So, I asked for time off a little over a month ago for the Friday after Thanksgiving and I was under the impression that my boss said he would cover my shift. Yesterday, I texted him to remind him and he had never heard of that agreement. I didn't talk with him about it since it was covered because I am terrified of talking about time off when things are going badly and things have been going badly since then. That was dumb of me.

Now, my boss is a very trustworthy person, and I believe him when he says he didn't write that on the board (We have a whiteboard we use for shift swap messages and requests for stuff and restocking and things like that). He's quite irritated and I was worried he thought I made the prior existence of the time off request up so I checked with some of my co-workers I remember telling me about it, and they remember this, too. He thinks someone must have put it on the board to be 'funny' or something, and is now (like, currently at time of writing) going to go stop business and figure out what happened by talking to each employee individually. I feel like this large-scale disruption of business and sudden scheduling problem is somehow my fault, though I don't know how yet. I don't have any enemies at work, that I'm aware of, so I can't think of any reason anyone would have done that, which makes me think that somehow I must have convinced my coworkers that the boss had written his name or something.

In any case, it seems to me like if I go Thanksgiving this year, I will be fired or need to quit. I am the person organizing Thanksgiving this year, and am providing transportation to two other family members and the food and basically am doing the whole thing. I have money saved up in case I am fired-- about 6,000$-- but I just don't really know how to handle this at all. Assuming this fiasco is somehow my fault, and I just don't know it yet, what do I do?

I work as a delivery driver at a pizza place in Northern California, at present.

So, I talked with my boss and the situation is now super different, but I am interested in how to handle how I felt/how things seemed at the time, rather than the new situation. I can't find any advice online for what to do when things are blowing up and emotional problems make you unable to reasonably assess what happened/what is going on, in a time-sensitive work-type problem situation.

  • So what is your goal? What do you want to do? Can you move the Thanksgiving dinner to other day?
    – DarkCygnus
    Nov 16 '17 at 22:24
  • By saying "on the board", you mean some board where you note down the time shifts and time off of workers?
    – DarkCygnus
    Nov 16 '17 at 22:25
  • 3
    Your story is rather confusing. What board? Why did things "go badly"? What exactly did your boss think you "made up"? The whole story? A note on a board? What do you feel is "your fault", and why? What are you organizing on Thanksgiving? A work event, or a family event? And why does it matter. Please edit to clarify.
    – sleske
    Nov 16 '17 at 22:39
  • Good luck. Tell your boss you are organizing Thanksgiving and providing transportation to two other family members.
    – paparazzo
    Nov 17 '17 at 0:07
  • That problem wasn't your fault. No one can predict untrustworthy colleagues. The boss needed to find out who made the change. It's his problem, not yours. From now on, every time you see the whiteboard changing, take a quick picture of it. Hopefully, the situation resolved itself for you. And you got the time off without getting fired. Please tell us that much. I like to know these things. Nov 17 '17 at 12:44

I experienced something similar working at a gas station as a teenager. A co-worker unilaterally changed shifts with me and I no-showed for a graveyard shift that I was unaware of.

The way to approach your boss on this is that you made plans based upon the information that you were given and that you are going to stand behind agreements you made with family members based on this information. Stand behind the fact that you made your request properly and had no reason to doubt the legitimacy of the information given to you.


what do I do?

You can either (1) talk to your boss, preferably on a one-on-one meeting and kindly explain him your situation. This seems to be some misunderstanding between you two (even you have doubts on if he actually agreed to cover you), so it is a situation that you can work out with your boss provided he is a reasonable guy (maybe you can propose to compensate on other day if you like).

You can also (2) try to move your Thanksgiving dinner to a day where you have no problems with your job assistance (the next day maybe, or that following Saturday?). Seems that you are in charge of such event, therefore in a position to negotiate the change or moving of the date. Besides, given that it is a family dinner, they will surely be more comprehensive about this situation.

Other side suggestions include (3) talking to a coworker to try convince him/her to cover you that day. Probably a coworker could be more comprehensive with you in this one. Finally, you also have the choice to (4) skip work anyways and go to the dinner; proceed with this at your own risk. Hope you can manage to sort this out.

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