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Too many work days, scared it will get worse soon (vent)

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I have been working as a tour guide for a few months, these tours run every day. The company is starting up, we've only just gotten our own management for our branch. The company doesn't pay us, we get paid in cash by tourists and the company takes X amount per person from what we get. We started with eight guides, we've lost two, one is potentially leaving if her job interview goes well, one has another job that is demanding more hours and two are students with many classes. It leaves only me and one other guide (who is our team leader) who are regularly available and it's almost only us two regularly working.


We don't have many hours as the daily tours are only three hours, the problem I am having is that I am scheduled for too many *days*. The weekends are especially a problem. When I first took the job I stated my availability was weekdays and *some* weekends with room for private life. Basically I can handle working Saturday or Sunday but not both, I would really like one day with my boyfriend when we're both not at work as it is the *only* reason I am in this country. There was no mention of future evening work either. At the moment my work is only three hours in these days but it still means we can't spend the day together as I work in the middle of the day and it means we can't go out in the evenings on the weekends as I have to work the next day.


Our new manager is holding a staff meeting tonight. He wants to start opening new tours, one different in the late afternoon (I would be ok with taking that and the morning tour on some days) and a nightlife tour (not looking forward to this one). He also is starting to encourage way more people onto the tour. Personally I feel it is too much too soon and before making these big changes they should look into employing more guides (It does not cost them to do this!). I am working six days in a row this week (including Saturday and Sunday) because everyone but that one other guide has difficult schedules. I am trying to work up the courage to tell him I don't want to be scheduled for more than five days per week and I don't want to work Saturday *and* Sunday. As I said, the company itself is not paying me, I pay them an "advertising fee" from what the tourists give me! The standard daily tour is tips only and even on bad days I still have to pay them X amount per person even if I am left with nothing to myself! I feel I should have a bit more say over my shifts rather than being stuck with too many because nobody else can take them. This nightlife tour the manager wants also can rob me of the evenings that I am not at language school, so I could end up working total opposite shifts from my boyfriend and talking to him less than I did when I lived in England! This company needs me because I am available a lot, why am I so afraid to tell them these things I am not happy with?


It's not ideal, working for such an unpredictable wage, it's just hard finding work in a country when you're still learning the native language (I am on an evening course).


I am scared of being overworked. As I said, it's not the hours but the days. I'd much rather work 9-5 monday to friday than three hours for six days a week. I feel I may end up being scheduled every day if they start opening up new tours and I don't think that is fair at all as I didn't agree to that and there has been no talk of finding more guides. I have been really good to this company, always shown up (even when really ill!), covered shifts for people who couldn't make it, and I feel I'll end up getting screwed over.


I don't know what I expect from this thread, it's mainly just a vent. I'm dreading this staff meeting later.

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I'd sit down with a pad and paper before this meeting and write down what you feel are reasonable guidelines, barring unexpected emergencies for your scheduling.


Like "at least 1 day off after 5 days straight," "If I work mornings this week, no nightlife tours" "If I do the nightlife tours, weekend off"


Figure out the hours as they work with your classes, and make some reasonable proposals. You can always be prepared to negotiate a bit - but at least have something there, because if you don't say anything, they're going to assume that you want every hour you can feasibly work. They'll think they're doing you a favor giving you hours over someone else. And they'll feel they're rewarding you for being loyal and flexible unless you speak up.

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