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How far (as a parent) would you get involved?

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#1 *mumof4*

Posted 08 February 2013 - 09:04 AM

With your teenagers employer?

DD (16 1/2) started her 1st part time job 8 months ago at a chain bakery.  A few hiccups at the start (as in told she had the job, but didn't start working there door nearly 5 weeks!).

All has been going well - she averages 3 shifts per week (about 4 hours per shift). She has ALWAYS accepted last minute shift requests & has never called in sick.

Fast forward to Christmas. All the staff text the boss to let them know of their availability over the holiday period. They were all left hanging until the last minute, when the roster was put out about a week before Xmas. Sure enough - DD was rostered for New Years Day (the one day over the 24/12 - 1/1 period that she said she couldn't work, due to us going away). All good - the whole family changes plans to work around this. She also offers to work all the extra shifts the boss would need between the 2/1 - 13/1 (as this was when most of the staff were wanting time off). She requested 3 shifts off in the middle of January (when most staff were back by then).

So - to start. First of all, at the last minute (ie: day before) she was told she was not required for the New Year's Day shift. Which meant the whole family lost 3 days of our holidays (we're supposed to leave Melbourne on 27/12, & DD was going to return to Melb on 2/1 with DH so she could work up until 13/1).

Then, after letting the boss know that she was happy to work as many extra days as he needed to cover the lack of staff between 2/1 - 13/1, not only did he not give her extra shifts, he took her regular weekend ones off her (and got his wife to work the weekends). So basically, DD was in Melbourne, away from us, for nothing!

Finally, she let the boss know that she retuned from holidays a day earlier. He responded with 'still organizing the rosters'. That was on the 27th January, and despite 4 texts (HIS preferred method of communication) from DD - she hasn't heard a word from him!  Her last txt said "Hi XXX - just wanting to know if I still have a job, as I haven't heard anything from you since 27/1. Can you please let me know. Rgds, XXX".

NOTHING!!  This was 3 days ago!

This is soooo frustrating - she is a great worker - has always done everything asked of her. Filled in with an hours notice, never been late or called in sick.

At what stage would you get 'involved' with your teenagers employer & what would you do?  Or would you leave it to your teenager to sort out (as I suppose they have to learn HOW to deal with bosses).

#2 protart roflcoptor

Posted 08 February 2013 - 09:09 AM

Quite normal to do rosters only a week in advance. She is casual.

You think she is a great worker but how do you know?

I understand as a Mum you want to help, but what exactly will it achieve?

If they are disorganised and don't communicate, better to spend the energy to help her look for another job.

#3 Mrs Lannister

Posted 08 February 2013 - 09:09 AM

I would encourage her to look for another job

#4 Guest_Sunnycat_*

Posted 08 February 2013 - 09:10 AM

I wouldn't get involved with that, if the boss isn't going to respond, he's not going to respond. She should try calling him or going in there t speak with him but I don't think this is something a parent needs to get involved in.

I think I would only get involved if there was a serious issue going in with the employer like they were breaching OHS or bullying or something like that.

ETA I'd probably encourage her to look for another job as well.

Edited by Sunnycat, 08 February 2013 - 09:11 AM.

#5 mum to1

Posted 08 February 2013 - 09:14 AM

QUOTE (protart roflcoptor @ 08/02/2013, 10:09 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Quite normal to do rosters only a week in advance. She is casual.

You think she is a great worker but how do you know?

I understand as a Mum you want to help, but what exactly will it achieve?

If they are disorganised and don't communicate, better to spend the energy to help her look for another job.

This, let her deal with as your getting involved would not solve much imo, if she's unhappy there I'd just look for another job.

#6 Red Cabbage

Posted 08 February 2013 - 09:15 AM

I'd suggest its time she finds work with someone else. My 17yo has worked with his employer since he was 14 (part time) and we have never had an issue or needed to step in. He has now successfully gained himself an apprenticeship in which we never had to sort out for him either.

#7 bakesgirls

Posted 08 February 2013 - 09:15 AM

I'd tell her to look for a different place to work if it was my child. As for her roster/work hours, she is casual. They don't have to call her in to work, just as she doesn't have to accept the shift. They are are within their rights to cancel shifts if they don't require the staff.

It sounds like your DD's work place is rostering to their needs, not your DDs, so I don't see the issue TBH.

#8 Therese

Posted 08 February 2013 - 09:19 AM

I also think it's time for her to look for another job.


