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Problem with my employer please help

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  • Problem with my employer please help



    I was in a bad situation at work and would much appreciate anyone’s help!

    I am starting my story with some introduction. I have been working at a Hotel for more then 3 years already as a full time employee. On 23/11/2010 I turned up for my evening shift which was part of my split shift (7am-2:30pm and then 6pm-11pm ) and we had a function dinner that night for approximately 100 people. All the guests attending were employees from the hotels sales teams around Europe so our hotel was trying to do something special for them. Instead of the black shirt which is part of the uniform they gave us a long sleeve T-shirt each with signs on the back saying HAPPY, THANKS or GIVING. Around 7pm I was in the function room setting up some up lighters for the evening and because I was wearing the t-shirt saying "GIVING" I was called in front of the room so the managers can figure out how to place us to welcome the guests when they arrive. In the foyer were six people: three associates, my manager, my assistant manager, and the Director of Operations. They wanted to have three people in a line saying HAPPY, THANKS, GIVING. So I was asked by the Director of Operations to stand with my face 5-10cm away from the wall so the people can see my back when they are entering the room for the dinner for which I said to Director of Operations:
    "I don’t feel comfortable to stay here facing the wall while the people are coming in".

    The Director of Operations’ answer was:
    "Well yes but you will do it" physically placing my shoulders in the position he wanted.

    I then turned around and said:
    "No I don’t want to do it".

    Director of Operations said proudly:
    "You will, You will".

    "No I will not do it".

    Director of Operations:
    "Why not"?

    "Because I am not doing it".

    Director of Operations:
    "So you refuse to do it"


    Director of Operations:
    "Do you want to go home then?" it did not sound like question.


    I then made my way to go out of the foyer and when I passed the Director of Operations, he said:
    "Let me have a world outside with you first"

    We went outside from where all my colleagues were and he asked me:
    "Why don’t you want to do it, I just can not understand you"?

    I was trying to think of the word humiliation but because English is not my first language I could not think of the word at that point because I was angry so I said to him:

    "It is not fun for me and I am not feeling comfortable watching the wall in front of so many people and after that you will want me to serve these same people".

    Director of Operations:
    "So you feel you are insulting them by not facing them for meet and greet"?


    Director of Operations:
    "Ok then if you do not want to do it then I will have to find somebody else" (this sounded like a question by the way he said it)

    "No I do not want to do it".

    That is how our conversation ended and he didn’t sound as rude so I decided to stay for the rest of the evening. Later in the evening I had a meeting with my manager and assistant manager for them to ask me if there are any problems, and why I wouldn’t do it and after that everything was fine. Two days after the Human resources manager called me to her office and gave me a LETTER OF CONCERN, which I had to sign.

    ================================================== =================
    23 November 2010

    Dear Mr. X,

    Letter of Concern

    This letter is to highlight my concerns following on from an incident yesterday
    the 22nd of November 2010 as described below:

    You wilfully refused to obey a legitimate and reasonable instruction
    given by XXXX XXXX-XXXX, Director of Operations

    You are warned that if you your conduct gives rise to further complaint with specific regards to non compliance with procedures and standards will be liable to disciplinary action as detailed in the Associate Handbook.

    It is hoped, however, there will be no need for further action on the company's part.

    Yours sincerely,

    Human Resources Manager

    I have read and understood the contents of this letter.


    ================================================== =================

    I read it two times before I signed but after I noticed something which I did not understand completely. This was the words "REASONABLE INSTRUCTION ". In my country standing facing the wall in this way is a punishment meant to shame you and I do not see this as a “REASONABLE INSTRUCTION”. I was very unhappy about this so asked to withdraw my signature. She was going to let me cross out my signature and then said it would be better for me to write to her and APPEAL against the letter and then she would see what she could do.

    I will really appreciate any advice!

    Kind Regards,
    Mr. X

  • #2
    You're making a mountain out of a molehill. If this cliche is not familiar to you, let me rephrase. You are WAY over-reacting. This was a perfectly legal instruction for the employer to give.

    What you do is learn the ways of this country and learn to adapt. I see no advantage in addressing this any further. It could end up with you being (legally) fired.
    I don't respond to Private Messages unless the moderator specifically refers you to me for that purpose. Thank you.


    • #3
      Agree/concur with Patty. You do what your employer tells you to
      do unless it would be illegal or something of that sort which this wasn't.
      Too often we underestimate the power of a touch, a smile, a kind word, a listening ear, an honest compliment, or the smallest act of caring, all of which have the potential to turn a life around. Leo Buscaglia

      Live in peace with animals. Animals bring love to our hearts and warmth to our souls.


      • #4
        First of all, for English not being your first language, I have to say, great job on your post. It was long, yes, but very clear on what happened.

        Second of all, I would say that this was a reasonable request by your employer. To face the wall to show that message was a little odd (I would have made the shirts with the lettering on the front) but there was nothing illegal or about what they asked you to do, and I think they were truly surprised by your refusal. It sounds like they handled it as graciously as they could at the time, given your emotional reaction. Maybe your event planners will think twice about how to handle human signage next time.

        Either way, it appears that both sides are making mountains out of molehills. To write up a letter of concern for your file over this incident, and for you to want to write an appeal and post on a message board about it, will carry it well into the area of "wow, this is too much." I would drop it and move on.


        • #5
          In this country, standing to face the wall is NOT meant as a punishment to shame you and I seriously doubt that your Director of Operations had any idea why you felt so strongly about what, to him, was a perfectly reasonable direction under the culture of this country.
          The above answer, whatever it is, assumes that no legally binding and enforceable contract or CBA says otherwise. If it does, then the terms of the contract or CBA apply.


          • #6
            Thank you very much to everyone I appreciated a lot :-)))
            That is making me fell better now.
            Keep caring on with the great work.

            Kind Regards,
            Momchil Ivanov


            • #7
              You're welcome.
              Too often we underestimate the power of a touch, a smile, a kind word, a listening ear, an honest compliment, or the smallest act of caring, all of which have the potential to turn a life around. Leo Buscaglia

              Live in peace with animals. Animals bring love to our hearts and warmth to our souls.


              The forum is intended for informational use only and should not be relied upon and is not a substitute for legal advice. The information contained on are opinions and suggestions of members and is not a representation of the opinions of does not warrant or vouch for the accuracy, completeness or usefulness of any postings or the qualifications of any person responding. Please consult a legal expert or seek the services of an attorney in your area for more accuracy on your specific situation.