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#1
Okay, a little background information.

I work in a meat department at a grocery store and have for the past 3.5 years. I am not a butcher, I am one of the people who stand behind the counter and serve you the meat and stock the shelves, etc. Yesterday, one of the butchers threw a fit and decided to walk out. He just left and never came back. He was supposed to work tonight. When I come into work tonight, the other person who I was supposed to work with (also a clerk, like myself) had called in, meaning out of 3 people that were supposed to be in the department, I am the only one there.

So while working tonight, the manager of the entire grocery store comes back and tells me that I need to cut a bunch of meat for the case. Tells me, not asks. I am not a butcher, I am a clerk. I know how to cut meat, but am not officially trained nor am I payed to do so. In fact, butchers are payed about one and a half times what I currently earn.

This was my response to the manager:
"I don't want to sound like a jerk, but I'm not going to cut any meat. Butchers are paid alot more than I currently am. If you pay me what I deserve for doing that work,
I would be more than happy to cut meat for you. If you take care of me, I will take care of you."

He looks at me like I'm the biggest piece of $h17 on the planet and responds by saying:
"Well that's not going to happen."

At this point I just leave the situation and go about my work, and he gets his nose out of joint and basically is a d1ck to me the rest of the evening.

So, my question is:
Was I out of line to say that to him? As it were, I was doing the work that two people should have been doing, and then he asked me to do the work of a third, much more highly paid person. I feel that I was just watching out for my own best interest and that he was trying to take advantage of the situation.

In all actuality it isn't a huge deal to me. This was a job I started while in high school and have continued to stay with during my time in college thus far, so it's not like I'm looking to make a career of this.

I would just like to know what other people would do or say in a situation like this. Thoughts?

EDIT:

Some very good feedback guys, I appreciate it. There were a few points brought up that I can discuss further. First off, don't get the wrong impression. Just because I said I wouldn't do it, doesn't mean I don't work hard. In fact, just about every night I end up doing half of my useless co-workers job. So actually, I do bust my @$$, nearly everyday. Secondly, the store isn't union, otherwise I wouldn't have even had to say anything to my boss really and still would have the payraise. Also, he has seen me cut meat before. The same butcher that walked off had called in sick several times the week before, and I went in back and cut a bunch of meat. The manager came back there and saw me doing it. He knows I know how, and can, and I have. In fact, at least 3 times a week I actually do pick up a knife and cut. Usually the butcher has a big long list of his own stuff he needs cut, and then a customer will ask for a special order, and rather than just adding to the butcher's list of work, I will just do it myself.

In otherwords, I have and frequently do go above and beyond the call of duty as far as my job description is concerned.
Last edited by CDubDSP at Nov 7, 2007,
#2
well fuck reading that.

Edit: having now read it. u werent out of line, you had the balls to stand up for yourself, good job, i certainly wouldnt be workin my a$$ off for jack all money that im entitled to, after all, are you there to do sh*tty favours or earn money?
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Last edited by The_Shredder at Nov 7, 2007,
#3
hm maybe you shoulda agreed to do it for that one day. I Mean this didnt occur more than once right? the manager may have saw that you were responsible and given you a raise or something. But if the manager did this a few times then you should demand better pay.
#4
Nah, that's a good thing to say, those butcher ****s should be there doing their jobs, and if you have to do it, why should you get paid less!


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#5
No you were not out of line.

What grocery store do you work for, and is it a union. I know there are quite a few that are unions. If you are one of them, I would highly consider reporting that as harassment.

I think you handled it rather well.

I have found out that going outside of your scope of employment and your job details gets you nowhere fast.

Even if they are promising you something like a raise. Unless they pay your for it, they have no right to ask you to do anything outside your contract.
#6
I think you handled it well. I would have put him on his ass...boss or not. I do not let ANYONE talk that way to me. But at least you were professional and said it the only way you could have.
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#7
Quote by breadfan82
I think you handled it well. I would have put him on his ass...boss or not. I do not let ANYONE talk that way to me.


+1
#8
You did exactly what I would've done. And most importantly, the way you said it was perfectly appropriate.
#9
You weren't out of line, you did the right thing.

