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To think my friend is being a bit self entitled re Christmas leave

(73 Posts)
Arabesque1 Fri 22-Nov-13 13:30:36

She has two children under ten and works full time. Normally she takes leave over Christmas but this year a few colleagues, who usually provide cover because they have no children or their kids are grown up, are complaining and saying they want time off as well. As a result my friend has to go in on 28th and 29th Dec but will have 30th and 31st off (as well as having Christmas, Boxing and the following day off). She's kicking up murder and was on the phone to me for ages last night complaining about it. I made sympathetic noises but AIBU to think she's being a bit selfish about all this? Where I work we take turns, and everyone's needs are treated equally.

BTW her mum lives nearby and is always happy to take the children so it's not a child minding issue.

sashh Fri 22-Nov-13 14:56:17

Someone is complaining about having to work on two normal working days?

I bet she has had the operation so she doesn't fart as well.

limitedperiodonly Fri 22-Nov-13 15:05:43

I used to work somewhere where we always worked on Christmas Eve. No one had a problem with it because the work had all been done by then and it was easy.

There was one person who had a long journey to see her parents but I think she used to be allowed the day off.

But what the men resented bitterly was that our boss used to let the women go at about lunchtime. We were all single and he said single ladies liked to have plenty of time to get ready for a Christmas Eve night out.

He'd then invite all the 'lads' down the pub. Nobody wanted to go but there was no getting out of it.

Groovee Fri 22-Nov-13 15:12:01

My friend and I run a brownie unit. She was telling me that the others all rush off at 5pm, because "I have to pick the kids up!" and she was left working until 10pm fixing the technical issues at work.

But when she started brownies, she made sure she was packed up at 4.55pm and bolted out the door on a Wednesday after a few weeks of them bolting. I will admit as a mum of 2, I told her to do it. I wouldn't expect people to change things to suit me and have always had to juggle things with my 2 children.

Now they all realise that she has committments too and just because she is child free doesn't mean that she should have to let down the brownies. They've also realised that she won't be walked over any more.

Your colleague will just have to get over it. Just like me and dh had to when he worked last year on Christmas Day.

5Foot5 Fri 22-Nov-13 15:45:57

I think your friend is being very selfish and unreasonable.

I don't see why it should be a given that parents get priority for leave at Christmas. Arguably the young singles and the people without children might need the leave more since they are the ones more likely to be travelling to stay with other family. If you are staying at home over the Christmas period then you are likely to be less inconvenienced by having to go in to work the odd day than the childless 20-something planning to spend it with Mum and Dad who live 300 miles away.

Having said that I usually request the days between Christmas and New Year myself but I made it quite clear that though I would like those days I was quite prepared to compromise if someone else wants them to. And I have said I will work Christmas Eve.

5Foot5 Fri 22-Nov-13 15:48:21

my friend is a nurse and HAS to work christmas regardless. it's just the way it works innit?

So is my sister. I remember years ago she said that on her ward they had an agreement that those without children would work Christmas morning so the parents could be with their children but the payback was that the people who worked Christmas would get New Years Eve off so they could go out and celebrate.

Snatchoo Fri 22-Nov-13 15:53:29

I don't know. In our dept as there are loads of us, we put in our first choice weeks and second choice weeks and we either get it or we don't. Normally we get first choices so I always put in for the week between Xmas and New Year as I like to be off then.

If others wanted it and didn't request it, so weren't given it, I can't see the problem.

However, if there are fewer of you in the dept there has to be a compromise if more than one of you wants Xmas off, it's not fair for her to always have it.

liveforhols Fri 22-Nov-13 15:54:02

I'm a nurse. I would be over the moon if I was only working the 28th and 29th December.

Arabesque1 Fri 22-Nov-13 15:54:50

I've heard of companies who do that 5foot5 and while I realise it's an attempt at fairness, not all childless people want to go out on New Year's Eve and paint the town red and lots of childless people want to spend Christmas morning with their loved ones or be part of the extended family Christmas morning get together or go to Midnight Mass on Christmas Eve with family followed by hot ports and mince pies. The fairest way to sort these situations is to simply have a rota. Those who covered last Christmas get first choice this Christmas.

EldritchCleavage Fri 22-Nov-13 15:55:02

Ooh, how fondly I remember the meeting at work where the parents started saying those without children had to do all the out of hours cover. One of the big bosses is child free, but has a huge extended family he likes to see and aged parents he looks after. He went absolutely mad as only he can do. Then my favourite boss and mentor commented that there wasn't any prospect of some of the younger ones having families if we weren't ever allowed to leave work, socialise and find partners. No one has pulled this crap since.

And it is crap. I've got children now and I still think it's crap. If you have to work Christmas it is sad, but you make it up to them and do things at other times.

TheWitTank Fri 22-Nov-13 15:59:12

She is being totally UR-and she isn't working Christmas!!! Those days are normal working days. At our place we share equally, children or not.

SummerRain Fri 22-Nov-13 16:00:43

My friend is a nurse and worked all over xmas last year in a city 3 hours from home so she couldn't even pop home between shifts, her kids are 2 and 5. She may be working xmas again, she'll find out this week.

Now that I have sympathy for. Your friend.... not so much!

