Boss Tells Employee to Choose Between Being Demoted or Being Fired?

Anyone who has ever been the boss at work can tell you that it’s no walk in the park. I’m sure some people trip off the power of the situation, but for most of us, managing other people comes with many stresses and lots of opportunities to learn and do better.

This person owns a small vape shop with 12 employees. One of those employees, “Peggy,” was recently promoted to manager after 2 years of responsible work.

I own a vape shop. We’re a small business, only 12 employees.

One of my employees, Peggy, was supposed to open yesterday. Peggy has recently been promoted to Manager, after 2 solid years of good work as a cashier. I really thought she could handle the responsibility.

On a day when she was supposed to open, OP woke up to a bunch of messages that the store – which was supposed to open 3 hours before – was still closed.

There’s no response from Peggy, so OP goes in and opens the store, then works the shift himself.

Peggy finally calls him back hours later.

So, I wake up, 3 hours after the place should be open, and I have 22 notifications on the store Facebook page. Customers have been trying to come shop, but the store is closed. Employees are showing up to work, but they’re locked out.

I call Peggy, and get no response. I text her, same thing. So I go in and open the store. An hour before her shift was supposed to be over, she calls me back.

When asked whether or not she’s ok and what happened, Peggy replied that she needed a mental health day.

When asked why she didn’t call to let him know beforehand, the conversation took a rather odd turn.

I ask her if she’s ok, and she says she needed to “take a mental health day and do some self-care”. I’m still pretty pissed at this point, but I’m trying to be understanding, as I know how important mental health can be. So I ask her why she didn’t call me as soon as she knew she needed the day off. Her response: “I didn’t have enough spoons in my drawer for that.”.

Frankly, IDK what that means. But it seems to me like she’s saying she cannot be trusted to handle the responsibility of opening the store in the AM.

He told her she could go back to being a regular employee with her old pay or he could fire her, because let’s be honest, that’s what no-calling and no-showing gets you most places.

She’s upset, trying to say that his offer is because she’s a woman or because she revealed she has mental health struggles.

So I told her that she had two choices:

  1. Go back to her old position, with her old pay.
  2. I fire her completely.

She’s calling me all sorts of “-ist” now, and says I’m discriminating against her due to her poor mental health and her gender.

He’s torn, wondering if he’s overreacting but also remembering that it’s honestly not that hard to make a one-minute phone call if you can’t come to work.

None of this would have been a problem if she simply took 2 minutes to call out. I would have got up and opened the store on time. But this no-call/no-show stuff is not the way to run a successful business.

I think I might be the AH here, because I am taking away her promotion over something she really had no control over.

But at the same time, she really could have called me.

So, reddit, I leave it to you: Am I the a$$hole?


Reddit has plenty, so let’s dive in!

He’s being kinder than he probably has to be, if we want to get technical.

Image Credit: Reddit

Regardless of what’s going on in her life, she has a responsibility to do her best at work, too.

Image Credit: Reddit

Sending a text when you know you’re the only one responsible for opening the store is really the bare minimum.

Image Credit: Reddit

She might have just not been up to the challenge.

Image Credit: Reddit

You can expect people to be understanding, but not to read your mind.

Image Credit: Reddit

She was definitely in the wrong, and honestly, I think she should be happy to have her old job back at all – I would have expected to be fired.

What about you? I want to know what your opinion is down in the comments!