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To think colleagues shouldn’t have to be this ‘caring’?

(77 Posts)
CinnnemonBeauty Wed 26-Feb-20 15:03:52

My work place goes on about being a caring place to work - we don’t have office wear - wear what we want - we are trusted to book our own holidays - we are offered the flex of homeworking after a year - we do charity days - fund raisers - we get an all expenses paid Xmas party.

However recently a colleague of mine needed to miss an evening event - not in her contractual hours - the reason being she is starting IVF and it was a crucial appointment that day - her manager said no - that she wasn’t in her actual appointment at the time and the needs of the business means she needs to attend the event - in the end another colleague said she would cover for her so she wouldn’t have to come.

I am not based nearby so I couldn’t help - I think it was amazing of the colleague who did step up to help her other colleague but as a caring organisation we shouldn’t be forcing people to work outside their hours (it does happen though and we all do it). I just feel bad for my colleague who is having IVF it will be a tough journey and I don’t think other colleagues like us should have to step up to help her out - because the company should help her - it’s great we want to help we do but I just guess my AIBU is should colleagues be this caring? Because if we do then it means the company gets a win win - but we are putting ourselves out of course for our colleagues/friends but we shouldn’t have to!

Hope that makes sense.

HeartyGreenSalad Wed 26-Feb-20 15:07:36

I get what you are saying but it's usually people who are in a caring profession that give more of their time. It's just in their nature

CinnnemonBeauty Wed 26-Feb-20 15:10:27

What we do isn’t caring - it’s quite a ruthless company! I don’t want to out the company - but there are significant targets to be met.

However I just think they expect us to be a team all the time - help each other out - there is no sacrifice of profit for them to be caring. It’s all ‘face’ saying the right things and doing what’s easy to do - like wear what you want - but when it comes down to it - they’re just not. Caring.

Francina670 Wed 26-Feb-20 15:10:49

Because all the talk of being a caring company is just that: talk. All they care about is profit. ‘Caring’ goes out of the window when there are redundancies, restructures whatever.

CinnnemonBeauty Wed 26-Feb-20 15:11:09

We look after each other because of the pressure - but it’s really ruthless.

Butterymuffin Wed 26-Feb-20 15:14:59

So actually what they mean is they expect you to be caring towards one another as colleagues and pick up the slack, so the company and its systems don't have to!

I think what you should all do is consider very carefully the working outside hours, and the other favours you do the company, and pull back from those.

WhatATimeToBeAlive Wed 26-Feb-20 15:19:34

The issue with companies having all this "flexibility" is that they then expect the same in return, including working out of your standard hours. If there are more rules and structure it's easier to have some flexibility outside of that instead in my opinion.

Userpompom Wed 26-Feb-20 15:20:00

It's really uncaring of the company! Good that she had nice colleagues. But they shouldn't have to be this caring. Sounds like their manager hasn't got a fucking clue! Loads of things that happen as part of our personal life need to be accounted for at work. Do they only expect ivf to be effecting her during appointments?! Ffs.

abstractprojection Wed 26-Feb-20 15:20:18

It's all lip service then. I can't imagine any manager telling someone with an IVF appointment that they have to attend an out of hours event

Looking back on your list the only abnormal thing is being trusted to book your own holiday, but even that can be seen as management washing their hands of it and leaving everyone to fight it out or pick up the slack

Dixiechickonhols Wed 26-Feb-20 15:27:27

Fertility and cosmetic surgery was excluded from our Sick appointments at last firm I was at (and sick appointments time had to be worked back) so colleague would have been on annual leave anyway. Manager wouldn’t know if away for ivf or abroad so no way of forcing to attend evening event. I assume work is allowing her appointment time off so that’s why they know about ivf. That’s something better than nothing. Much better the colleague declined now than feels ill after appointment and bails last minute. Like a dental appointment I’m sure management wouldn’t feel like being at a networking event a few hours after a root canal.

Brefugee Wed 26-Feb-20 15:31:16

well now you all know, caring and teamwork only counts when you're the ones having to do it. It's all give and take until you want them to give and then - BANG! - you get reminded what you're there for.

