9 February 2010 – a disappointing answer

A hint of compassion?

A hint of compassion?

All day yesterday I waited for Ali Rana to come back to me about the day off. He didn’t and when I asked him again at the end of the day he got quite shirty with me.
“Requests for leave are supposed to be put in at least fourteen days in advance,” he snapped, “technically I should have said no straight away but I’m trying to work something out. With your attitude I’m not sure why I’m bothering.”
What I wanted to say was my friend didn’t know it would be such a problem when she died otherwise, obviously, she’d have given me a bit more notice. That might have been a sure way not to get the day off though so I bit my lip.

He didn’t say anything this morning either and neither did I. Half of me was resigned to not going to the funeral although I wasn’t happy with it. Just before afternoon break he came up to my desk.
“Despite the late request I’ve managed to get you a half day tomorrow. It was the best I could do when we’re so short staffed.”
“But no one else on the team is off,”I said before I could stop myself. Sometimes things just pop out of my mouth before I have time to censor them and I knew very well arguing wasn’t going to get me anywhere.
“Not on our team but the other teams on the floor are short staffed,” he sneered, “take it or leave it, it’s all you’re getting.”

Of course I was pretty upset a break time, half angry half distraught. The funeral is in the middle of nowhere, there’s no way I can get there and back again and still be back at work on time.
“What’s up FG?” Primo asked as we queued for our coffee, “you look like you found a pound and lost a fiver.”
To my shame, when I started to explain I could feel tears welling up. I had to turn away and pretend to be looking for something in my bag but it didn’t fool Primo.
“What a shit,” she said. “The floor is a bit short staffed because half of Cherry’s team are off with a sickness bug but he could have put in for a compassionate day. To be honest I can’t believe he’s making you take it out of your leave, never mind that he won’t give you a full day.”
“I expected to have to take it out of my leave,” I said, “and I was half prepared for him to say no just because he can. For some strange reason I still hoped he might have a tiny hint of compassion about him, goodness knows why because he obviously doesn’t.”
“Why don’t you go and speak to Karen, or send her an email? I’m sure she’d sort it out.”
“Hmm, maybe.”

I did think about going to see Karen because I really wanted to go to the funeral. In the end I decided against though. If I did Ali Rana would know I’d gone behind his back and my life wouldn’t be worth living. Whether I would take the half day or not remained to be seen. Even if I did I wouldn’t be able to go to the funeral unless I was prepared to face the consequences of getting back to the office late.

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