Posts Tagged shift swap

October 12, 2006 – Common sense 1, Bureaucracy 0

This morning, in a surprising turn of events, common sense defeated company bureaucracy.

When I woke up this morning my voice was still weak and squeaky. I had missed work yesterday which resulted in cancellations. The branch staff were in a bad situation – not wanting to cancel more lessons and not allowed to pay overtime for a replacement teacher. They asked if there was anything I could do to help.

I called Super Dave and asked him if he would be willing to trade shifts with me in order to help out the branch. He agreed to cover my shift today and I would work one of his on my next weekend. This deal would result in no cancelled lessons, no overtime payment, and Super Dave could get a 3 day weekend; it was a win for everyone involved.

I felt pretty good about myself until I called the NOVA head office in Osaka. I explained that I wasn’t going to be able to work my shift, but that I had arranged a replacement. They told me that I couldn’t do that. I further explained that the branch staff had asked me to find a replacement if possible. Head office wouldn’t budge, saying that if Super Dave showed up to work they would need to send him home. I understand the need for following usual procedures, but I was shocked that head office would rather cancel lessons than allow a last minute shift swap.

In the end, common sense prevailed; the staff left my name on the schedule and Super Dave worked my lessons. I’m pretty sure this happened without the knowledge of head office, but since the end result was good I don’t think anyone minded.

I spent the rest of my day resting and taking some intimidating Japanese medicine that The Penpal brought me. I should be good to go for tomorrow.

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June 16, 2006 – Last day before holiday

Today was my last day of work before my upcoming short holiday!

Recently Super Dave and I had been talking about our lack of travel in Japan. Traveling with other people is more fun than traveling solo, but with a small number of teachers in the area it’s hard to find someone with similar days off. Super Dave and I decided that we would each take a few shift swaps to get the same days off so we could travel to western Japan. I’m looking forward to it!

Current plans include the Ninja Museum, Osaka, and Kyoto.


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July 28, 2005 – Repaying a shift swap

I got the day off to repay working a shift swap. Laziness ensued.

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June 20, 2005 – Shift swap scrooges

Today I worked at Numazu school as part of a shift swap with another teacher. One of the best parts about working for NOVA is the ability to trade shifts. In order to support lessons 7 days a week, teachers have a variety of different days off. Being able to trade is very convenient for teachers.

Since I have frequently benefited from shift swaps, I try to be as generous as possible in trading with other teachers when I am asked. I am hoping that people will remember how generous I am when I ask them for one of their days off. There are some teachers who jealously guard their days off and refuse to trade, even if they have no plans on their day off. It’s their choice and they have every right to refuse a shift swap, however it’s everyone else’s right to think they are jerks ­čÖé

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May 6, 2005 – Spending money

Today I helped out a fellow teacher with a shift swap, so I had today off. I sat around most of the day playing Playstation games, which was a lot of fun.

When I did leave the house, I went to Seiyu and bought a folding canvas chair for upcoming BBQs. It seems that every time I leave the house these days I am spending money. Japanese economy – you’re welcome.

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February 15, 2005 – Shift swap payback


Getting a day off by trading shifts with another teacher = fun! Working on a day off to pay back the shift swap = not fun.

At least we do have the flexibility to trade shifts, which is a huge selling feature for the whole “Conversational English teacher” thing.

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October 18, 2004 – Daytime cold medicine to the rescue

I had to work today to repay a shift swap. Daytime cold medicine got me through my shift. Hooray for generic brand DayQuil!

Life Daytime Cold & Flu

(2014 Update)┬áOne of the good things about working for NOVA was the ability to trade shifts with another teacher, commonly referred to as a shift swap.┬áNOVA was also very accommodating about teachers calling in sick – as long as you called before a certain time in the morning, NOVA would try to find a replacement for your lessons. The teacher calling in sick does not get paid.

Calling in sick on a shift swap causes a lot of problems. Since the sick teacher doesn’t get paid it would cause the staff a lot of extra work to make the payroll work out. The worst situation would be calling in sick on a shift swap where the shifts being traded are in different pay periods. No matter how sick the teacher is, the staff would NOT be happy.

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