He Promoted Her but Fired Her the Next Day When She Had a Mental Health Day and Ran Out of Spoons

A small business owner asked Reddit for advice when he recently fired an employee the day after promoting her. This is the full story.

He Successfully Runs a Small Business

OP owns a vape shop with 12 employees. It’s definitely a small business without a lot of room for mistakes.

One of his employees had been working at the shop for 2 years as a cashier. She did great work and OP thought she was extremely dependable.

So, to reward one of his star workers and maybe get a little breathing room for himself, OP promoted the cashier to manager.

One of the big extra duties for the new manager was to open the store, at least occasionally.

She Took a Mental Health Day Without Telling Anyone

OP decided to sleep in the first day that the new manager was supposed to open the shop. Three extra hours of rest felt amazing. Then reality hit.

The first thing OP noticed when he woke up was that his phone was blowing up. He had more than 20 notifications on the shop’s Facebook page.

Customers had been trying to get their vapes all morning but the shop was closed.

Even other employees were tagging the FB page and texting OP. They had shown up for work, but the shop was still locked. They couldn’t open up the place no matter how hard they tried.

She Didn’t Respond to Calls or Messages

OP of course called his new manager, but no answer. She didn’t respond to texts, either.

In the meantime, OP made his way to the store and opened up, more than three hours late, and with a ton of business lost.

Finally, an hour before what should have been the end of the new manager’s shift, she called OP.

OP asked her if she was OK, and the employee said she decided she needed to take a mental health day. So she did.

She Should Have Let Him Know!

OP understood the need for self-care, so he stayed calm. He did ask his employee why she didn’t call to let him know she wouldn’t be in, though

That’s when the new manager told her boss she “didn’t have enough spoons in my drawer for that.”

OP didn’t know what that meant but felt like the employee wasn’t taking responsibility for her mistake. So he gave her a couple of choices.

She could go back to her old cashier job. Or she could hit the road. Fired.

She Thought He Was Discriminating Against Her

That made the employee really angry, and she accused the shop owner of discriminating against her because she was a woman and was looking after her mental health.

The shop owner told her the entire situation could have been avoided if the employee had just taken a couple of minutes to call him in the first place.

Then he could have opened the store as usual, and the business wouldn’t have suffered.

And besides, he was giving her a chance to keep her job. Even if it was her old job and not the new one.

He Felt Guilty Demoting Her

After some time to calm down, OP started to have second thoughts about how he handled the situation.

For one thing, he felt guilty for taking away a new promotion because of a mental health situation the employee couldn’t control.

But he still has a business to run, and he’s not sure now that the employee can handle opening the shop in the morning.

For the most part, Redditors support OP’s actions, saying that the employee should have called him right away.

Understanding the Spoon Theory

A few throw some of the blame back on the shop owner. Why didn’t he watch over the new manager at least the first day to make sure she opened the shop OK?

And other commenters shed some light on mental health issues, with one pointing out that Spoon Theory is a psychological theory related to how much mental energy it takes to accomplish a given task.

So, what do you think of this story? Was OP right for demoting or firing his new manager? Or should he have tried to work through the situation with her?

And do you think he was discriminating against her?

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Featured Image Credit: Shutterstock / DimaBerlin. The people shown in the images are for illustrative purposes only, not the actual people featured in the story.

Source: Reddit