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#10
I agree, it's unprofessional of him to ask you to do that!

1. It's not your job
2. You're not getting your fair share of the work you're doing

I salute you my good sir.
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#11
Guess it depends on how you look at the situation - ie you could have been all too happy to oblige by cutting the meat and possibly taking over as a new butcher and or showing initiative to learn something new or at least get the certification for it, hence, making more $$.

Because the butcher just walked out, I'm sure the manager was hard pressed to find someone to cut the meat and looked to you for help. I agree with your end of it, but I also see the manager's side of it also.

You could have said, "hey no problem, I'll do it this time or if you like I can take over the position and we can discuss a new wage/salary agreement later". I see this as an opportunity to show your employer you are versatile and can do other things. By no means, should you be a walking doormat, but doing something that might benefit you in the long run never hurts to consider.
#12
ah dude.. having been in the food industry for now my 7th year.. i can tell you that not doing someone elses job was a VERY smart thing to do.

if you do it once.. they'll EXPECT you to do it again.. and again.. and again...

if you're unionized, then you can go to your union rep.
Grammar and spelling omitted as an exercise for the reader.
#13
What you said wasn't out of line; In fact, I would have done the same... and with that said, I have done the same, as I worked at a grocery store a few years back and had the same problem.

Your manager knows better; That's why the meat department and other departments on the grocery store have ranks. I'm sure you could have done the job, but it's like asking a bagger to do the cashier's job; Someone getting paid 7.50/hr and having to do a job that's worth 9.50/hr is called abuse of power.

I actually got into a huge deal (mainly 'cuz I was sick of those bastards using me) once; I did bookkeeping and the store promised me 12/hr... instead, I was getting paid 7.80/hr for a job that's way much more harder than that of a supervisor (who at the time, were getting paid 18/hr). Long story short, there was an argument with an impatient supervisor, and I was suspended for a whole week. I wouldn't take it so I called up the Union and I pretty much got the week off PAID.
#14
Quote by b1m2d3
Guess it depends on how you look at the situation - ie you could have been all too happy to oblige by cutting the meat and possibly taking over as a new butcher and or showing initiative to learn something new or at least get the certification for it, hence, making more $$.

Because the butcher just walked out, I'm sure the manager was hard pressed to find someone to cut the meat and looked to you for help. I agree with your end of it, but I also see the manager's side of it also.

You could have said, "hey no problem, I'll do it this time or if you like I can take over the position and we can discuss a new wage/salary agreement later". I see this as an opportunity to show your employer you are versatile and can do other things. By no means, should you be a walking doormat, but doing something that might benefit you in the long run never hurts to consider.


+1
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#15
Quote by b1m2d3

You could have said, "hey no problem, I'll do it this time or if you like I can take over the position and we can discuss a new wage/salary agreement later". I see this as an opportunity to show your employer you are versatile and can do other things. By no means, should you be a walking doormat, but doing something that might benefit you in the long run never hurts to consider.


Big NO NO!

If you perform the work without any written contract of payment, they don't have to pay you or owe you squat.
#16
i agree b1m. But what i disliked was how the manager dismissed all talk of a raise altogether and just said not gonna happen even after he asked for help in the first place.
#17
No, you weren't out of line.
If the department was short 3 people that day, they could have easily been co operative. Having seen that you were short 2 co-workers they should have taken the money the other employees would have been getting and given you a little bonus for your extra work.
#18
What the hell man!!

You should have worked you're ass off for him. Shown the boss that you are a decent worker.

I got my first job at the age of 13 as a crane operator in a massive factory. (the electric cranes) All I did was move mesh cages and concrete parapets. Then just swept up crap, make teas, empty bins etc

Worked my arse off the first week from 5 till 5. I didnt get paid at all, as it was meant to be for work experience, but the boss saw I was an eager little bitch. Paid me 20$ an hour after that for two months, then eventually 25$ an hour for a whole year, except school days. AT the end of it I was getting paid the equivalent of a fully paid welder.

