On call means your ass comes IN when I CALL.

Stupid self-centered coworker cow. You signed up for the on-call list. We have an on-call list for the weekends because one tech is not enough in the blood bank when the shit hits. A whole lot of shit hit last night. I was up to my eyebrows in STAT specimens from the emergency room, the phone wouldn’t stop ringing, and I was giving out units of blood left and right. So when I finally admitted to myself that while I am indeed SuperMedTechsup[/sup], it was beyond even my powers to keep in control, and I called you in to help me, I didn’t expect a sigh and a “but I just sat down to dinner”. I was sufficiently stunned by that to not know how to respond. I guess I wasn’t expecting a refusal, what with you being sort of scheduled to come in when I call you (I believe that’s how on-call is defined). Silly me! Of course, being a sucker and having little analytical brain power left for anything but my specimens, my instinct was to give up, and I asked you to call me back in a half hour, finish your dinner, and we’ll see if I still need you. And of course you never called back.

Your excuse, that Bob was working too, and he knows blood bank, couldn’t he help me instead… he already was helping. And he was scheduled to work chemistry, which was also very busy. So your lazy sorry ass refusing to come in means that the whole lab’s turnaround times for results went to shit for the night. And I was working way past my normal capacity to try and keep up with the blood bank. If I made any mistakes at all they are on your head. And don’t you dare think you’re getting the on-call pay for the shift, either. You forfeited that when you didn’t show up when I called you. If “Bob’s there” is your excuse to not come in, when why the fuck were you even on call? You can’t have it both ways.

And I know this bitch is at work right now telling everyone how I had the balls to try and call her in when Bob was working too. It’s going to be all about me and how I couldn’t handle the pressure and I’m a big baby. No matter what I do, how much work I take on, how many times I prove that I’m excellent at my job, the atmosphere is always the same. I’m going to walk in there and everyone will get quiet and pretend they weren’t bitching about me all morning. I get in at noon, and the early crew gets a head start on the gossip and complaining, and I’m an easy target since I’m not there yet.

Is it like this everywhere? Do all coworkers suck?


So what did you say when she issued the dinner/Bob excuse? Anything along the lines of, “Bob is here, he is helping me, and we are still very busy, and require additional assistance. You signed up to be on call, and we need you to come down here”?

Yeah, I can understand that you weren’t prepared for a refusal. But I think that telling her the title of this thread would have been a better way to go. Or at least, “Sorry. You’re on-call and we need you. When can I expect you to be here?”

Also, I would think that this person should be permanently banned from being on the on-call list in the future. It sounds like she considered it a way to get paid without having to do any work.

She was on-call. Refused to come in, didn’t call back when she said she would.

She should be fired, in my opinion, or at least given a formal written warning that she is on real thin ice.

Yes, in general, all co-workers do suck.

At my job we don’t currently have a paid on-call but a volunteer one. I have had people refuse to come in because they had plans or they just don’t answer their phone and return you call. These are always people who say they need the extra money so they want to be called in and they know they don’t get any money unless they do come in but the when called they don’t come in. Don’t volunteer to be on call and the make other plans for that same time. Don’t volunteer to be on call and the turn your phone off. Don’t volunteer to be on call and the refuse to come in when called.

I agree with others, she should be taken off the on-call list and should not receive any extra pay for that shift.

It sounds like you shouldn’t have been the one to make the call. I don’t mean that in a snarky way but having a co-worker call someone to ask them to come in is a poor way to go about doing it.
If her direct boss had called (unless that is you) then she might have been more ready to come in.

It sounds like in order to get that written warning issued, you’d have to go to her boss and ask him to do it.

That sucks.

Night shift vs day shift - the eternal conflict. I was on both sides of that one when I was working in the lab. Luckily, I was on the correct side both times. :smiley:

Write it all up for your supervisor. All the hospital workers I know are pretty strictly held to procedural standards for scheduling and on-call and whatnot, and I expect your coworker will get a good reaming for being on-call and refusing to come in.

