OK I really need to get this off my chest. And maybe get some advice / ideas? I'm not going to name anyone. According to the barrister I was speaking to today - I'm allowed to say anything about anyone as long as it's true - but I don't wanna risk it. I'll call her Viv. And I'm going to write this as nicely as possibly and not use any insults and no one will be called a "bitch-faced slut" in this post, rest assured.
Basically here's my story...
On the 8th of June 2011 I had an interview with the owner of a local petrol / shop, relatively close to where I live, at approximately 10AM. Later that day (we'll say maybe 1PM) I was informed that I got the job via phonecall and that I was to start the very next day on the 9th of June from 3-11PM. And I had another shift the day after from 8-4PM. I hated the job and it was a load of shit but I'm not one to be a moany bastard and I basically just got on with it as I really wanted a job. (I had turned down another, more interesting job which involved working with foreign students for it..).
At the end of my second day, my boss called me into the office and informed me that I seemed nervous on the till and that she wasn't sure if it would work out. My facial expression was a combination of
. I mean first of all - I don't think I seemed nervous at all. I had plenty of retail experience and made an effort to smile at every customer. I took their money and provided them with their goods and or services. It wasn't particularly hard. The only thing I was a bit awkward with was the petrol business but after a few days (as opposed to just two days) I would have got the hang of it...all part of the learning process! She was barely in the shop (she came in for maybe an hour), but anyway...that was that. Oh and I was the only Irish person working there - something which a lot of customers commented on to me. She told me that she might call me back for a third training day - even though "two days training should really be enough". In my last job as Spar I was a sales assistant and after 6 months I was promoted to a junior manager. I trained plenty of people in. The general rule was that people were given a weeks training, and then another week to kind of settle in and make mistakes. After maybe 4 weeks they were expected to be confident and be able to use their own initiative. I never came across a place where we were expected to be utterly OUTSTANDING within two days so I was a bit taken aback. So I said to her,
"nervous? It's only my second day and in my last job in a convenience store I was grand, and within a few days I was settled in".
"Stewie, I think I know a bit more about training then you do! People should be fine after the first day, and be perfect on the second day! I don't need to hear about how amazing you were when you were 16" was the reply. And when I asked was she letting me go she shot back with a snotty
"I think you should take a step back here! I'm offering you an olive branch, I told you that!".
Now I have no idea what an olive branch is, and I wanted to tell her to shove said olive branch, but being polite I said OK and left. She informed me that she'd get back to me regarding another training shift but I knew then and there I didn't want to return. I was very very upset (she really put me down and said some very hurtful things) and I just went home to go to bed. I told me dad what had happened, who in turn told my mam and she rang the woman who had offered me a job working with students and she told me that she could squeeze me in and get me a place. Lucky for me, the training day for this was on Saturday the 11th of June (the very next day).
So in total I was owed â‚¬138.40 (before tax). But would I get it? That was the question. I waited for payday and nothing appeared in my account. I checked the next day and nothing. I began getting a tad worried. Oh and I never heard back from Viv regarding the third day.
After several unanswered calls, I left several voicemails on Viv's phone...I asked her for her registration number for the revenue office and for the date that I was getting paid on. There was no point calling up to the shop (I tried and failed to get her) as she literally just pops in and out.
Viv eventually rang me back on Tuesday the 21st of June at approximately 1.10PM. (11 days after my last shift). She told me on the phone that she had my wages ready but asked me first would I be able to call up to her at 3.30 because she wanted to talk to me first. I called up on the dot and she brought me into the canteen area. She was holding an envelope and it had my full name on it (one would assume that my money was in it). And as we talked she appeared to shake it ever so slightly as if to purposely attract my eyes to it...but anyway either way, she seemed to change her mind about paying me.
She proceeded to tell me that on my last day on the 10th of June my till was short â‚¬112. I must have "given it out incorrectly in change" she said. Erm yeah...no! And even so, it what, only took her 11 days and several pestering voicemails from me for her to let me know the till was short such a significant amount? If I was the owner of a shop and one of the tills were that much short I would call an emergency staff meeting the following day!!
She went into an explanation and said she wasn't paying me. "we should just call it quits don't you reckon?" and that she'd be in touch with my P45. I pointed out that others used the till, not just me...that I didn't even have my own code, etc. Then she got very smart / catty with me and told me that I "should try the Spar". "The Spar?" I asked, genuinely bewildered. "Yes, the Spar that you were telling me you worked in years ago where according to you, you were so great. It's clear that this shop is too busy for you".
I was stunned...confused...annoyed...taken aback. She said "good luck" and I grunted at her in reply. (I literally grunted and walked off to mull things over in my head). Oh and on a side note - one of the employees told me that at a mere 6 months, he was the longest sales assistant there. And over that time, he has witnessed over 30 people come and go..
Citizens Information (oh yeah I got in touch with them that day) said a lot to me (basically, I'm in the right and she's in the wrong, and that she was just chancing her arm) and told me to get onto Enterprise, Trade and Employment. They also told me to get free legal advice.
I tried ringing Viv on Wednesday the 22nd, but my call wasn't answered (quelle surprise, it never is) and so I left a voicemail telling her what Citizens Information said and that I was going to take it further. The information operator of Enterprise, Trade and Employment said it was illegal what she did and she sent us out (although I haven't received it yet) a complaint forms for The Rights Commissioner.
Today (like, an hour ago) I was talking to a barrister. He called her a few things (which made me smile) and informed me that I was 100% in the right...and that she was in the wrong. She can't just not pay me for my two days work.
A few things I'm going to say to Viv tomorrow (I'll camp in the shop all day if I have to).
I want CCTV footage that shows evidence of the 112 euro being incorrectly handed out by me.
I want till reads of where the till showed short.
I want a banking shortage report.
I was training. I had no personal pin. The supervisor logged on for me. I was using her log-on and so were others. I never logged out and neither did anyone else. Other people were using the same til when I was on my break and when I was working on the floor.
I was not responsible for the till. I was being trained. Someone should have being watching me. Who WAS responsible for the till? How were they held accountable?
Where did I sign to say that I was responsible for till shortages? I signed NOTHING, not even a contract.
Where did I sign to say Viv could stop shortages from pay?
These are a number of points that I made to the barrister and he agrees with me on all of them.
He advised me to go to the Head Office about it...demand to speak to the customer service manager and to tell them the problem and to let them know that I will pursue the debt.
He also told me to get onto Joe Duffy about it if I have to...he advised against just refusing to leave the shop because she'd end up calling the guards.
But to be honest what else can I do? Does anyone have any ideas? It wouldn't be worth my while getting a solicitor because it's only like 140 quid but it's not even just about the money (although I AM just a poor college student and had some great plans with that money), but it's about the PRINCIPLE.