The Constructive Discharge of Leslie


I am unemployed.

Thursday, my boss Tim pulled me aside with our boss Buzz. They let me know that I would be reduced to a 20 hour shift starting Monday. In shock, I replied “I can’t commute with 20 hours… ” Buzz was very good about making it clear he wanted to help me transition however I needed to. Whether I was to stay on with BAMCO or not. He told me that there didn’t seem to be any positions available within the company at other locations, but that he had and would keep checking into it. Tim told me that my schedule would be essentially 9-2 Monday through Thursday. I would lose my full time benefits. I was told that the schedule change was because Adobe wanted him to spend less money, and since my station sold the least, it didn’t make sense to have a full 8 hours in the deli.

(Oh, by the way, I was moved to the deli about a month ago. Right. No suspicion there about a boss that is regularly rude and disparaging to me in full veiw of other employees.)

I asked why we couldn’t just limit everyone’s hours and let me be a floater throughout the kitchen. He said that he couldn’t discuss other people’s schedules with me, but that they would be losing hours too.
So then I asked what the plan was for my station. He told me that he would take over roasting meats, someone else would do the slicing, and another would make the salads. I had been teary up until this point. The meeting had given me all the information I needed, and this bit is what made me lose it. “So, THE COOKING.” I wouldn’t get to cook. I would show up, make sandwiches for 4 hours and leave. I started crying in earnest and told them I needed to leave.

It took me a good hour to chill out. I started looking on Craigslist and was bolstered up by the amount of positions available throughout the area. I went home, got drunk and went grocery shopping. The boyfriend cheered me up and cuddled.

In getting up for work the next day, I found a lack of motivation that was not due to my hangover. I was angry, hurt, and at a loss for what to do.

Understand that I’m weighing my carreer with my commute. When I was working full time, I would leave my house at 4:10 in the morning, catch the 4:22 bus to take me to the 4:50 ferry that gets me to Seattle at 5:50. After that, it’s the 6:00 bus to Fremont that drops me off at 6:26. I walk to work, get my uniform on and clock in at 6:40. So, 4:10 to 6:40 is my commute. My journey home is as such: get off anywhere between 2:15 and 2:45. Catch the bus at 2:55, dropped off at 3:20, walk to the ferry and wait until 4:20. Get off the ferry at 5:20, catch bus at 5:25, get dropped off at the park and ride at 5:35. Walk home, 5:45. My commute home is 2:15-5:45.

The time is spent reading, crocheting, or napping. I’m cool with it.

Now, if I were to commute for my 4 hour shift, I would need to leave my house at 6:45 and wouldn’t get home until 4:20. No. That’s more time spent commuting than working. No.

Financially, it would cost me a quarter of my income to commute. There is a benefit I could get from Unemployment is $31 a week. I called and checked. $31. My benefit from full time unemployment would be slightly more than my part time paycheck with part time suppliment. And I wouldn’t be losing the hours of my commute and I wouldn’t be spending a quarter of my income on travel.

So the things I’m considering all of Friday are:

1. Commute cost: time and money

2. Company: Nationwide, Owned by an International Corporation, great benefits, great ideals, great food. I LOVE this company.

3. Location: I asked for a transfer from that location before because I found it difficult to work with Tim.Other than that, I liked the people. They were fun. Both the ones I worked with and the ones I fed. Also, Lake Union is beautiful.

4: Working relationship with my boss: I couldn’t respect him as a chef since he rarely tasted his food, proudly made things like rice crispy treats and fried corn dogs, and regularly announced things like “they’ll eat anything we put out there.” Not respecting him as a chef is okay as long as I could respect him as my boss. Barring a few moments of being a decent boss, he continually spoke to me as if I were a 13 year old. The worst part was that his words on paper are perfectly fine, but he spoke with such disdain and disrespect that I started to lose my desire to come to work. My coworkers even noticed that it seemed like he was specifically targeting me and would approach me on their own about it. I went so far as to try to figure out how to report him to the Employee Speakup Hotline without sounding like I was whining about my boss being mean.

5. Can I get a part time job and work two jobs: Yes. I don’t want to, though. I’ve done it and I have mad respect for anyone who does that cause its exhausting.
I sat down with Tim and laid out the cost of my commute issue to him and asked to be laid off instead so that I could collect unemployment. He seemed unsure if it was a possibility. I told him I also wanted to talk to Buzz, and asked should I call/email him or would Tim like to help facilitate that. He told me he would contact Buzz. This was at 8 in the morning. By 11, I hadn’t gotten anything back from Tim, so I emailed Buzz myself and yet again explained my position. Buzz responded immediately, and thought it was a reasonable thing to ask and told me that he didn’t see why we couldn’t do that, but that he would need approval by HR. I let Tim know that I talked to Buzz and that Buzz thought it would be possible. He responded with “I don’t know why Buzz said that to you. HR has to approve it and it doesn’t look like they will because the position isn’t being eliminated. I’ve been working on this ALL MORNING for you and if you don’t TRUST ME to handle this for you, I just will leave it up to you.” Then flounced off. Well, in my mind he flounced. Three employees saw the whole thing and one commented, “Well, THAT was appropriate…”

So, after getting word back from Buzz that the layoff would not work out, I sent an email that essentially said that I needed either a full time position with them or for them not to deny my unemployment claim.

Tim sat down with me at 2 and said “Well, I have a position available for you. Its a 20 hour position and you’d start at 8:30 Monday. If you don’t take it, you’re quitting and that’s what Unemployment will get. I understand your situation.” I told him that he knew it was screwing me over. He dodged that. I told him that the corporate talk was all fine and good, but that he knew that this was screwing me over. He said “If I were you, I’d quit and get a new job Monday. ”
I told him that I was trying to do it in the least negative way possible so as to not jeopardize my rehireablility within the company. He said “Well, I just need to know if you’ll be here Monday.”

Exhausted, I informed him that I was not going to be in on Monday. I handed him my hat and name badge.


I quit my job with no safety net.


An hour later, I had an interview set up for Monday at another location with the same company.

My window of freaking out was only a half hour.
I will be okay.

Even if I don’t stay with them, I’ll find something else.


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