I'm 16 and this is one of my first jobs, and I've been there for just under a year. I've never been late and always been commended on my customer service. Thursday nights at the store are late night, and because my boss hasn't hired anyone else and people have been slowly leaving we only have 3 people.

We need two people per shift and on Thursdays that means someone needs to take the morning AND night shift. I asked about 2 months ago to stop receiving the double shift, although I did say that I'm fine to do it until he finds someone else.

About 1 month ago to have my birthday off - it's on a Thursday which is why I gave so much notice. Well I asked him a couple of times to make sure it's okay and he was really nice about it and said that they could definitely do it... He showed me the rosters to confirm a few days later and I pointed out that I was still on for the 5th and he crossed it out and kinda laughed it off, he forgot.

Now I've been sent the finalised roster and I'm still scheduled. Is this their way of saying to suck it up and turn up anyway? Or did they forget again? They're always so nice so I don't know if they forgot or don't want to reject me. To make matters worse I just got a formal complaint (my first) that's about my customer service... Everythings going a bit crazy at the moment.

I know it might seem a little over the top but I've been working 6 days a week for months now, as well as a second job and studying so having my birthday off is a big deal to me.

  • You're 16 and you're working 6 days a week at two jobs including a double shift on Thursdays? I hope everything is okay...
    – cag51
    Mar 24, 2018 at 6:39
  • man, kids these days are tough!
    – bharal
    Mar 24, 2018 at 13:56
  • Congratulations on being a hard worker - you have a great future ahead of you. Well done. Yes, you should surely just ask the person again - it is very likely a mistake.
    – Fattie
    Mar 24, 2018 at 14:02
  • Its a hard time with shutdowns putting both my parents out of work but I don't mind usually. I brought it up and was told that they got the impression that I wanted it off, but was still able to work if really needed. That's mainly my fault so this year's birthday I'll have to miss I guess. Thank you si so much to everyone's comments though! I'm glad that I gave it a shot
    – Sarah
    Mar 25, 2018 at 7:41
  • 1
    @MichaelKjörling Never mind. I just wanted to point out that in some places it is not allowed to employ 16yo persons for 6 days a week, that also have a second job and are studying at the same time.
    – moooeeeep
    Mar 26, 2018 at 14:41

3 Answers 3


I think you just need the right language to mention it to the supervisor.

What about this:

"Hi Miss Jones. Say, I just got this roster. [Have it in your hand.] Do you remember, I'm taking off the Thursday 6th. But it's not mentioned here on the roster. Help me out, what should I do?"

You should be fine.

A great tip with this sort of thing is: always ask a question. Phrase your issue as a question. Ask what to do; ask something. Asking questions engages people, and is a basic negotiating technique.

Congratulations on your fantastic work ethic. You'll always be rich and happy.


We can't tell what they are thinking, but if they agreed to give you the day off and crossed you off the roster, just bring it up again. Either they'll tell you what they really want, or you'll be crossed off the roster again.


What does your employment contract say about the number of hours they can ask you to work? What does it say about the notice they need for time off, and in what format (e.g. written, verbal)?

  • If you are regularly working over that number of hours - remind your employer of that. You should ensure you put in your required hours on your birthday week.
  • If you gave them more than enough notice, according to your contract, remind them of that.

With those points in mind, have a conversation with your employer and politely tell them you won't be coming into work on the date of your birthday. If this goes well, then great, you can have your birthday off. If you get the sense they will fire you if you take your birthday off (in spite of you following the rules), you need to weigh up whether taking your birthday off is worth your job to you. Once you've figured that out, act on it.

  • Employment contracts don’t mean anything in these kind of jobs. If you as a 16 year old refuse to work double shifts, they’ll just find another 16 year old to do it. Most likely illegal, but it’s hard to prove.
    – Belle
    Mar 24, 2018 at 18:45

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