Boss Slammed for Denying Emergency Leave: 'Dogs Take Priority Over Staff'

A worker at a dog daycare said she made a dramatic exit after her boss refused her leave for a family emergency.

The employee shared images of her text exchange on Reddit's popular "Antiwork" forum Sunday, garnering 7,200 votes. Reddit user u/amesaroni, identified only through her first name, Amy, said she was reaching out to her manager at a dog daycare on July 18. Her Reddit history indicated that she lives in Washington state.

"Boss told me dogs are more important than his staff," Amy titled the post. "So I quit."

She attached screenshots showing the plea she sent the day of her emergency.

"Hi Petey this is Amy from work," said her first message, sent at 6:14 a.m. "I tried calling the LDCD phone listed online but it didn't work. I need to call out of work today for a personal emergency, my sister needs me to drive down to her house near Vancouver. If you could please let me whoever needs to be let know I would appreciate it!!"

Amy apologized for the inconvenience and said she would be ready for her shift the next day, adding that she had already alerted other staff.

Her boss's response stunned both Amy and her Reddit audience.

"Hi Amy - next time, call instead of text please," said the boss. "We don't usually hire part time staff. I get the feeling this is not going to work between us. Please make your mind up if you want the job or not."

His next message said, "We function more like a sports team instead of a traditional employer. If we schedule you to take care of our Dogs, we need you to have a provable, real reason to take off. Dogs take priority over staff."

The shocked employee repeated her apology for inconveniencing the company.

Dog Walker
A worker at a dog daycare said she made a dramatic exit after her boss refused her leave for a family emergency. Here, a professional dog walker in New York City, New York, in May 2022. Robert Nickelsberg / Contributor/Getty Images North America

"I understand your motto but I need to prioritize my family today over my work as I'm sure if you had a family emergency you would do the same," she texted. "I'll be at work tomorrow for the dogs unless you don't want me there."

The next screenshot came several hours later, at 3:08 p.m. that day.

Amy followed up, "Not that it's ANY of your business whatsoever, but the fact that something like a family emergency needs to be 'provable' is beyond ridiculous. These things are not planned, hence, 'emergency.'"

She added, "If LDCD really functions as a 'sports team,' you would think that means you would have a 2nd and 3rd employee waiting on the 'bench' as a 'substitution' in case an employee calls out last minute."

Amy said it was "laughable" to expect employees to prioritize work over their families "for just a few cents more than minimum wage," pointing out the company's low staffing and high turnover.

"I was more than prepared to come in tomorrow and for the rest of my scheduled shifts but your bizarre lack of compassion for your employees is not something I align with or want to associate with," she concluded. "Perhaps you were having a bad day; but so was my family and me. Take me out of the season coach!"

Readers on Reddit cheered Amy's indignant resignation and lampooned her boss's "sports team" analogy.

"Lemme stop you right there, Steve Ballmer-wannabe," declared one comment." If you want a sports team, you better start PAYING like you have a sports team. Otherwise you got nothing but delusions of grandeur."

Another said, "I cannot for the life of me understand why some people think 'family emergency' is code for 'I'm a lazy piece of shit, so I'm just going to call out last minute, lie about what I'm doing, and then go play video games all day specifically to inconvenience my manager and coworkers.'"

The Great Resignation, an international wave of mass exits that saw 47 million Americans quit their jobs in 2021, is projected to continue this year. According to the Global Workforce Hopes and Fears Survey 2022 by PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC), one in five respondents said they were "extremely or very likely" to switch employers within 12 months.

The consulting firm said that fair pay, job fulfillment and a feeling that "I can truly be myself" were the most significant factors to workers who were considering leaving their jobs.

Newsweek reached out to Amy for comment.