Saturday, November 07, 2009

This Stinks

“You should talk to him.”

“We don’t want to see you leave.”

“You don’t speak up for yourself.”

These were all comments made to me this morning by my partner, a good friend and a co-worker, not necessarily in that order.

Of course they are all right. Since I found out my job was posted in the local newspaper without any explanation to me, I’ve had mixed emotions.

First I was hurt. Sure, I’m a big boy and have been around the block (more than a few times actually) but rejection still hurts.

Secondly, I was angry. I’m the one worker who is always available to fill in on short notice. Even on Thursday, when I got the news that my job was going to be posted in the local newspaper, I was called into work at 12:30 instead of my usual 3 pm. The shift I worked Thursday was 12:30 pm to 11 pm. That is a long day by anyone’s standards.

Conflicting thoughts have been running through my mind since I learned of this disheartening news. Should I quit? Should I swallow my pride and keep going in until they find someone better then they fire me? What to do?

My first impulse was to ignore the news as if nothing happened and continue going into work and doing my best, which is what I always do. I am competent. In fact, I am very good. Not for nothing did I win the Best Guest Service Award (1999) when I worked at the Hampton Inn in Exton, PA. That is a national award that no one at that particular Hampton Inn ever won before or has won since. I am good at what I do. I enjoy meeting hotel guests and providing them with the very best service. Thus, my first impulse was to continue going to work and hoping this uneasiness in my stomach would go away.

But it didn't go away. This morning on the way to our weekly breakfast at Zorba’s in Rehoboth Beach my partner Bill told me “You should call him and find out what is going on. Just ask him. He owes you an explanation.”

My cell phone had a message on it from a good friend. I retrieved the message and in essence what my good friend said was “That’s bullshit. You don't deserve to be treated that way.” And of course he’s right.

I called the hotel and asked to speak to the manager. My co-worker at the front desk answered the phone. She wanted to know why I was asking for the manager. I told her “Because I want to know why my job was posted to the newspaper without anyone talking to me.” She said “You should talk to ___ (the owner’s name.) That’s the only way you’re going to get anywhere. You have to talk to him and tell him how you feel. You don’t stick up for yourself Ron. That’s the problem.” And, of course she’s right too.

Now granted, I may not be the best candidate for the part-time front desk job. Since I only work part-time (used to be two days a week now it’s one day a week), I’m not always up to date on the latest changes. Thus, sometimes I’m unsure of myself when questioned about a new package the hotel is offering. I’m not up to date on the latest rules on how much we can offer in discounts in this down economy with low hotel occupancy rates. Maybe I show this uncertainty when the owner is hovering nearby. In fact, I probably do show that uncertainty. That is the situation that a part-time worker encounters. If I was there every day I would be more up on the current promotions and know how to act with confidence accordingly.

I get home and I have a message from another good friend whose opinion I respect very much. He asked me “I don’t see how you can go into work when someone treats you like that.” And, of course he is also right.

Thus, I made my decision. I called the owner and asked to meet with him today to discuss my job. I want to know why he posted my job without talking to me first. If he is dissatisfied with my performance, then he has every right to replace me. He can fire me. That is his right which I do not contest.  However, if there is a misunderstanding, then I want to know what it is. But what he doesn’t have a right to do is humiliate me by posting my job without telling me why. That’s not professional. In fact, it stinks. I deserve some measure of respect.

He said he was busy (Pumpkin Chunkin) this morning and had a memorial service to attend to this afternoon at 1 pm. It is now 1:25 pm. I await his call.  I am nervous but I also feel a sense of relief that I am doing something about this uncomfortable situation instead of letting it stew.  I'm sticking up for myself.


Kim Ayres said...

You have every right to make him feel as uncomfortable as possible about treating you this way. His actions indicate he wanted to avoid having to talk to you face to face. Don't let him get away with that. He should give you an explanation - you are entitled to that.

I don't know what the situation is in the US, but generally speaking people can't fire you without giving you written notice and depending on how long you have been working there you can ask for some kind of redundancy payment too. If you quite, you lose your rights to these things and he's in pocket because of your anger.

Turn it around and make him squirm. Do you have an original employment contract? It should say in that how much notice he has to give.

Depending on how far you want to take it you could say if he doesn't cooperate you will have no qualms abot going to the local press to say how he dismissed you because you are gay. Headlines for the hotel - "Prejudice strike local hotel" or Gay Rights Activists Protest Outside local hotel!"

That wouldn't be good for business :)

Anonymous said...

Hello Ron,

I'm so sorry you are having to go thru this. I'm so glad you are going to confront the owner. I'm not a pushy person at all but if I was being given the ax I'd have to know why for my own peace of mind. Please keep us posted & I sincerely hope this can be worked out.


Ron Tipton said...


I'm back from my discussion with the owner and the manager of the hotel where I work. We had a very frank discussion. We now have an understanding. Did I make him feel uncomfortable? I believe I did but that wasn't my goal. I wanted an explanation face to face. I understand his concern also. What the problem is that every time he is around I get nervous because I'm afraid I'm going to make a mistake and he hollers at me (which he has done in the past.) He says he doesn't remember that but I do and I told him so. I told him that now on in the future when he's around I won't pay attention to him but instead do my thing. He is concerned that I don't show enough confidence in dealing with the guests. He is right but it is only when he is around. However, I did tell him if he hollers at me I will call him down on it immediately. So, we have an understanding now. He gets a confident front desk clerk and I'm am employee who isn't living in fear of being embarrassed in front of the guests by being hollered at.

As far as your last suggestion (the gay thing), that's not a factor. We're both gay.

Ron Tipton said...


I had my face to face talk this afternoon. I was assured that the ad was not directed at me but only placed to get the attention of ALL the hotel staff. I don't agree with this method of getting our attention but I understand what the owner is after. He wants a more professional and focused staff dedicated to their job. I agree with him. He also had a concern with my lack of confidence that I display when he is around. I explained to him why I have that lack of confidence and will address it in the future. I will do a short blog posting on the meeting. However for the time being I still have a job. But, situations can change at any time. At least I got things off of my chest this afternoon and I can sleep tonight, job or no job.