Please let us know what transpires, Antigen. I’m in the mood for some delicious schadenfreud. :slight_smile:

Sometimes. We have had in the past certain folks who would voluntarily sign up for “standby” to reap the extra pay and then just not answer their phones/pagers. But if they answered and refused to come in, you can bet they would have been disciplined. As it is I think the old “battery must have gone out” dodge is starting to fade as well - I haven’t heard of it happening recently at my job.

No, just some :). As with humanity in general.

99.99% of them, yes. I am going to hang on to my current job for dear-fucking-life as long as I can, simply because my current combination of manager and coworkers is so unbelievably awesome.

This here thing. Her behaviour was inexcusable - as a lab tech, she KNOWS that your job actually is life-and-death (one of the reasons I got out of the lab tech business). If you don’t have the authority to call someone in, someone who does should be making the call. If you DO have the authority, I think you need to work on exercising it - this was the right answer - “Sorry. You’re on-call and we need you. When can I expect you to be here?” You did drop the ball a bit when you let her off the hook. ETA: She dropped it even worse when she didn’t call back or come in, after you let her know you were overloaded.

Another reason I got out of the lab tech business is that it is almost always all women - I hate working with women. I know exactly what you’re talking about, them gossiping about you all morning. They did this to me at one lab I worked at, too. You know damned well when everyone is talking about you and you’re the odd woman out in the lab.

So you get paid an on-call premium just for being on-call? I guess that makes sense.

My daughter, age 17, works for a local theater. Instead of scheduling these kids for actual shifts, they just put the majority of them “on-call” so no one knows whether or not they have to work until 1 hour before the shift is due to start.

If they don’t need them, they don’t get paid. If they need them, they get their regular pay. And if they don’t call or come in when they’re needed, they are fired.

Great system.

I would really, really question not only that such a system works (theater biz being fairly predictable) but that they could avoid firing people. Even the msot mature teens with cell phones are going to forget about once a month, I should guess. Not only that, but the managers are basically mking huge amounts of work for themselves.

So who came up with this brilliant plan, anyhow? :confused:

My boss when I was an ice-cream scooper in HS used to do this. Even worse, he actually expected you to sit by the phone all night (before the days of cell phones), in case it got busy at any point. Much later I found out that this practice is actually illegal in IL; if you’re expected to be on call, you should be paid.

Ice cream boss probably thought he was teaching the kids valuable life lessons:
a) If it’s illegal and the boss does it anyway, it ain’t illegal.
b) However good you are at your work is entirely secondary to how high you jump when he snaps his fingers.

Yes, there are people who consider these valuable life lessons. Most of them are long-term low-level managers who live in terror of anyone ever getting a step ahead of them.

We have an on-call list. It’s not negotiable; it’s a condition of employment.

Missing a call while on-call is grave; a “if it happens again, you’re fired.”

Refusing to service a customer while on-call is a terminable offense.

The worst problem we have is with one guy who hates being on-call. So whenever he gets a call, he starts calling the rest of us to see if we want to take the call. That’s in itself not too bad, as some guys want the OT. But some of us do have other plans when not on-call, and this guy doesn’t take “No” very gracefully.

To the OP: my “step-dad” wasn’t good for much, but he had a turn-of-phrase which I shamelessly stole:

They need a Union!

We’re all the bit players in the movie of someone else’s life, remember. Corollary: we’re all co-workers.

Unbelievable. I am on call one every 15 days for my job, and refusing to come in is just not an option. IIRC it is grounds for immediate termination. Ditto for not answering the phone, etc. If you’re on call, it is your responsibility to be available, no excuses. (One night one of our nurses actually slept through her telephone ringing, but she was the second nurse on call that night, and she is a longtime employee with an excellent work history, so they didn’t rake her over the coals. That was the exception rather than the rule, however.)

What are your/her supervisors saying?