PenguinsDontEatPancakes Fri 22-Nov-13 16:01:06

Eldritch - Love your boss! I remember pre-DC using the argument about younger ones needing to meet people when a colleague started saying those with kids should have preferential treatment for leaving on time.

HoratiaDrelincourt Fri 22-Nov-13 16:02:41

Someone I used to know always volunteered to work the 6am-2pm shift on Christmas Day. It meant he avoided all the sprout peeling and rocked up in time for a big feed and then a snooze in front of the Queen, totally justified by having had to work so hard all morning (read: sit in an office watching telly, just in case something happened).

RVPisnomore Fri 22-Nov-13 16:07:17

I have a team of 80 people working for me and have a few people who will request all of the peak school holidays and the Xmas holidays on 2nd January every year. Every year I tell them that won't authorise a whole years worth of holidays in one go and I will ask the team nearer the time so that it's fair.
I apply the same rules for Xmas, I ask who wants what and if I don't have enough people volunteering then I would look at who had the time off the year before and then draw names out of the hat. However, I think that the approach works well and so far in the last 3 years everyone has been able to have the time off that they have wanted.

As far as I'm concerned children don't come into it, and I say that as a mum too.

DwellsUndertheSink Fri 22-Nov-13 16:10:10

my DB has not had Christmas at home for 7 or 8 years. He doesnt see his wife, let alone his extended family sad Because even when he wasnt rota'd, the people who were would call in sick.

My DB works in a hospital, in the lab, so he HAS to go in, or blood tests dont get done.

One of the worst offenders tried to pull the same stunt over new year. DB took it to HR and complained eventually.

lottieandmia Fri 22-Nov-13 16:18:22

YANBU - everyone should take it in turns. It's completely unfair that some people get the short straw year after year just because they don't have children.

Anniegetyourgun Fri 22-Nov-13 16:25:14

My place of work opens over Christmas (including Christmas Day) and for the last couple of years they have not allowed any annual leave to be taken in the second half of December. If people want a day off that falls on their normal rota they have to find someone else to swap a shift with them. (I was laughing this year, Christmas didn't fall on one of my days - then somebody resigned - now I'm filling in sad.)

monicalewinski Fri 22-Nov-13 16:28:55

Where I work it tends to be the childless people that volunteer for xmas day and those with children work new year's eve. Luckily it always seems to work out.

In answer to your original OP, she is being VERY unreasonable to whinge because she is off for xmas day.

As someone said near the top of the thread, just keep repeating
"but you're not working xmas confused" - until she gives up!

Chunderella Fri 22-Nov-13 16:36:48

28th and 29th totally is Christmas, but she's BU. We can't all always have what we want, and its less painful than working some of the other days of Christmas would be.

digerd Fri 22-Nov-13 16:38:49

We had one woman with children who went sick with a medical certificate for every school holiday every year. She was spoken to and asked to resign but she refused saying it was legit as she had medical certificates every time and they couldn't do anything about it.
We did not have temps and everybody else had to cover her workangry

Crinkle77 Fri 22-Nov-13 16:46:13

That attitude really annoys me. Just because someone does not have children doesn't mean they should not have time off at christmas too. They may also have dependents such as elderly parents who may rely on them.

JRmumma Fri 22-Nov-13 16:47:34

Oh how it annoys me when people try to commandeer all of the school holidays in January. Where i work we are in small teams of 2-3 people and just have to make sure someone is there if we want to take leave.

My friend asked her team if they were around for a week off almost a year in advance (for a relatives wedding abroad) then she watched her colleague google the next years half term dates and announce that no she couldn't go to her relatives wedding because her children would be off school that week and she likes to have the same weeks off to spend time with them. Long story short but she managed to convince my friends manager to make her cut her holiday short so she could have that week off. Her children are teenagers.

allmycats Fri 22-Nov-13 16:51:09

She is a very selfish person - she is NOT working Christmas.
This year, for the firsttime in 6years I have booked a holiday days for 29 and 30th December and my job share partner is complaining loudly that SHE ALWAYS HAS THE TIME OFF AT THIS TIME OF YEAR AND HAS DONE FOR THE LAST 6 YEARS - so I should know not to book this off.

She just does not get it, after 6 years it is her turn to work

amothersplaceisinthewrong Fri 22-Nov-13 16:52:11

Your friend, OP, is being a lot entitled. Are people with aged parents/other caring responsibilities not entitled to time off for their caring duties.

5Foot5 Fri 22-Nov-13 16:56:08

I have a team of 80 people working for me and have a few people who will request all of the peak school holidays and the Xmas holidays on 2nd January every year. Every year I tell them that won't authorise a whole years worth of holidays in one go and I will ask the team nearer the time so that it's fair.

Hmm. Trouble with that is if you want to book your main family holiday sometimes you have to do that months in advance - especially if you are limited to school holidays. I am not talking about a whole years worth at one go here just say a fortnight in the summer.

Summer this year I had commitments which meant there was only one possible fortnight when we could go away so I booked that fortnight back in October 2012! I would find it very difficult indeed if whoever authorised my holidays wouldn't authorize more than, say, 3 months ahead. That would potentially rule out lots of possibilities.

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