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This wasn't an acceptable comment, or am I being grumpy?

(22 Posts)
Ivechangedmyname1 Wed 08-Feb-17 11:58:27

My dsis is very sick, has had a major surgery, life altering surgery and will not recover for a very long time. I'm being purposely vague as I know people on here.

She's very young mid twenties and has 3 dc, she's currently living with my parents and my Dps and I are her advocates and her carers. She has diminished cognitive abilities so whenever she goes into hospital someone must be with her etc.

I work shifts, I have spoken in length about my dsis to them and they are/have been supportive. I was in hospital with dsis on Sunday, she was not good and needed to be checked by her surgeons.

My dm had her dc, my ddad is not well himself late 60s and my dh was looking after my dc. I called work and asked if I could move my shift to another day of the week, no problem.

But a manager I called was really curt about it, then asked 'why do you need to be there, where is her husband'. Dsis is a single mum, her partner pissed off when she got sick and was abusive towards her.

I feel it was inappropriate to make a comment like that (considering they all know my dsis condition and the fact she's a single mum). Dsis heard the comment and has been really upset since. She thinks she's a burden and she's not at all.

Should I say anything to work? I'm upset about it?


LexieLulu Wed 08-Feb-17 12:03:51

Do work know the full ins and out? Sorry you're going through a hard time.

What is DSIS? Sorry the MN abbrevs go over my head at times, guessing sister?

Ivechangedmyname1 Wed 08-Feb-17 12:06:48

Yes they know everything, I have spoken at length with them about it. When it first happened and what happened. How it affected us as a family.

They even let me send out fundraising emails about it.

Dsis yes she's my little sister.

It was a life altering medical emergency which resulted in surgery and a very long rehabilitation process. It's been horrible for us, she's so sick, she's trying so hard but this has knocked her back.

One tiny comment and its upset her so much, I didn't mean for her to hear but I was with her at the time and my phones quite loud.

Allthewaves Wed 08-Feb-17 12:12:09

I think when your making work rearrangements might be better to do it when your by yourself. It's not a great comment from manager but if they have been supportive and flexible so far then id let it go on this occasion.

Nocabbageinmyeye Wed 08-Feb-17 12:12:54

It depends really, have you changed shift much? How much notice did you give? Have you taken a lot of time off? There isn't enough information to go on really to be honest

GemmaWella81 Wed 08-Feb-17 12:14:44

I think your manager might have been unnecessarily blunt, but they are entitled to ask why you want change work shifts and provide a justification to authorise it...

Maybe the manager in question needs some lessons in empathy. Either way they still have to manage.... You'll know better next time and be ready for it.

pasturesgreen Wed 08-Feb-17 12:21:27

Yes, maybe manager was a bit blunt, but then again if work has been understanding so far I'd just leave it.

As things stand, their goodwill is a priority.

WorraLiberty Wed 08-Feb-17 12:22:42

They can't all know she's a single Mum, if the manager asked where her husband is.

Annabel11 Wed 08-Feb-17 12:25:50

Are you sure the manager knows that she doesn't have a husband now? If he desn't know the whole story... don't blame him too much.

Fighterofthenightman Wed 08-Feb-17 12:25:51

I don't think it was an unacceptable question to ask.

snowgirl1 Wed 08-Feb-17 12:34:15

I don't think it's unreasonable for your employer to check that there's no other option when you're asking to move your shift. Although I think it could have been phrased much more diplomatically.

ThumbWitchesAbroad Wed 08-Feb-17 12:40:11

Sounds like this manager is either a) in the dark about your whole situation or b) is fucking pissed off that you're being given all this leeway.

I would talk to your managers again and explain the situation AGAIN including why there are limited other people who can be with your sister - and also tell them that thanks to the insensitivity of that individual, your sister now feels like a total burden and it's affecting her recovery.

Latetotheparty26 Wed 08-Feb-17 12:42:15

I don't think asking is unacceptable but it seems the way the manager asked was harsh. You can now:

Speak to the manager informally telling him you found his question hurtful and explain (again) she is single and only has you;
Raise a grievance against the manager as he's made you feel awful;
Ask to see your company's "family friendly " policy or equivalent so you can get some reassurance that they are good with flexible working.

Whatever you do, don't let this guy make you feel awful for asking to change shift.

Everyone has a life and special circumstances like this don't happen often.
This manager may be a poor reflection of the support the company has and will continue to give you so don't feel as though all the managers feel the same.
Also don't let it get your sister down...tell her it's just one manager who's a bit of a dick!

Maudlinmaud Wed 08-Feb-17 12:45:18

Manager may need to work on his/her soft skills. But they where not to know your sister could over hear the conversation.
flowers for you all.

OliviaStabler Wed 08-Feb-17 12:48:02

It sounds to me like this manager isn't as clued up as you think. You've said they know your dsis has no husband, but this manager asked why he couldn't be there. He did sound blunt and could have been kinder to you.

Ivechangedmyname1 Wed 08-Feb-17 13:01:28

Thank you everyone. This manager is a she and has spoken to me at length about our situation.

I feel less upset now people here have put it in perspective. I'll leave it with work but will have another chat with my line manager about it all again.

I rarely change shifts and gave a good few hours notice, which isn't a problem in our line of work.

morningconstitutional2017 Wed 08-Feb-17 13:05:55

My heart goes out to you - it's often the so-called 'little comments' which hurt the most, not always intentionally.

user1477282676 Wed 08-Feb-17 13:07:48

Can I ask what industry you work in OP? flowers Sorry about your sister.

YetAnotherSpartacus Wed 08-Feb-17 13:11:03

flowers for you and your sister.

thecatsarecrazy Wed 08-Feb-17 13:45:10

Some people are just awful. My dad was in intensive care and given a 50 50 chance, this resulted in me needing time off work. Obviously not in the right frame of mind and they basically said its going to get to the point where you will be asked if you want your job hmm

RhodaBorrocks Wed 08-Feb-17 14:18:54

OP in these instances you are considered her carer and you should be entitled to some sort of carers leave - check if your workplace has a policy around this. If they do, then you need to reiterate to any managers that you might need to speak to that you are a carer along with your DPs and you all take turns sharing the responsibility in the absence of her XH.

Providing you are reasonable with requests for shift moves and time off you shouldn't have a problem. Many people are carers but don't realise it, but a carer isn't just someone being paid to look after another person (or someone who receives carers allowance) - it includes anyone who provides unpaid help and support on a regular basis to someone else who otherwise could not manage.

Please get your work to acknowledge you are a carer. It may help.

Ivechangedmyname1 Wed 08-Feb-17 14:43:35

Thank everyone. I will reiterate I'm a carer to my dsis.

I work in Customer service user.

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