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Mtl_zack's avatar

How can I tell my boss that I can't work for 10 days?

Asked by Mtl_zack (6759points) May 25th, 2009

I got hired at a Ben and Jerry’s which is a job that gets 100 CVs a week. The owner just hired people and I got hired under different circumstances. I was in his store giving my CV and he liked my personality, and other variables like the weather and his mood influenced him to hire me on the spot. This was last week. I’m supposed to go in for training tomorrow, but I won’t be available for 10 days, because I have a summer class for 6 days and then I as planning a vacation in Orlando with my best friend, who I’m splitting up with in the fall. This trip is very important to me. It’s gonna be 4 days.

So how do I tell my boss that I can’t work for 10 days starting this wednesday?

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24 Answers

Darwin's avatar

All you can do is tell him, the sooner the better. Tell him you appreciate the job, and are really looking forward to it but that you never expected to get it so quickly so you have plans that cannot be cancelled.

Why didn’t you tell him last week when he hired you?

EmpressPixie's avatar

Maturely. You call him or go in and tell him that you’re very excited to start work, but that you are unavailable until XXXDATE.

You should have told him this when he first hired you and gave you the start date.

skfinkel's avatar

Just tell him quick.

marcosthecuban's avatar

ask for unpaid leave.

Mtl_zack's avatar

I didn’t tell him when he hired me because I didn’t want to screw up, but it only gave me the ability to screw up even more! I could tell him the truth, and he could fire me because he really does not need me. Or maybe I could lie and say that my summer class is longer than 6 days or that there’s an exam period after. But that may dig an even bigger hole.
@marcosthecuban It’s Ben and Jerry’s lol!

EmpressPixie's avatar

No, no. Don’t tell him WHY you can’t be there. Just that you have unalterable plans. If possible you want to avoid telling him about the vacation. School is justifiable, he may not see vacation as such. Since you want to be honest, you want to avoid being in a situation where you have to say why you can’t come in. Ergo… vague but firm.

Mtl_zack's avatar

So if he asks me why I can’t be there I say I have an exam, which is a part truth? What if he asks me how long it is? My mom suggests I say that there’s an exam period afterwards. I dunno though…

EmpressPixie's avatar

You can always say you have to finish the school year and immediately after have to go out of town for a few days. I’d just avoid saying the word “vacation” or where you are going or any of that stuff. And be honest. With any luck, however, when you say you can’t start for 10 days, he won’t really ask.

mcbealer's avatar

@EmpressPixie is right. You may be able to play off your initial faux pas on being excited about getting the job. Now’s your chance to come clean though, and let him know you have previous commitments and that you’ll be out of town. Perpetuating an untruth will only makes things worse.

Mtl_zack's avatar

Hmmmm. So I should say that I’ll be away, but not for fun. I could say I have a “family function” or a trip that has been planned for a while now. How would those work out?

gailcalled's avatar

Don’t start lying. It is a bad habit, no matter what your mom is advising you.

EmpressPixie's avatar

A trip that has been planned for a while. If you even have to go into that much detail. Because really, it’s none of his business. All he needs to know is that you CANNOT be there.

RedPowerLady's avatar

@EmpressPixie is giving some great advice.
You do not have to tell your employer why you are not available even if he asks. You can always say it is a personal matter that was planned in advance. If he asks for more details, and many employers will not, then you just keep giving general responses. The thing is, it doesn’t matter what you say, he will accept the ten days or not. Just apologize for your error of not telling him sooner but keep the apology brief yet sincere. (long apologies tend to make you look guilty). I also agree with @gailcalled , do not start lying.

Mtl_zack's avatar

Ok, thanks for the advice guys!! I really appreciate your help! :D

Bobbydavid's avatar

Ask tour mom to call you in sick!

BBSDTfamily's avatar

I think just be honest with him. If you get fired, there are many jobs comparable to a Ben and Jerry’s that you can find another job in. Don’t opt out of the trip for a minimum wage job!! Let us know how it goes!

Jeruba's avatar

EmpressPixie and RedPowerLady are giving you good advice. The fact is that you may be right to fear that this is a dealbreaker, and that would not be unfair. Unfair is making a commitment you knew you couldn’t keep and leaving the employer with shifts to cover. But that’s a chance you have to take since you are in a situation you can’t change. You do have to tell him, and you do have to take the consequences even if they’re not in your favor. Maybe it’ll be okay anyway.

Don’t become a person who lies and tries to take advantage and avoids owning up to mistakes. That would be a greater cost to you in character in the long run than the small loss of a job you got so easily.

dynamicduo's avatar

Oh, this is not good at all. You really should have told him this while being hired, especially considering it’s obvious you knew of this vacation when you were being hired. I’m afraid to say this will not reflect well on you at all. If they have 100 CVs coming in each week, I see zero reason why they would not simply axe you and get another person in, someone who will be a bit more honest about their commitments in advance.

Never lie. You just dig a deeper pit when you lie, you have to remember all of the lies you made, it’s guaranteed you’ll be caught in it eventually. You can omit details, that’s not lying. If I were in your position I would tell the boss in person that I’m not available for 10 days and that I am sorry I forgot to mention this earlier. I would also say how I am really excited to work there and disappointed that I can’t start ASAP, but there is no way to get out of the obligation. If he asks what it’s for, I would say it’s summer schooling and not mention the vacation.

chelseababyy's avatar

Just tell him. Flat out. Now.

Mtl_zack's avatar

Everything went ok. I told him that I can only start on XXXDate and he said it’s fine. I’m gonna miss a staff meeting, but the manager said it’s ok, and I can go to the next one.

Thank you everyone for all of your great advice!

EmpressPixie's avatar

Congratulations! Have a great time this summer!

Darwin's avatar

Glad it worked out. Diplomatic honesty is generally the best policy with jobs and with life.

Jeruba's avatar

That’s good news, @Mtl_zack. I’m very glad you came by this favorable outcome honestly, too. Now you can enjoy your trip with a clear conscience and come back feeling comfortable in your new situation. Couldn’t be better. And what fun to work in an ice cream shop! Enjoy the experience.

mcbealer's avatar

@Mtl_zack ~ good news indeed :)
Orlando or bust!

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