Category Archives: clever

Why Standing Up To Your Boss Works

Below is an email exchange between my girlfriend and her boss. She works an internship at a magazine twice a week for 5 hours each time, writes for her campus newspaper, works this job (that sucks and pays her meagerly) and is taking a full time, three class load. Her boss had the nerve to send her the following letter:

On 4/11/07, H.W.(the boss) wrote: Hi N.,

As you are now working split shifts of two- and three-hour intervals, it is not appropriate to eat lunch during that time. California law provides that employees must receive a 30-minute meal break if they work in excess of five hours.

It’s fine if you’d like to stay for a few minutes after you finish work at noon, or come in early before you resume working at 2 p.m.

Please let me know if you have any suggestions or questions.

Best, H.

My girlfriend, being the extremely intelligent and no-bullshit person that she is, promptly responded. She had been wanting to quit this job for months as the work was tough and her new boss was especially crabby. Instead of apologizing for eating her lunch at work, she responded with the following:

—–Original Message—–
From: N.E.

Sent: Thursday, April 12, 2007 8:00 AM

To: H.W., K.N., A.K.
Subject: Re: Work Thursday

Hi H.,

I appreciate your concern. I do have my own to contribute.

When I leave after my two hour shift, I go to class. I don’t have time to eat. On those days when my professor ends the class early, I will, for now on, take those minutes to eat lunch.

On the other hand, on those days when my professor doesn’t end the class early, it doesn’t take me more than ten minutes to eat lunch, and I usually can do it while I’m working. I do not think it interferes with my work or dampens my overall productivity. Furthermore, I think that an atmosphere where an activity like eating is not strictly monitored would allow for a more positive work environment simply because it gives me, or whoever is working, a sense of autonomy.

I understand that my past with !@#$% has been checkered. I’ve had quarters with frequent absences, I usually eat while I’m working, and I sometimes check my email a little too frequently. While interning for !@#$% has taught me a lot about marketing and publicity, I also feel over the past two quarters, I’ve stopped enjoying it as much. For that reason, I would like to resign.

Please inform me of how you would prefer I do it. I understand this resignation is mid-quarter and I would like to accommodate the two departments as much as possible. Thank you for listening,

N.

This was the response she got not long afterwards:

From: H. (the boss)
Date: Apr 12, 2007 12:07 PM
Subject: RE: Work Thursday
To: N.E.,
K.N., A.K.

Hi N.,

Thanks for your message and for helping us understand your feelings.

First, I’d like to apologize for my message regarding eating while on the job. It’s was unfair on my part, and I’m very sorry. We want you to enjoy your time with us and be comfortable having lunch, as well as taking personal calls and emails.

We’d very much like to work out something that might be agreeable to you within the dual aspects of the position. As I mentioned yesterday, our press mailings for the 06-07 season are complete and – thanks to your help – the clippings are, too. We really appreciate all that you contribute and for looking at the “bigger picture” while helping us with work that may not be as challenging for you.

Perhaps you might consider staying on to help Marketing? A.’s looking very much forward to speaking with you.

Kind regards, H.


This just goes to show that if you are being mistreated at work and believe yourself to be important to the company its your prerogative to stand up for yourself when threatened by your superiors. My guess is that when her other bosses saw the letter of resignation they made HW apologize for her letter. That’s why I love you, baby.

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