On January 30th 2008 I was told that my hours had been cut. I have been at this PetSmart location for a little over two and a half years as a full time pet care lead associate. My hours got cut from 7 hours a day minus a half hour break for lunch, to 5 hours a day minus one 15 minute break, and I am not allowed to take a half hour lunch because I had my hours cut to only 5 hours a day, and 4 hours a day on Thursdays. According to the manager of the store my hours were cut due to the fact that the didnt have enough hours for everyone. This below is the letter that I wrote to my manager that he was addressing:
Wednesday, January 30, 2008
I just found out today that my hours have been cut back even further which is a huge concern for me.
I used to get 7 hours a day, 5 days a week,
Then that was then cut back to 6 hours a day, five days a week,
And now I am being cut back to 5 hours a day, 4 days a week and 4 hours on Thursday?? Are hour cuts not based on seniority? My availability was known when I was hired as a full time employee and my availability has not changed, so why are my hours continually being cut back?
Yes I know my availability isnt the greatest, and my availability to work different hours is an issue, but knowing my availability and such I was still hired as a full time employee, and I was hired to the stipulations as to the hours I was available to work, and I was given full time with this company knowing my availability, and now I am not even getting full time hours and getting cut back even further all the time. I cannot afford this. I am the sole provider for my son and myself and I need these hours. Yes, I do understand that the store is over in hours, but why cut back on someone who has been at this store for the past two years, almost three years as a full time (dependable) employee?
As it stands now, I will be getting only 19 hours this next week (Feb 4th - Feb. 10th) and that is without taking a lunch break or any 15 min breaks. And what if my schedule stays the same for the next week after this? Does that mean I will only be working a maximum of 40 hours in two weeks? That isnt full time hours. I cant live on that, let alone support a child as well. There are other people working in this store who do not have a child to support, or bills to pay or a mortgage to pay, people who have not been here as long as I have, why is it, their hours are not cut? The continuous drops in my hours are very distressing to me, as you and most everyone knows I am the sole provider and single parent. No I am not whining about being a single parent and sole provider for myself and my son, but I do I feel that being an employee for more than 2 yrs at this store and being a very reliable employee should account for something.
So after him reading thru my entire letter, he in turns tells me that there are not enough hours to go around and someone had to be cut somewhere. And that was his basic reply. Now, I know that this is not true because there are other employees still getting a FULL 8-hour shift. Plus, I know for a fact that the manager in my section (pet care) has a little bit of a problem with me some background information here. I used to be good friends with my pet care manager when she was an associate, then she got moved to management and things changed, I was very vocal about her not working, and basically doing nothing all day long, (which still happens on a regular basis there with her) So I stopped basically being friends with her, and then things started to change I was all of a sudden being reported from her to the head boss for being 5 minutes late coming back from lunches at times, or other petty little things. I always would go to lunch with another manager, and apparently she didnt like the fact that her and I were no longer friends, and that the other manager and I became friends instead, so I am sure where this was all stemming from to begin with.
SO little by little she was trying as hard as she could to get me into trouble for things. From there she graduated on to telling the head boss that apparently a customer complained to her of my attitude, saying that I was talking to this customer and bad mouthing another employee which I would NEVER do, I dont get in depth with any customer, I get them what they want so they can be on their way they are not there to chit chat. So, I get called into the office to be written up because of my so-called attitude. Now not only can my pet care manager NOT tell me who this person was, she also cannot tell me what this imaginary person had said because she had conveniently forgotten what was said exactly. And yet I am written up over this imaginary person and this outright lie.
HOW can someone be written up without FACTS?? Well read on and you will see this just gets worse from here on in I was thinking at that time I was in the office that she is trying her damndest to get me fired or wanting me to leave on my own. I figured that this was the end of things and how wrong I was
On February 1st 2008 one day after I confronted my head boss about my hours being cut, I get pulled into the office once again and here is what happened:
On February 1st 2008 at the end of my shift I was pulled aside and asked to come into the office by Mavis Martinez who is the pet care manager. When I get into the office I am told by Trevor Loydd our store head manager that no one is allowed to swipe me in and out for breaks. (Courtney another manager swiped me out as I went to go get the car, so we could leave for lunch) which is understandable. But that is not why I am so concerned here; I am continually being harassed at work, and I am so stressed out about it, it is making me literally sick to my stomach. I have absolutely had it with all of this. It has gone on far too long and nothing is being done about it at all, and now being accused of theft was the last straw.
Yes, I was accused of theft. Accused of stealing 2 fish of all things, and all because I had said I liked the fish and wanted to buy a few of them one day! The only reason I didnt buy the fish is because they were way too expensive (25$ each) and I couldnt see myself paying that amount for any fish no matter how pretty it was. Sorry but if a fish is going to cost me $25.00 then I had better be eating it and not putting it into some tank somewhere to look at! (Where would I of put them as I was going out of the store? In my pockets?)
The fish are called Acei cichlids, and according to mavis (our pet care manager at the store) that when cycle count came around she found that two were *missing from their tank. (Does this mean I am going to be accused of stealing any and all fish that she cannot find on cycle counts from now on?)
So, Instead of pulling all of the pet care staff aside and asking us ALL of the pet care staff if anyone knew what happened to them, (like a proper manager would of done to begin with) or instead of thinking the obvious that they could of died or someone wrote the codes down wrong, or someone else could of made some sort of mistake themselves, right away I am accused of stealing the fish myself! And all because I had mentioned to a couple of people how pretty they were and that I may like to buy a few of them one day! So I guess saying anything about them makes me a thief and warrants a manager accusing me of theft and stealing them?
