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To have walked away from a day's work?

(6 Posts)
sarah76 Mon 15-Sep-08 16:55:48

I had a temp job lined up this week 10-4 every day. Last week I went to their office for a handover and was late arriving because the temp agency gave me rubbish directions (and their postcode shows their office being on a completely different road). We had a half hour handover, the secretary I was replacing was quite pleasant, as were the few other people I met. The office had about 6 staff, seemed quite laid back, and the phone never even rang while I was there.

Today, I had to go to an occupational health screening for my permanent job which is meant to start next week. I made it as early as possible in the morning, and drove like a bat out of hell afterward, but realised I wasn't going to make it for 10am. I phoned the temp agency (since I didn't have the client's number), and asked if they could call the client and advise them that I was going to be 15 minutes late.

So as I pull in to their offices, the temp agency phones and says 'where are you?' and I say 'in their car park'. I hear her talking to someone else who seems to be having a phone conversation with the client, and I'm told that 'since you're already there, you can go in today and they'll find you something to do, but they've cancelled the booking for the rest of the week'. I protested at this, saying I wasn't going to go into a clearly hostile situation.

The temp agency said that if I went in there they would call later when the asshole person had calmed down, to see if I could continue to work the week, but I said I didn't want to work for them. I apologised to the temp agency as I've probably lost them a client, but was I being unreasonable not to go and work the day? For £6.50 an hour? When some wanker up there has just effectively docked me four days wages for being 15 minutes late? (There won't be other assignments at this late date).

I get that I was late and it was my own fault, I certainly didn't expect to be paid for it, and I did my best to get in contact and advise them of my ETA. But the reaction really strikes me as OTT.

I don't know anymore. I'm seven weeks pregnant and stressed enough as it is. I felt like it was completely reasonable to refuse to go in for just the one day. What does everyone else think?

LittleMyDancing Mon 15-Sep-08 16:58:40

Hmmmm, tough one.

Did you warn them you might be late?

I think, tbh, if you didn't warn the temp agency or the client that you might be late, you probably were being a bit unreasonable. They hired a temp in the expectation of having someone who turned up when expected to do the work.

That said, their reaction is a bit extreme and OTT.

If you're starting a permanent job though, I wouldn't worry about it too much. Chalk it up to experience. smile

Thankyouandgoodnight Mon 15-Sep-08 17:01:50

I would have done the same thing. You did everything you could to let them know you were going to be late and that's the main thing. There are always other agencies if that ones gets funny with finding you more clients, though I really don't see why they should as you phoned in! People are late for all sorts of reasons!!!! Life is too short to be bothered with working with moody people!! Really it is. If it was a job you wanted to keep though, I would have gone in and smoothed things over but as you don't, you've lost nothing except a bit of cash.

sarah76 Mon 15-Sep-08 17:10:11

LittleMyDancing, I did phone before 10am (start time) to advise I'd be 15 minutes late, and it was 10:12 when the temp agency phoned me as I'd just got in the carpark.

I think the temp agency was just as surprised as I was at their reaction, and that's why they didn't push me to go, just said it was up to me.

Assignments usually get booked a few weeks in advance, so unless there's a last minute need, I'll have no work this week.

MissKubelik Mon 15-Sep-08 17:22:39

They over-reacted, you warned them you were going to be late and it was only by 15 minutes. It doesn't sound like a high-pressure working environment - they could have just docked your pay or asked you to work a bit late to make up the time. It's weird because they will now have to spend more time/money on recruiting someone else. Maybe they have had trouble with unreliable temps in the past?

YANBU for not going in, I wouldn't have bothered either. Never mind. Enjoy a week off work and look forward to starting your proper job next week!

LittleMyDancing Mon 15-Sep-08 17:42:26

I meant did you warn them before the actual day you were late - i.e. when you left the night before, did you say 'I might be ten minutes late tomorrow, I shouldn't be but it's a possibility as I have to go to this appointment' iyswim.

As an employer, I'd probably expect that from an employee.

But as I said before, if you have another job, then don't worry about it too much!

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