could do that if I wanted to. I decided that, as a young woman with no family or obligations that would prevent me from going, I would not be exempt anyway and just went to Jury Duty thinking everything was fine. I ended up taking 3 days. Every day I got an email from my manager insisting that I update her on the status of the day. (did I get called for a jury, when will I be coming back).
When I returned to the office on Thursday, I was told that I had to move my office ‘by the end of the day’ and that no one had time to help me and I would just have to figure out how to get my desk in there. I was also called into a disciplinary meeting shortly thereafter that called my work ethic into question due to the Jury Duty. I was told that they value people who prioritize their responsibilities. When I asked what responsibility I had not met (I made sure everyone knew where I would be and delegated any time-sensitive work to co-workers) and apparently when they told me that when I was told that “in the past people have written letters to try to be exempt…etc.” that was meant to be an order. Then they took away 3 of my vacation days to “pay” for the 3 days of jury duty. I apologized for the misunderstanding and assured them that I meant no disrespect and was not trying to shirk any responsibilities.
After that, I immediately consulted my employee handbook and outlined the policy on Jury Duty. (It is one sentence “The Bank will pay your normal wages for the period of service.”) I took it right back to them and asked why my vacation days are being taken away and is this meant to be a punishment for a misunderstanding, showing them the highlighted portion of the policy. They immediately back pedaled and gave me my vacation days back. And in the meeting I also mentioned that, after doing some research, I noticed that in Pennsylvania it is actually illegal to require your employees to attempt to ‘get out of’ jury duty before allowing them to go. And she said to me, “Well, that’s why we don’t write it down but we still need you to try to do that in the future.” I was also told that I need to learn to ‘read between the lines’ and ask myself ‘what do they REALLY want from me in this situation’.
After that debacle, everything kind of slowed down and it seems to be going ok. My manager still has her moments, but she hasn’t been as unreasonable as she was before. It’s possible that she’s being nicer because she got her way and thinks I have been defeated. I am still debating whether I want to give this place another year, just so I can put the experience on my resume or if I want to start looking in January after I take my year-end vacation.
I wish I could give you a better update, but I guess it is what it is!