The only thing I can think of is that maybe they were pulled out of the tank and thrown away when they died and no one wrote it down (which does happen alot) or they had died, and the bodys were not pulled out and rotted away (these fish are about 1 and a half inches long to three inches long at best) which is very likely because this also happens in A LOT of tanks daily because the DFL is never usually done properly, or the only other thing I would think could of happened to them is that someone sold them and put the wrong UPC code on them and they went thru the till as something else other than what they were. Which could be very likely because we have three NEW staff members in our pet care department that really wouldnt know if they were aratus cichlids or Acei cichlids to begin with and they could of wrote their UPC code down as aratus cichlids because they do jump over the dividers in the tanks and the Acei and the Aratus cichlids share one large divided tank.
But instead of thinking someone else could of possibly made some sort of mistake, instead right away I am accused of stealing the fish and all because I had mentioned to a couple of people how pretty they were and that Id like to buy a few of them one day! So I guess saying that about them makes me a thief?
But Instead of asking ALL of the pet care staff if anyone knows what could have happened to them, I am the only one taken aside and harassed and accused of stealing them, this is not only harassment, it is slander and insult to my character and in case they didnt know, they can very well be sued for something like this.
When I was brought into the office and accused of stealing these fish, I wasnt right out and told *YOU stole these fish. I was told, *they are missing and you told people you liked them and wanted to buy a few of them and now two of them are missing and we dont know what happened to them so where are they? Then I was told I was not allowed to bag any fish for myself, I was not allowed to bag any crickets for myself etc. I had told both Trevor (our store manager) and Mavis (our pet care manager) that I didnt buy these two fish that were missing, I said they were nice yes, but they were also WAY too expensive, and thats why I didnt buy them. And then Mavis says well they are gone and I dont know where they are and I said ok thats fine, but for one thing they could of died and rotted in the tanks because it has happened before, and then Mavis jumps in and contradicts me once again and says that couldnt of happened here I said, ok then maybe someone sold them as aratus instead of their proper SKU number and they went thru the till as something else? Then Mavis says to me well then why would you say that you wanted to buy some and then now two are missing it just all seems kind of funny that they are gone and that is a store loss now I looked over at Trevor (our store manager) to see why he was letting this go on like this, he then looked away from me and back down at his desk and said absolutely nothing at all, and just let her continue harassing me and accusing me of stealing these two stupid fish.
I told Mavis the day I did buy some fish from our store, Tammy (another pet care associate) and Mavis were standing there, I had bought two assorted cichlids, and one peacock cichlid, and one large orange cichlid that Mavis adopted out to me that day because he was missing an eye. That was all I bought. I also told her right there in front of Trevor that she could come over to my house today or anytime and check to see what I have in my fish tank because I know for a fact I dont have any acei cichlids, and I did not take any fish from the store without paying for them. And that if she could find these two fish that she was missing in my fish tank at home, that they could fire me on the spot. Of course she refused to come and look for herself because she knows that she was lying to begin with and once again was looking for something to get me into trouble for or hoping to even get me fired for or get me to the point where I was to walk out.
This is not the first time I have been pulled into the office because of something that Mavis has manufactured or just plain lied about to try to get me into trouble somehow, or to upset me enough that I want to quit or walk out completely. It is very obvious she doesnt want me working there any longer or feels some sort of threat by me, and I have even been told by other employees that Mavis has talked to them and has mentioned how she wishes that I would just quit. (And this is coming from someone Mavis is friends with!) Is this the way a manager is supposed to act towards other people in the store? I cannot work there with the continual harassment and abuse any longer. I dont feel comfortable at this store any longer and I feel it is a very hostile environment because of Mavis, and it is to the point where I dont even want to come into work because of her, and do I love my job there. I wouldnt have stayed for the past two and a half years if I didnt love the job.
I am one of the lead pet care in specialty, and was made Lead pet care, by Erin, then she went on maternity leave, and Trevor asked me to be Pet products manager, which I told him I would give it a try I ended up stepping down from it and going back to lead pet care, because the hours were way too long for me. Now as Lead pet care, I am supposed to report back to the pet care manager when something is wrong in the department. Any time I tried to report anything to Mavis, I would get constant contradiction or disbelief, so after awhile I just stopped bothering. I was and am sick of the attitude towards me or anything that I had to say, so now after this last incident, I dont even speak to her at all if I dont have to. I actually try to avoid her if at all possible, which is pretty easy considering she is never in the pet care department to begin with. I am not the only one who sees this going on, all of the pet care associates see it, Ive been told by all of them they see it going on all the time but there is nothing they can do about it either way.
I am not a thief and I have never ever been a thief and for her to accuse me of something like this is just petty and is a complete insult to me and is very demeaning and damaging to my character, and not to mention work place harassment. I never ever had a problem in this store while Erin was Pet care manager for the past two years, and now in the past few months that Mavis has been Pet care manager, I have had nothing BUT problems. I wonder why that is? It is due to personal conflict between her and I and with her continued harassment I can not go on pretending that it doesnt exist any longer, when someone questions my character and basically right out and calls me a thief, just on the basis of something they made up in their head, it is getting WAY out of hand. I am NOT a thief, and have never ever been a thief. I have never even stolen so much as a single cricket from that store! I am a very good worker, I am a hard worker and honest worker and I know my job, and I do not deserve to be treated this way by anyone. I do not feel comfortable being at work with her continually trying to find something to get me fired for or get me in trouble for, and I do not need the added stress/harassment and abuse, and I have since written to head office and requested a transfer out of this store. I am looking for a new job at the same time, because I do not know what head office will do about my letter to them if anything, but I do know things cannot continue on the way they are now.
I sent my letter to head office registered so that I could check to see if it was recieved or not... it was recieved on Feb 14th 2008 and it is now feb 23rd 2008 and still I have heard nothing back from head office about this at all. I will be calling head office Monday morning and see if I can get anywhere with this.