Although her 2 week notice threw me into a frenzy (2 weeks is not much time to advertise a position, review resumes, select potential candidates, schedule interviews, conduct interviews, hire someone and then have enough time left for training), I knew that in the big picture this would work out to be for the best. Sandy has pretty much had one foot out the door ever since she had her son.
So I sprang into action and did all the above and found what appears to be a wonderful replacement for Sandy. Her first day was this past Tuesday (we were off on Monday for the MLK holiday) and the plan was for her to have 4 full days of training with Sandy - Tuesday through Friday. 4 days isn't much, but Amy is very bright and I felt it could be sufficient to get her going.
So yesterday (Thursday), I e-mailed my staff and announced that I would be having a pizza party for everyone today (Sandy's last day) to bid farewell to Sandy and to welcome the new person, Amy.
Late Thursday afternoon, Sandy comes into my office and says she got my message about the pizza party and how nice it is that I am doing that, but... actually, she doesn't think she will be able to come in on Friday. Her son has a doctor's appointment on Friday at 2 (which she had forgotten about) and also, she needs to get to the Social Security office because she needs to get another SS card for her new job, so she can fill out the I9 form.
I could not believe my ears. ARE YOU KIDDING ME!!!??? How much gall does it take to CALL OUT on your last day of work - a day you had agreed to in writing would be your last day? A precious day of training for your replacement? A day your boss is throwing a farewell party for you? I mean, just when you think a person cannot be any more irresponsible and inconsiderate, they set a new record.
So this was the last straw. I let her know very specifically that I was very disappointed in her. And I explained exactly why. Friday is her last day. We need her for training. Her letter of resignation stated she would work through January 23rd. On top of this, we are throwing a party for her. I told her I was disappointed that she was not honoring her commitment.
She was very willing to listen to me and made a point to express that she felt badly about it. She went into a long speech about how this is exactly why she decided to leave - that she always feels she is letting people down, she hates being pulled in so many directions, she feels that everyone is being slighted - her family, her employer. She can't do it all. Of course what I wanted to say was "well what did you expect? What did you THINK having kids and working a job would be like?" But that's right - she didn't think. She didn't plan. She didn't consider would it would entail. She wanted a baby, period. And she would "make it work". Although she claims she slighted everyone, in reality it was us - the employer - who got the shortest end of the stick.
I asked her if her mother could take her son for the innoculations ("oh no. I am the mom! I must be there for that"). I then asked her if she could reschedule her son's doctors appointment ("I don't think I can. It takes months to get an appointment unless it's an emergency"). I also asked her to visit the SS office once she starts her new job - since the new employer is apparently very flexible about her hours, they should have no problem with her taking some time away from the office to get her paperwork together.
After some back and forth and a phone call to her son's doctors' office, she agreed to come in on Friday and work an early shift and leave at 2:30. I guess this is the best I can hope for from this person.
All I can say is, God bless her new employer. She assures me that the new employer is totally aware and on board with her need for a flexible schedule and that she emphasized to them in the interview process that her child comes first and her work hours will have to accommodate the rest of her life.
Okay, well good luck to the new employer. They are going to need it.