Firstly, I'd like to maintain a good relationship with every colleague.

I work in a supermarket that is open from 7 - 22 everyday of the year. I have quite a lot of colleagues so when somebody isn't able to work, there mostly always is someone to cover the hours.

Next Thursday there is a national holiday and I told my friends to join them in a sports team, something I really look forward to after not being able to sport for a half year due to an injury. I found out that I'm scheduled for work that holiday, so I would be unable to join my friends (and letting them down counting on me). I was scheduled together with a colleague.

So I found a replacement. Only one person voluntarily offered to replace me. My boss was OK with that, only with the condition that the replacement had to work alone due to the fact he is older and costs more salary.

Now the colleague I originally would have worked with, isn't happy because she expected to work her hours (and earn double salary for the holiday) and she needs the money.

Now I'm happy but she isn't, and I can't wrap my head around a good solution to keep myself and my colleague satisfied. What would be a good way to approach this dilemma?

  • 16
    Management really shouldn't put you in a position where your decisions affect the salary of a co-worker. They should have asked her if she wanted that day off, then turned your request down when she said no.
    – Myles
    Commented May 11, 2015 at 21:43
  • 1
    I frankly don't think it's your problem. if she really wants that pay, than why won't she switch with the lad that has to work alone? edit: do not word it to her this way tough ;)
    – Stefto
    Commented May 12, 2015 at 8:28
  • 1
    Personally, I would have worked with her instead of playing sports. But that's why I am me and not you. Commented May 12, 2015 at 11:23
  • 2
    The fact that your colleague isn't happy (because she will be unable to work if you don't) should not affect your decision to take time off during the holiday. You are not responsible for her financial situation, and the fact that she needs the money is not a reason to cater your life to her financial needs. Therefore, I would go ahead and take the day off. Explain to her that her not being able to work that day is due to the manager's decision to put another person in her place, and she should discuss the issue with the manager if she is not happy.
    – A.S
    Commented May 12, 2015 at 12:19
  • 1
    I would just be as honest and transparent as possible, apologize if you feel you need to, and try to make it up to her somehow by offering her one of your shifts. If she's still unhappy after that...well, you tried!
    – Raydot
    Commented May 13, 2015 at 17:06

1 Answer 1


Your boss is punishing you. First, it was probably not random chance that you were assigned to work the holiday, when there are "quite a lot of colleagues." Then, when you found someone to switch with you, the boss doubled down by making it appear that you are preventing a co-worker from earning a paycheck. Finally, s/he is allowing the holiday to be staffed by one person, just not the person who was originally scheduled? Makes little sense.

It is a pretty evil thing your boss is trying to do. You need to try to clear the air between you and him/her. If you can do that and get the boss to end this passive-aggressiveness, the co-worker will get her shift back and everybody is happy. It's worth a try.

  • I actually think I have a good relationship with my boss, I often have a laugh with him and do not feel some passive-aggressive attitude.
    – moffeltje
    Commented May 13, 2015 at 21:27
  • But maybe it is indeed a strategy towards me to prevent me from asking free in the future?
    – moffeltje
    Commented May 13, 2015 at 21:28
  • 2
    @moffeltje Then just ask him directly -- why are you making it appear that I am preventing [colleague's name] from working her originally-scheduled shift?
    – ExactaBox
    Commented May 13, 2015 at 21:50
  • 2
    This is all just an assumption. This is a supermarket. Jobs like this have very flexible scheduling. The manager could have made the schedule changing thinking that the other employee would enjoy the holiday off. I worked with plenty of people when I was going through the fast-food and restaurant gamut as a teenager who definitely needed money but would nevertheless jump at a chance to be off work.
    – jmorc
    Commented May 15, 2015 at 14:58
  • Also, someone needs to be scheduled in to work the holiday if the store is going to be open. The boss is not being spiteful by picking someone to schedule in as someone needs to be scheduled in.
    – Eric
    Commented May 18, 2015 at 14:34

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