Posted 08 February 2013 - 09:21 AM

Boss sounds inconsiderate of others.

If she doesn't like being messed about then maybe suggest to her she looks for another position with fixed hours.

Some people have no idea how to run a small business - it costs much more time and money to hire and train a new member of staff than to retain an existing decent member of staff. His loss.

#10 Feral Grey Mare

Posted 08 February 2013 - 09:25 AM

As a parent of working teenagers I understand that you feel your daughter has been given the runaround and I agree that it is rude of the emplyer not to be straight with her regarding her working hours. I do not feel that there is anything gained from you intervening on her behalf (as tempting as that may be). As others have said I would be encouraging her to look for alternative employment. It is disappointing that her first job has turned out have such irregular hours, but it would be useful to her to remain on good terms with her current employer as it may be to her advantage for him to supply a reference for her.

#11 *mumof4*

Posted 08 February 2013 - 09:25 AM

QUOTE (Bomber girl @ 08/02/2013, 10:09 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
I would encourage her to look for another job

Yes - going to do that, but going to give it another week (as she is still giving him the benefit of doubt).

I suppose I assume she's a good worker, due to the feedback she's been given since she started (from both boss & senior worker she regularly works with).

I suppose my vent really is  - how can employers treat kids like that. I've worked really hard to instill a strong work ethic in my kids (ie: don't be late, well groomed at all times, customer is always right etc), & this boss can't even acknowledge 1 txt from DD, let alone 3!

People grumble about 'lazy kids' - but I suppose it can work both ways. A simple txt/phone call to say he's a bit behind wouldn't go astray. But to just leave her hanging, is in my opinion, really unprofessional.

The one thing with this boss is though - if you're 'sacked', he immediately asks for your uniform back - so I don't THINK she's lost her job - he just can't be bothered informing her as to when her next shift is (remember, this is a small business - it's not like they have 20+ employees. Maybe 8 at the most).

#12 FiveAus

Posted 08 February 2013 - 09:27 AM

All four of my kids had part time jobs as teenagers, and I never got involved with the employers.

The only time I made my presence known was once when I was concerned my youngest daughter was being treated harshly by a co-worker at a food court outlet. I simply sat in the food court, with a cup of coffee, at a table near her workplace so I could see what was going on.
I did that at random times for a few weeks, and the problem ceased.

As for shift rostering, the employer does what the business needs, not what the employees require.

#13 MintyBiscuit

Posted 08 February 2013 - 09:27 AM

I'd also encourage her to look for another job and take this as a learning experience.  Shift wise it sounds fairly standard for a casual job - annoying, but a casual teen is at the bottom of the ladder. The lack of response would annoy me, but has she been proactive and gone in to see him? He might prefer text, but f there is no response I'd be going beyond a text. TBH though if the boss has been that unresponsive to her being polite, I doubt they'd be responsive to mum running in

#14 emm79

Posted 08 February 2013 - 09:28 AM

I'd encourage her to look for another job.

However, last I knew, they do have to offer her at least 1 shift a week.  It's a long time since I last worked casually, but last I did, casuals had to be offered at least 3 hours a week.  It may have changed since then.

#15 steppy

Posted 08 February 2013 - 09:29 AM

Its just the horror of being in the casual workforce. Employers wonder why their employees would screw them over in an instant and are always looking for other jobs, and employees wonder how much guff they have to put up with before they are shown any kind of consideration or loyalty by their employer.

#16 TwiceThe Woman

Posted 08 February 2013 - 09:37 AM

You sound like a great family - motivated & responsible, so you don't want to be "stepping in" on behalf of your wonderful daughter which would be disempowering for her (no matter how much you're tempted to).  It sounds from your synopsis that you daughter has shown herself to be both reliable & responsible as well as self motivated, so you want her to build and grow on those strengths.
Better that you advocate for her by saying "This has been a great experience for you!  Some employers are a good example of how not to run a business.  You have been an honest and flexible employee.  Do you think you deserve to be treated better than this?  Have you looked at what other jobs are available for you?"
Encourage her to google / go to gumtree / get the newspaper out to "have a look" and advise her on updating her resume.
Encourage her with her decision making and have her do her own job seeking.
The opportunity for personal and professional growth here is massive.
Endeavour to make each step empowering for her.
Wishing you all the best!

#17 *mumof4*

Posted 08 February 2013 - 09:39 AM

QUOTE (FiveAus @ 08/02/2013, 10:27 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
As for shift rostering, the employer does what the business needs, not what the employees require.