What's in your contracts?

JustInCaseCakeHappens Wed 26-Feb-20 15:43:17

and the needs of the business means she needs to attend the event

what do you expect the company to do? Ultimately if you pay people, you expect them to do some work when it's needed.

It's all very well to be accommodating and flexible, but sometimes targets have to be met, clients have to be seen, and you need someone to

Forrandomposts Wed 26-Feb-20 15:46:48

But surely even if the manager had been ok with her missing it, a colleague would have had to step up to cover her? So same outcome?

Thelnebriati Wed 26-Feb-20 16:01:33

Do people have to work outside of contracted hours now?
If the business needs people to work those hours, why are they not contracted?

IntermittentParps Wed 26-Feb-20 16:10:53

If the business needs people to work those hours, why are they not contracted?
Exactly this.
I hate work 'dos' and doing work things in the evening probably why I work for myself these days
I would not put up with some jumped-up manager trying to tell me what I could do with my evenings, IVF or not.

CinnnemonBeauty Wed 26-Feb-20 16:16:12

So outside of contracted hours is in our contracts - for events mainly. Marketing events that take place after work - entertaining clients etc - seminars etc

Keepingthingsinteresting Wed 26-Feb-20 16:22:44

If she needed to be there someone was going to have to take her place, so the employer had the choice of telling her to turn up (not ideal but presumably the appointment could be rescheduled if she felt she couldn’t do both in one day, though presumably she is having the day off for the appointment too as well as the event) or trying to push someone else to do it. Sounded like the outcome worked, even if a softer approach might have been nicer.

JustInCaseCakeHappens Wed 26-Feb-20 16:28:23

Do people have to work outside of contracted hours now?

It's not outside of contracted hours, it's outside of business hours, or something in that gist in your contract. Perfectly normal.

I mean, teachers are expected to attend a few parents evenings a year, aren't they? It's not just sales roles.

justasking111 Wed 26-Feb-20 16:42:30

Working in a charity we were expected to work evening/weekend events, book our holidays around events. We all covered for each other at times and had TOIL. I also worked in marketing before that the same applied. We also had homeworking which was great.

CinnnemonBeauty Wed 26-Feb-20 16:46:52

We deffo don’t get TOIL! That’s it outside of business hours.

StealthPolarBear Wed 26-Feb-20 16:46:53

" 15:46Forrandomposts

But surely even if the manager had been ok with her missing it, a colleague would have had to step up to cover her? So same outcome?"
I think the op is suggesting that in this case no one should go and the employer that prides itself on caring should take the hit. And I think she has a very good point.

Juliette20 Wed 26-Feb-20 16:51:20

Never mind IVF, she might have just had other plans for the evening and work cannot force her to come in if it's outside her contracted hours. The contract may say something like that the role involves attending evening events, but this would have to be by prior arrangement and it would be always ok to miss the odd one.

If it were me I'd have told them that my appointment was for IVF treatment and have gone into detail about what that involves to thoroughly embarrass the person saying she had to work.

Icecreamdiva Wed 26-Feb-20 17:18:27

So many companies pay lip service to being caring but it’s all often just box ticking bullshit.

My sister works for a very large law firm in the city who bang on about supporting colleagues with mental health issues just as they would colleagues with physical ailments. DS was asked to run a massive seminar about this new policy. She was reluctant and explained in confidence to a senior partner that she was in recovery from a long term EO and could do without the pressure of compering an event that might cover triggering topics for her. He told her that it was unprofessional to mention anything like that in the work place and that refusing this role would go against her in the future. Very supportive!

CinnnemonBeauty Wed 26-Feb-20 17:19:54

It’s just profit profit. We do have an extreme level of capitalism in this country. I wish we could go in the other direction.

TheMemoryLingers Wed 26-Feb-20 17:42:14

I completely agree with PPs. Most companies only want to be 'caring' when it's something big and shiny they can use in their publicity or win an award for. When it comes to the day to day things that really matter, few live up to their own hype.

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