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Time Off for What?

By Bea McManis

I am gaining a great deal of respect for those who own and run their own business.  I've learned quite a bit since taking over The Snack Shop at the Towers.  One, in particular, is the issue of staffing. 

Scheduling my volunteers for The Snack Shop is giving me lessons in human nature that I never expected.

I did anticipate that there might be more hours not staffed due to doctors' appointments, illness and even hospital stays.  After all, the average age of my volunteers is in the 70s.  Recently, I've had volunteers requesting time off to tend to grandchildren now out of school, and some who are taking summer trips. 

The least expected was the request, from one of my seniors,  to be removed one day a week from the schedule effective immediately, "to spend time with my girlfriend".  "It is her only day off", he explained.   It appears that his girlfriend is quite a bit younger than he and she recently took a "good paying job" working midnight to 8am. 

Ah, the pitfalls of a May/December romance.  So while I am accomodating his need to snuggle up to his ladyfriend, I am scrambling to rewrite the schedule.

I wonder how many other retailers consider the love lives of their staff when doing their schedules?  This is different, I guess, since they are volunteers.  Besides, at that age, how can one deny a once a week fling?

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