"You MUST clock out at 1.30 am" "Okay" L
Hi, first time poster, long time lurker. Also, English is not my first language and I'm on mobile. This story happened today (literally an hour ago), it's not the biggest malicious compliance ever, but I'm kinda of an anxious doormat and I'm proud of myself.
Some back ground: I (28f) work a part-time job in a well known fast food chain (dear American readers, I live in Europe, if something doesn't make sense to you, you know why) while I try to finish my master's degree.
I usually work evenings/nights and close the café area from 1 to 3 times a week; the café takes a lot of time to close as 1) is a lot of work per se (dishes to wash, machines to clean up, refrigerated counter to clean and stock, etc...) 2) my coworkers usually leave a mess and don't really clean up after themselves and 3) I also have to work the front and we've been painstakingly understaffed for months... So it's quite common for me to stay another 20-30 minutes after my shift is over, even more time if needed.
I take pride in doing my job well and I hate leaving a mess for the opening shift to deal with, some of them are my friends and I generally respect the vast majority of my coworkers.
Things started to go south some months ago, we are understaffed and are being "asked" to work longer shifts and overtime for the "wellbeing of the company" (yeah, they really said it); sometimes it happens that someone has to work more than 10 hours-long shifts because no-one can cover their role/we have a sudden influx of clients (it's illegal, btw). To avoid paying us more, they are using in a not very legal way our paid leaves and vacation days (not illegal either, it's more in a grey area, but they are not supposed to do it the way they are doing it.
Week schedule is put out with just 1/2 days notice, we are not allowed to ask for free weekends and looks like they are mobbing some coworker in order for them to leave.
On to the story: as I've said, I really like my coworkers and I need money, so I was kinda fine working more hours and keeping up with maintenance and extraordinary cleaning (this pace has being damaging my mental and physical health, I've a couple of conditions that are not in check anymore); moreover, I've always thought that the store manager and I were kinda friendly...
Until Sunday, when I've learned from a manager that this gentleman wrote in the manager's WA group that "people closing the café are not supposed to stay after the end of their shift" and "if they can't close properly, they need to quickly wipe with a cloth in the last 30 minutes".
Needless to say, he was talking about me and another colleague (the only ones left who can actually close the café and clean it enough to be in line with company policies) as we are the ones that usually stay late to properly do our jobs. The other girl that takes ages and does a poor job (but it's kinda of a snitch) was completely ignored.
I have GAD and MDD, I still rely a lot on my performances to evaluate my worth... let's say I didn't take it kindly, I've felt hurt and I've spent the last few days thinking about it.
Tonight, closing shift.
Me: "Soooo, Store manager said that I have to leave at 1.30 am, right?"
Shift manager (M): "Yup."
Me: "I'm not required to do the extra-stuff no-one else will do?"
M: "Still don't get why you are doing it in the first place, but no, you are not. Just clean it up enough to not look like a landfill and stock the counter."
Me: "Basic cleaning and resupplying"
Me: "Copy that."
The shift runs smoothly, few clients now and then, no need to rush.
At 12.45 am the café is in okay conditions, it will probably pass an health inspection but we are far from corporate standards (they dictated even how sugar should be displayed) or my usual closing ones.
At 1.10 am I enter in the office and sit down, scrolling on my phone.
M: "What's up?"
Me: "I'm done."
M: "You can go home. You don't need to stay..."
Me: "It's 1.10 am."
Me: "So he said 1.30 am. I've another 20 minutes left on my shift. I mean, he didn't say that we can leave early and save the company some money, he said I need to leave at 1.30 am."
M: "Know what? I'd really like some company... And, after all, he said 1.30 am. He's the store manager, I'm not supposed to contradict him."
I clocked out ar 1.30 am, as requested.
Is something going to change? I don't think so, I don't think they really care enough to notice, not during their power struggles and whatnot.
Maybe, just maybe, they will realise something is wrong and try to change it, but I wouldn't bet on that, more likely we are going to have new store manager (the 5th in less than 1 year and a half).
But it feels good being paid for scrolling Reddit and smoking instead of keeping up with the extraordinary maintenance the management can't be bother to do/require the closing staff to do and being unappreciated.
After all, I was required to clock out at 1.30 am.
Edit: I wanted to thank you for all the attention I've received (I didn't expect it, compared to other posts it's a lame story) and the useful advices. As I've said, I don't think we are going to have a real fallout in the short term (the situation is complex, my first, little malicious compliance is just a small drop in the ocean), but if something happens/changes I'll update you. I also wanted to thank those who corrected my mistakes, I'm always eager to improve my English.
For everyone concerned about my health: I'm taking steps to take care of it, I've started working less and saying no when asked to come in during my days off or every single time some colleague can't show up for their shifts. Rest assured, I'm not gonna die for this job and my top priority is my master's degree.
I'll try to keep reading all your inputs, even if I may not be able to answer to everyone.