Don't work their anymore, was just doing it over holidays. But sometimes showing your boss that you aren't afraid of work can do ya many favours.

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#19
well you werent out of line but you shouldnt had disagreed ith him. Because showing more of a positive attitude towards it would have shown you to be a better employee.

And anyway everyonce in a while we might have to do something extra we dont want to do. Just do it.
#20
You should have been on your knees, shinin' his shoes and kissin' his ass. Just kidding. You weren't out of line. I respect what you did
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#21
Quote by False_God
And anyway everyonce in a while we might have to do something extra we dont want to do. Just do it.


That works with your friends and family, but you don't want to do that in a workplace environment. If you do, people will take you for granted and use you till your lifeblood has been squeezed dry.
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#22
If your boss confronts you again or asks you to something ridiculous, give him the following look to ensure that he never bothers you again:

#23
Quote by darkstar2466
That works with your friends and family, but you don't want to do that in a workplace environment. If you do, people will take you for granted and use you till your lifeblood has been squeezed dry.

But if you ever wanna get up the ladder in a job you have to make some sacrifices.
#24
i would have done it the one time.. Things like this happen at work.. Like last week the guy I worked with ended up in hospital, so I stuck around a little longer than usual and wrapped double the amount of papers i was meant to.. The next time I had a shift with him his car was broken, so i had to drive him around and do both our paper routes, heaps more driving than normal.. BUt i think i may get some petrol money from that

YOu weren't out of line asking to be paid per say, but now your chances of an increased wage, or a promotion have decreased slightly. Good on you for standing up to your boss
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#25
Good on you i guess, for sticking up for yourself.
I never stand up for myself in those situations, and I've been ripped off everywhere where I've worked.

....
#26
that was pretty pointless, considering u dont even really care about it.
but i think u said the right thing.

ur just lucky that after u said "If you take care of me, I will take care of you."
that he didnt whip out his own meat for u to tenderise.
Last edited by maca-venagas at Nov 7, 2007,
#27
Some very good feedback guys, I appreciate it. There were a few points brought up that I can discuss further. First off, don't get the wrong impression. Just because I said I wouldn't do it, doesn't mean I don't work hard. In fact, just about every night I end up doing half of my useless co-workers job. So actually, I do bust my @$$, nearly everyday. Secondly, the store isn't union, otherwise I wouldn't have even had to say anything to my boss really and still would have the payraise. Also, he has seen me cut meat before. The same butcher that walked off had called in sick several times the week before, and I went in back and cut a bunch of meat. The manager came back there and saw me doing it. He knows I know how, and can, and I have. In fact, at least 3 times a week I actually do pick up a knife and cut. Usually the butcher has a big long list of his own stuff he needs cut, and then a customer will ask for a special order, and rather than just adding to the butcher's list of work, I will just do it myself.

In otherwords, I have and frequently do go above and beyond the call of duty as far as my job description is concerned.
#28
You have a terrible job, and of course you wasn't out of line, I am sure everyone has said it a hundred times.

Another thing is that it breaches health and safety and if you was to get injured by a faulty machine you couldn't do anything (I presume they're using machines); It would be your faul. The guy's just pissed off because no one was there and thinks that he can get an easy way out by telling you to deal with the bull****. If he's not going to pay you the wages of a butcher for doing butchers' work don't do, that's all.
Last edited by kidsilcon at Nov 7, 2007,
#29
So. . .

The other guys you work with were assholes and left you alone. . .

You said some rude **** to your boss. . .


Look man, he's your boss, I don't know why he'd ever ask a snotty kid like yourself to do anything, his job is to tell you what to do. He told you to do something, you should've done it. He didn't try to make you head butcher and pay you nothing more, it was just for one night so you could cover for the other people, it wouldn't have killed you to just do it.

My point is, this isn't some huge travesty, you didn't "stick up for yourself", you were just a jackass to your boss (who was probably pretty upset that he was missing two employees!)
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#30
Quote by hamish5178
So. . .

The other guys you work with were assholes and left you alone. . .

You said some rude **** to your boss. . .


