Need some workplace advice

iVillage Member
Registered: 09-05-2012
Need some workplace advice
Tue, 11-13-2012 - 5:06pm

Hello, I just need a little advice.

Nearly all my coworkers have children and all year long are taking long lunches, coming in late, etc. to deal with school activities. This also means taking exceptionally long lunches to shop or do other things that really ought to be done on weekends/evenings because of the flexibility they feel they have. This just means that the other childless employee and I have to fill in for them on top of our own duties in the office.

Now that the holidays are coming up my coworkers (9 out of 10 have children under 18) are all taking the choice days off because of school holidays, etc. If you have encountered this situation, how would you handle it? Please understand that I'm just trying to get a fair shake and keep my stress level down because the office always seems to be busier when someone else is out. You know how that goes!

As an aside: Management doesn't want to have to deal with this issue. Probably because I'm outnumbered and it's easier to keep the majority happy.

Thank you!

Avatar for CMEvelyn
iVillage Member
Registered: 05-29-2012
Wed, 11-14-2012 - 12:08pm

Hi Jenuits, and welcome to the boards!

You're in a tough spot if management doesn't want to deal with it. If they're okay with people taking long lunches and days off, I doubt there's much you can do. Do you think their reaction would be the same if you were to take the extra time off?

iVillage Member
Registered: 06-03-2009
Sun, 11-18-2012 - 2:18pm
If management refuses to deal with this issue you could try hr, but if you get no help there then it is time for you to move on. I worked at a place like yours years ago and like you I was one of the childless employees. Hr completely ignored the situation and because most of management also had children they always sided with the employees that had children. I got so sick of having to do more work and being treated like the manner in which I chose to live my personal life was unacceptable that I quit. The company was later sued and I got a nice settlement check in the mail.
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iVillage Member
Registered: 09-16-2002
Mon, 11-19-2012 - 1:36pm

I think this is dependent upon you.  Are there days/times when you would like to take off and cannot because others are always being given first choice?  Has their additional time off (or extended lunches, etc.) affected your work directly (e.g., you are unable to complete your work because you are constantly covering for others)?  Unless your issues are valid (and not personal), then I don't see how this situation will change.  Make sure you take your alotted vacation/sick time too, even if you have to put time in early on the calendar to do so (you can always change it, but at least you'll have reserved the time in advance).  I don't have kids either, and can take my vacation time whenever I want, I don't take vacation around the holidays because it's a lot quieter here.  I am in no way jealous of people who take extra time off for their kids, because where I work, they either have to take sick/vacation time, or make up for the time they will be out dealing with kid issues. 

Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.

.  -Albert Einstein

iVillage Member
Registered: 09-05-2012
Tue, 11-20-2012 - 10:07am
Thank you! I think you're probably right, I'll have to deal with it. The flexibility is a blessing and a curse. They "try" to accomodate me (doctor's appts, etc.) but my other childless coworker and I have been denied time off in the past because of the others.
iVillage Member
Registered: 09-05-2012
Tue, 11-20-2012 - 10:10am

Thanks for your input!