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A big ask - a wedding question...

Discussion in 'Workplace dilemmas' started by barwelly, Aug 13, 2019.

  1. barwelly

    barwelly New commenter

    Any help or advice will be appreciated!
    My friend has organised her wedding pretty last minute... 6 weeks in fact. It’s a very small affair and I’ve been asked to read.
    The big issue being that it’s on the second day back to school after the summer break. I’ve just come back from a two week holiday and now plagued with all sorts of anxiety surrounding it. Because it’s so last minute, I haven’t spoken to the head about requesting the time off - is it completely inappropriate to ask for the day? My heart is telling me to just ask but my brain is telling me it’s not going to be granted anyway.
    The only way I could contact would be to email... and to receive work emails during the six weeks would bother me, let alone the fact it’s asking for a day off!
    Do I just leave it and say to my friend I can’t go?
    I just want to get other teachers’ perspective on it.

    annascience2012 likes this.
  2. Lalex123

    Lalex123 Established commenter

    You might as well ask - the worst you will get is a no. I’ve worked with heads that will say no, others yes and some that say ‘if you can get a friend to cover your lessons you can go.’
  3. smurphy6

    smurphy6 Lead commenter

    You could ask but I doubt you would get it. Certainly not for a friend rather than a close family member. Your friend will understand why you can’t take a day off when you’ve just had six weeks holiday. Send a present and a card with a lovely message in. If it’s near enough could you go to the evening do?
  4. frustum

    frustum Star commenter

    Dear Head,
    This is a big ask, and I will quite understand if the answer is no. A very close friend has organised her wedding at very short notice, and has asked me to read at it. Unfortunately, though, it is on nth September. I've warned her that it may not be possible, but if you were able to grant me unpaid leave for the day then I know she would be delighted.

    As for emailing your head during the holiday, if they don't want to read it, they won't. If you're secondary then they're likely to be at work when results come out. If you're primary, I don't imagine they let the entire six weeks' worth of email pile up, and they probably check through for anything that needs dealing with at intervals over the summer.

    If you don't ask, you'll never know. I've twice asked with "I will quite understand if the answer is no", and got a yes both times. In fact, for one of those, I would have preferred a no - I had to ask to avoid offending the in-laws, but I had a full day's teaching and would really rather not have had the hassle of setting all the cover work!
  5. FrankWolley

    FrankWolley Star commenter

    Not much of a friend if they don't realise just how unlikely it is you'll get the time off...o_O

    Ask if you want, but be prepared to be told 'no' and for the HT to mark you down as someone who really doesn't understand what being a teacher is all about.. ;)
  6. Lalad

    Lalad Star commenter

    At my school it would be a straight no.
    agathamorse and Lara mfl 05 like this.
  7. shevington

    shevington Occasional commenter

    Coming soon ,time off for Hen Parties !
    phlogiston, Lara mfl 05 and CWadd like this.
  8. Piranha

    Piranha Star commenter

    If you think your Head is the understanding type, I think you can ask, saying exactly what you have told us. You can make it clear that you know that this is asking a lot, and that you are not going to be upset if the answer is no. It would need to be unpaid, I think, so you should ask yourself if you are prepared to lose a day's pay for this. I hope your friend would understand if you can't make it.

    By the way, I think Head's are expected to work for part of the holiday, so sending an email would not be a bad thing to do. And I am pleased to see that nobody has suggested calling in sick!
  9. HelenREMfan

    HelenREMfan Star commenter

    It does show how little people outside of teaching understand re the job. Just remember to use this next time some numpty starts on about the long teacher holidays!
  10. CWadd

    CWadd Star commenter

    You can ask. Be prepared for a no.
    caress and Lara mfl 05 like this.
  11. frustum

    frustum Star commenter

    Whereas that might be applied to people fixing a wedding date way in advance, I'm guessing that in this case the couple will have accepted that deciding to get married at short notice may mean friends can't make it, and they know it's going to be a small affair - others may have booked holidays or have work meetings in the diary. They probably couldn't get a date during the summer holidays, and perhaps didn't want to double the wait by waiting until half-term.
  12. sabram86

    sabram86 Occasional commenter

    In most jobs, you could book three days off in the week. Eyelids would not bat.

    Teaching is not most jobs; teaching is life. And death.
    Veerwal, BelleDuJour and barwelly like this.
  13. barwelly

    barwelly New commenter

    Thanks for your replies and advice! I really do appreciate it.
    I’m totally prepared for a no - and yes it is a big ask of her and yes she probably would understand.

    ...and shevington - obviously not haha. I love a sense of humour though.

    Thanks again.
  14. scott1980

    scott1980 Occasional commenter

    I had a friend with a wedding on a friday and the compromise was I had the afternoon off and missed my ppa that week. Any chance of a compromise if you can't have the full day off?
  15. Veerwal

    Veerwal New commenter

    Are you teaching that day or is it still an inset day for you? If it is, and the afternoon is used for planning rather than statutory training e.g. safeguarding, you might have a chance when you ask your HT? But will you be ready for your class(ses) for the rest of he week?
    I would find it hard not to have my ‘teaching head’ on, especially during the first week.
    I think your friend will understand if you can’t be there for the service. You might still be able to go to the reception?
    Lara mfl 05 likes this.
  16. minnie me

    minnie me Star commenter

    If your friend is as ‘ good ‘as you make out she / he will be happy I am sure for you to attend in any capacity ? Even if this means rocking up and ‘doing a turn’ when you can ? Given the circumstances of the quick turn around I would hope that she / he is a) not precious and b) open to compromise
  17. annascience2012

    annascience2012 New commenter

    Dear OP, I was in the exact same situation! I need a term day off for a wedding later this autumn and I'm starting at a new school... I haven't built up any goodwill there ...at first I was considering just calling in sick but I started to lose sleep with catastrophising about how they'd find out (social media pics etc etc) it got to the point where my husband said, you'll start resenting the bride for even inviting you in the first place. Cut to the end of the story, I asked for permission and they've agreed to give me the day as unpaid leave. Of course they did! It's a job not prison :) just ask for it!
    barwelly, bombaysapphire and Piranha like this.
  18. annascience2012

    annascience2012 New commenter

    Ps don't not go to the wedding. Life is more important. A job is a job, friends and family are forever. When you're 80, what would you regret? Missing something that important, or missing a day of school? Other posters are saying, if the couple are good friends they'll understand. I'm saying, if your school are good employers, they'll understand. Go to the wedding
    barwelly and pepper5 like this.
  19. baitranger

    baitranger Senior commenter

    If it's really important for you to go to the wedding you need to give your head something he/she needs in return for allowing you to go.
    Does he/she need someone to come in during the holidays? Does he need someone to help the caretaker / save money on overtime? Are there any off jobs around the school you could do at the weekend?
  20. ilovesooty

    ilovesooty Star commenter

    I'm a bit disconcerted to hear someone even considering calling in sick for such an event and expressing such a cavalier attitude to the importance of your job. I think that when I'm 80 I'll be happy to have built up pensionable service during my working life and accepted that there were certain events I either couldn't attend or would have needed a good deal of goodwill in order to do so.
    Laphroig and minnie me like this.

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