It’s a strange feeling when you get a member of staff handing you a white envelope containing their resignation.

We’ve had staff leave us at the end of their probation period and we’ve had staff change from part-time to casual but we’ve never experienced a resignation. Until this week.

I’m about 80% sure now the reason for their leaving is not my out-of-control Viking-style beard scaring them, but rather that they have found a good job close to home that is full-time rather than part-time as in our shop. At first it was a bit of a shock, I’m not really sure how else to describe it. I started to question the good and bad of working for us. We probably don’t provide the best tea and coffee in the staff room but we do try and look after our employees. We give staff discounts and other benefits as well as a few bonuses here and there. Not to mention they also get the benefit of my terrible sense of humour!

After the shock came a bit of acceptance. There is little we could really do other than wish the member of staff the best of luck in their new role and get on with processing the P45 and other bits of leavers paperwork.

Finally came a bit of reality. The Christmas Rota. Oh dear.

In my youth (yes, I realise the irony of a 27-year-old saying that when some people reading this will be twice as old as that and have been in retail a lot longer than me) when I worked in a local c-store I was always given a rota two weeks before Christmas and told “those are your shifts” but that (in my book) isn’t fair as people may have plans and the ogre-like managers at the time had little sympathy for the 15/16 year old who wanted to go an indulge in a few house parties!

So we try and be fair to our staff, we put out a ‘first draft’ Christmas Rota in mid-November and give everyone around 10 - 14 days to get back to us with any issues/days they can’t work, times family are visiting etc and we also try and make sure people work on different days to the normal rota. Everyone including me and the missus gets an early start and a late finish.

Then we adjust the rota based on the feedback and put out ‘version 2.0’ for review warning everyone that the next edition is the final draft and is then locked and with the sole exception of an exploded belly due to over consumption of turkey (for which we require proof) we don’t accept any excuses for needing to swap shifts, finish early and so on.

This year we’ve had to release version 3.0 and arrange cover for the shifts the staff member who is leaving would have had. On top we’re having to deal with the recruitment side of things. It is unlikely we’ll have someone in place before the new year and someone who is trained and ready to work before the mayhem begins.

I don’t resent the member of staff getting a new job (in fact I think it is fantastic) but sometimes I wish you could pause time and deal with all the stuff that needs doing before carrying on into continuing mayhem.  

So, if you’re reading this and you’ve seen the time/space continuum remote control E4712 please can you return it to me in Shetland? Thanks muchly.