Yes - I understand that she's casual & they will roster to their needs. The thing is, there are only 3 adult workers (that do the day shifts) 3 over 18's (1 of which MUST do close of an evening) & 3 'juniors'. She is not the 'newest' junior. It's a requirement that there's a minimum of 2 people per shift.  And no shift can be more than 4/5 hours.

So the necessity is there - just cant understand a simple txt/phone in response to her question.

#18 Soontobegran

Posted 08 February 2013 - 09:39 AM

Sorry but I'd be encouraging her to look elsewhere and hand in her notice. There could be a number of reasons for the lack of shifts but I think the worst thing would be for her to leave causing any drama as this can have a negative impact on her future employment. The employer really doesn't have to give shifts to casual employers and even though it feels wrong he is in his right to do so without question.

Once our children were over 16 we left the negotiating up to them and tried hard to not involve ourselves although we would have stepped in if there was any abuse going on.

I did speak up once when one DD was working a few shifts in a sandwich shop and was ordered by the owner to cut the mould off the schnitzel before putting it into a roll and reuse the same lettuce that had been sitting in the display for the last 4 days huh.gif
I didn't talk to the owner, I rang the local Council who sent an inspector that same day and closed the shop down forever.
People who shop at Knox City should thank me for that wink.gif

#19 ComradeBob

Posted 08 February 2013 - 09:41 AM

What TwiceTheWoman says - your DD is old enough now to negotiate these things herself, and she'll never gain the confidence to do so if you keep stepping in to do it yourself. Be supportive, back her up, but unless it's an issue of fraud, or health and safety, I'd be standing clear and letting her do it herself.

#20 StopTheGoats

Posted 08 February 2013 - 09:44 AM

The problem with this 'chain' places is often management are young and inexperienced themselves. I'd suggest she look elsewhere for work and hand in her notice as soon as she has secured other employment (formally, not via text). When she's older, if she deals with incompetent management, she would do the same.

#21 CallMeFeral

Posted 08 February 2013 - 09:46 AM

QUOTE (Bomber girl @ 08/02/2013, 10:09 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
I would encourage her to look for another job

You intervening is not going to make him improve his behaviour. It's not school - you have no power over him. He's just a bad boss. Not much you can do about those but move on.

#22 YodaTheWrinkledOne

Posted 08 February 2013 - 09:49 AM

QUOTE (CallMeProtart @ 08/02/2013, 09:46 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
You intervening is not going to make him improve his behaviour. It's not school - you have no power over him. He's just a bad boss. Not much you can do about those but move on.


Your daughter is learning some valuable life lessons.  Let her learn them herself and figure out how she wishes to operate in life.

#23 Peppery

Posted 08 February 2013 - 09:56 AM

I think you should encourage your child to look for employment elsewhere but I wouldn't contact the boss personally.

#24 CallMeFeral

Posted 08 February 2013 - 10:15 AM

QUOTE (*mumof4* @ 08/02/2013, 10:25 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
I suppose my vent really is  - how can employers treat kids like that. I've worked really hard to instill a strong work ethic in my kids (ie: don't be late, well groomed at all times, customer is always right etc), & this boss can't even acknowledge 1 txt from DD, let alone 3!

Well, yes. There's a lot of complaints about Gen Y etc, but I think a lot of this has actually been created by the organisations themselves. It used to be you get a job, they look after you, you stay there for life - then they started retrenching all the lifers for the flavour/budget cut of the month, 20 years down the track employees have seen that loyalty buys them nothing, and act accordingly.
There are still good employers out there, and good employees, it's just a matter of weeding them out. It's probably a good life lesson to teach your DD - you work hard, treat your employer well, and see if they do likewise - if they don't, you've copped a bad 'un, time to move on.

#25 FiveAus

Posted 08 February 2013 - 10:32 AM

The best employer any of my children had as teenagers was Coles supermarket. I don't know if it was just the local one, or if they are all good employers of young people.

Both my daughter and my niece worked for them and they were treated fairly, given adequate shifts with adequate notice, offered plenty of extra work in busy holiday periods, and treated with the same respect as adult employees. And when my niece moved interstate for uni, her job was transferred, then each summer it was transferred back to home while she was home.
When my daughter finished high school and decided not to o to uni, they gave her plenty of work until she decided what she wanted to do.

The worst employers (by a country mile) were the small fast food outlets at the local mall.

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