I have been working at a YMCA pool as a lifeguard for about 6 months now. I am a good employee who has shown up to every shift, follows the rules and has even come in on late notice due to lifeguard shortage on certain days. I don't ask for much time off but I have been planning a school trip to Japan for about a year now so I had to ask for time off.
My issue is that I let my managers know 5 MONTHS in advance that I would be going to Japan for 10 days and that I would need time off. I let them know multiple times over email, in person and I even submitted an official request on our scheduling app. Despite this, I was scheduled for 5 shifts (including swim lesson instructing shifts as I am also an instructor) during the 10 days I requested off. I was also assigned a shift during some other PREVIOUSLY APPROVED vacation time.
When I asked about these I was told to cover all of the shifts, including the one during my approved vacation time. Getting shifts covered is very hard to do, especially for instructing shifts (I have 3 I need to cover). These managers have been causing difficulties with the scheduling since the start of the year and all the employees complain and have trouble. Recently I got an email from an employee who was so desperate they were willing to pay $100 for a shift to be covered.
If I don't show up for the shifts I would feel really bad for the kids in the lessons. Personally I don't think my managers should have scheduled me during a time where they knew I wouldn't be there, but they did and now it's "my responsibility". I asked if the lessons could be given to another instructor but they said that there wasn't enough instructors. This bothered me because my boss was praising us for the 3000 kids a week that are taking our lessons. If we don't have enough instructors we shouldn't take so many kids.
I really love working here and I have many good friends who are co-workers who I don't see outside of work, but the management system is bringing me very close to quitting.
Does anyone have any advice? I'm not sure what else to tell my managers as they seem to be firm in their decision.