Every retail manager knows that Super Bowl Sunday leads to hangover Monday.
It’s been 50 years since the Kansas City Chiefs made a Super Bowl appearance and 8 years for the 49ers. Want to take bets that the number of canceled shifts increases in Kansas City and San Francisco on Monday?
Here are the top nine reasons retail employees won’t make it to their scheduled shift after the Super Bowl — and how you can prepare accordingly.
Excuse #1: “I ate something bad yesterday!”
While this excuse isn’t limited to the Super Bowl, it’s sure to make an appearance that Monday. You never want to ask for details. Montezuma’s Revenge has nothing on the epidemic of “food poisoning” after the Super Bowl. You have no choice but to be understanding. Advise your employees to stay hydrated and rest up.
What you want to say: “Did you really eat something bad, or did you drink way too much of something great yesterday?”
What you should say: “Oh no, I’m so sorry to hear that. Drink lots of fluids and get some rest!”
Excuse #2: “I’m coming down with a cold.”
Even though it doesn’t take a genius to diagnose a hangover, you’re not a triage nurse. Follow your policy and training, and say something that’s sympathetic. Luckily, there’s almost a 100% chance the “cold symptoms” will be gone by Tuesday, or realistically-speaking, Monday afternoon.
What you want to say: “Are you sure? Because I can hear your pounding headache through the phone and you don’t sound congested.”
What you should say: “I really hope you feel better tomorrow!”
Excuse #3: “I didn’t sleep well last night”
Once again, it’s never professional to project your suspicions. It doesn’t matter if you know they were partying and partying hard. Heck, you might have spotted them at the same bar you were at. And while you still have to be professional, you might be able to drop subtle hints about showing up mid-shift with this excuse.
What you want to say: “Really? I bet once you finally made it to bed, you slept like a rock.”
What you should say: “Please get your rest. Give us a call if anything changes and you’d like to start later today.”
Excuse #4: “I won tickets to the Super Bowl in a radio contest. I took a last-minute flight to Miami.”
This excuse is a major pain for store supervisors, since you may need to “review the vacation policy” with an employee on their next shift. Stay neutral on the phone — or when you approve your employee’s shift swap — and refer to the policy before you do anything drastic.
What you want to say: “What? No way. You ‘forget’ to mention you won an all-expenses-paid trip to your coworker’s house last night and fall asleep on the couch.”
What you should say: “How incredibly lucky. Enjoy the Miami weather, and we’ll see you tomorrow…right?”
Excuse #5: “My cousin is MVP and my mom couldn’t stop talking about it on the phone last night.”
Keep your cool. It doesn’t matter if you’re being told a load of cockamamie, you have to keep a straight face.
What you want to say: “No way. If your cousin is the 49ers’ MVP, why are you always wearing Raiders gear?”
What you should say: “Wow, I’d love to hear all about that later. Give us a call if you’re able to get some rest and feel like finishing your shift.”
Excuse #6: “I got up early to meditate but fell asleep and missed my shift.”
Chances are your “meditating” employee won’t show up at all today. And that excuses probably isn’t going to help him when he requests overtime later this month to make some extra money.
What you want to say: “Was it meditation or yoga? Because I bet you were in the corpse pose when you woke up laying on your bathroom floor.”
What you want to say: “Thanks for letting us know. Do you think you’ll be able to make it in today at all?”
Excuse #7: “I think I have the chickenpox.”
It’s tricky to deal with employees who claim they’ve caught an infectious disease. Give them the benefit of the doubt and see if they show up tomorrow.
What you want to say: “That’s weird. You had chickenpox a few months ago. I could have sworn it was impossible to get chickenpox twice.”
What you should say: “That’s just terrible. Be sure to get that looked at if your symptoms get worse. If it turns out to be just a temporary rash or something, we’d love to see you for your shift tomorrow.”
Excuse #7: “My car wouldn’t start. It’s so weird.”
Take three deep breaths before you say anything. Hopefully, the “car” issue can be resolved quickly.
What you want to say: “Ever heard of ride-sharing? You could have taken an Uber or Lyft — or public transporation.”
What you should say: “I’m sorry about that. Hopefully it’s just a dead battery. Keep us posted, please.
Excuse #9: “I woke up with a headache.”
After you roll your eyes, you move on and focus on getting through the day — without your scheduled employee.
What you want to say: “I bet you did! Doing shots gives me a headache, too.”
What you should say: “That’s just terrible. We’re short-staffed today, unfortunately. We definitely don’t want anyone here who’s sick, but we’d love your help if you start to feel better.”
Retail staffing doesn’t have to give you a headache
Retail managers learn how to predict the unpredictable. You’re guaranteed to hear some ridiculous excuses — Super Bowl or not. You can’t control excessive partying, but you can be prepared for any staffing situation.
Retail store staffing doesn’t need to be the worst part of your job. Put your scheduling on auto-pilot with a free trial of Deputy.