trouble @ work

From: Bea Advised
November 2, 2011 at 7:17 pm

I have so many issues I don’t know where to start!
For starters I have over 100 hours of comp time at work that I can’t use because my supervisor (I use that term loosely) gives time off to others while denying mine. Won’t even bother going to the higher ups because I work in a man’s world so women’s complaints don’t matter.

Secondly, I have a co worker who goes out of her way to get ALL holidays and special occasions off so that I end up working. I have a small child that I’d love to spend holidays etc with. This woman has no children. But insists she needs the days off to enjoy her granddaughter WHO IS NOT HER GRANDCHILD!

I have a third problem but I can’t see for crying. HELP me Teena !


Dear Bea:

The first thing you need to do is stop crying — at once. Secondly, you must arm yourself with knowledge. Demand a written copy of the policy governing the accrual and use of compensatory time (specific to YOUR POSITION) within your organization. The third thing you should do is review my post titled “How to Argue Effectively.” While you’re arming yourself with knowledge, you might consider strategically placing gay/bi-curious literature in the work areas of your misogynistic employers, happen to “accidentally discover” the same, and start a dialogue with everyone you meet about your discoveries. Make it a point to “meet” some people in HR. It’s also a good idea to leave evidence of your labor law studies in a conspicuous place in your work area. Now you’re ready to talk to your supervisor! Here are some conversation starters:

“I see I didn’t get my requested days off again. You know who else didn’t give people days off? Hitler/Osama/Hussein. Why do you hate America?”

“Hey, what’s this? It looks like a copy of the Fair Labor Standards Act! By the way, I’ll be taking [insert days here] off.”

“Listen, I’m going to need to take X number of days off. It’s non-negotiable. That is, unless you’d care to negotiate with the f-ing labor board.”

An alternative to the “arming and arguing” approach is the pacifist’s approach, aka “short/long-term disability.” I bet your job is really stressful, huh — even if you WEREN’T supervised by a closeted Hitler?! You’ve tried your best to get time off for medically necessary rest and relaxation — to no avail. Now you’re not sleeping well, not eating right — your metabolism is all to hell, you’re having trouble concentrating, your interpersonal relationships are suffering, and you are unable to enjoy any of the activities you once enjoyed on your days off (when you do get them) for worrying about what’s going to happen (or not) when you return to work! Relax, baby. You are a simple diagnosis away from a well-deserved (and paid) break, should you choose the pacifist approach, which is something I would personally never choose, but then, I was made for argument.

With regard to your clearly delusional coworker, I suggest you present her with a visual aide in the form of a family tree that may resemble something like the following, except yours will obviously be colorful, and will enclose this data in tree shapes:

You + Your Man = YOUR CHILD

Your Coworker + (Her Man + His Previous Partner = Their Child + Its Partner) = NOT HER ACTUAL GRANDCHILD

That’s straight-up science, and as such, cannot be denied. Ordinarily, I would argue that people without children are as entitled to enjoy the holidays as those who do have children — but SHE’S TRYING TO GET THEM ALL. Until she stops, YOU try to get them all. And if you fail (and you will fail unless you have implemented one of the above-referenced strategies) call in sick for 50% of all holidays because fair is fair. May I assume her “fake grandchild” is younger than your real child? If so, have your child challenge her “fake grandchild” to a street fight, or dance-off, or whatever the kids are doing nowadays, or at least threaten it, or draw it a threatening picture, if it is not old enough to understand verbal threats. Never hesitate to up the ante by making any/every feud multi-generational. You are the author of your own life story, Bea. Write an epic.

Thank you for allowing me to solve two out of your three problems. I trust you will be ready to disclose the third, once you realize you are relieved of the burden of attempting to solve the first two.

Yours in Pursuit of FAIRNESS,


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