Look man, he's your boss, I don't know why he'd ever ask a snotty kid like yourself to do anything, his job is to tell you what to do. He told you to do something, you should've done it. He didn't try to make you head butcher and pay you nothing more, it was just for one night so you could cover for the other people, it wouldn't have killed you to just do it.

My point is, this isn't some huge travesty, you didn't "stick up for yourself", you were just a jackass to your boss (who was probably pretty upset that he was missing two employees!)

You're an idiot. He's his boss that's all; it dosn't mean he can order him to clean his house for him which is similar as doing a job he isn't qualified for. If you're not qualified for a job don't do it, it's just charity work, and if you like doing that feel free to get ripped off, but I wouldn't
#31
honestly you responded in a great text-book way.. you were calm and told him how it was..

i on the other hand
would have cut the meat into vulgar shapes and then said "sell those Fucker!"
#33
Quote by hippie_cune

i on the other hand
would have cut the meat into vulgar shapes and then said "sell those Fucker!"


Haha, that's funny! How many times have you been canned from your job? J/k, thanks for the input!
#34
Wow...that sounds like how it was when i worked aat wal-mart. A job is nothing but a trial to see how much shit you can put up with. Get used to it. That was only the beginning.
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#35
If it was the store manager, that's fair enough.

If that had been your department manager, or the butcher manager, that would have been out of line, because you work for them.

I do the same thing, and will be a trained butcher (and get 150%) fairly soon
#37
Quote by kidsilcon
You're an idiot. He's his boss that's all; it dosn't mean he can order him to clean his house for him which is similar as doing a job he isn't qualified for. If you're not qualified for a job don't do it, it's just charity work, and if you like doing that feel free to get ripped off, but I wouldn't

The TS admitted to having cut meat before, and that his boss has seen him do it. So he's obviously "qualified" to cut meat. The TS admits that. He should have helped out, because 1) he IS qualified to cut meat, and 2) now he looks like a jackass who only cares about himself, and is totally inflexible. When he goes looking for another job and uses his boss as a reference, the boss will say, "Oh ya, he can do his job. But that's it. Ask him to do anything else and he won't help out."
#38
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If your boss confronts you again or asks you to something ridiculous, give him the following look to ensure that he never bothers you again:


Im sitting in the library in school and i see this picture, i start to cry laughing that was sop funny. OMG everyone looked at me like i was crazy, then they saw the screen and started to chuckle.

I would have been a little nicer about it, i wouldnt bring up the fact that im payed less. I mean, this might have been your opportunity to show that you can pwn. You could have asked for a raise or something after. I cant say that i know anyone there or yourself, i know that i wouldnt have said that and tried going about it in a different way, because i know that i would want the boss to know that i worked my ass off.....(it makes sense in my head). Tell him that you dont think its fair that you have to do there work, you will do it now, but there should be consequences for there actions.
#39
@TS

Did you honestly expect him to give you a (albeit it temporary) raise if you did do as he asked? He couldn't do that. Because if you don't have the training to be a butcher there is no way in hell you can be hired (or paid) as one...not now a days, you would be opening yourself up to a lawsuit if someone followed the paper trail and wondered why you got a substantial increase during that pay period. Besides, it's not likely but even if he had paid you under the table out of pocket thats still breaking several laws.

I think you did the right thing though, ain't your place to do that
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#40
Quote by JuicyMango
The TS admitted to having cut meat before, and that his boss has seen him do it. So he's obviously "qualified" to cut meat. The TS admits that. He should have helped out, because 1) he IS qualified to cut meat, and 2) now he looks like a jackass who only cares about himself, and is totally inflexible. When he goes looking for another job and uses his boss as a reference, the boss will say, "Oh ya, he can do his job. But that's it. Ask him to do anything else and he won't help out."


He is NOT qualified. Just because he's done it before doesn't make him qualified you idiot, a 10 year old can cut meat, but his proffesion isn't a butcher meaning cutting meat is out of the question especially when he gets paid less.

His boss was being completely unproffesional about it, why does he have to put up with that just because his workmates wasn't in? tuff sh't, his boss was trying to look for an easy target I don't see why he should suffer because of the absence of his workmates.
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