Manager Who Won't Let Worker Take Vacation Despite 5 Months Notice Bashed

A manager is being bashed online for demanding an employee abandon their vacation plans, despite giving 150 days notice they would be out.

The original poster (OP), u/Vect0r5, shared their story this weekend across three posts to the popular r/antiwork Reddit forum, with the final part earning over 13,700 upvotes and 1,000 comments.

The story was told via three screenshots of the text message back-and-forth with their manager. In the first post, the manager texts OP to tell them that due to scheduling errors, they were scheduled to work from August 1 to August 4. OP replied saying "absolutely not" as they had put in their PTO request five months ago, saying that should have been enough time for the manager to schedule around them. OP also reminded him that they cut their vacation short last year to help him out.

"I understand but other pto requests were more important due to them being to see family and not a vacation. Please attend the days you are scheduled," the manager wrote back.

Again, OP reiterated that they had no intention to show up, saying that it's the manager's responsibility to figure out the schedule. They added that if there was any more push back, they would take the issue to HR. OP also pointed out that the manager was due for a promotion, and this might make HR reconsider.

In the second post, the manager said they were part of a team, and asked u/Vect0r5 to change the plans and "help the team please," before threatening that if the OP doesn't show up, it'd be a "no call no show." They also added that there was no need to involve HR.

"A team leader doesn't put his own faults on his team members, why are we still on this. I put in my request you approved it and now you want to revoke it ? No," OP wrote back.

The manager said that it was up to them if they wanted to show up, but that they were scheduled that week, and he was telling them, as their manager, to come in when they're scheduled. OP fired back that talking to the manager was like talking to "a wall." They said it was the third time the manager had cut short their vacation and that they're hoping to make it the last time, adding "I will see you when I come back during our meeting with HR."

"Do not contact me as my family that I haven't seen in more than a decade matters more than your poor performance as a manager of a team," they added.

In the third, and so far final, post, the manager asked that OP come in early on Wednesday to discuss it, saying that the "schedule will need a lot of moving around now since you do not want to help me out." OP stood their ground, saying that they'll meet on Wednesday, but HR had already been emailed with proof of the situation.

"See you then, but remember you are planning to skip work on purpose," the manager wrote.

In comments, u/Vect0r5 clarified that the manager was not following company procedure as any changes to PTO had to be made with a month's notice. They also said that they requested the HR department set up a meeting with HR, the OP, their director, the manager and another manager, ideally before u/Vect0r5 leaves on their trip.

"I stressed that I cannot quit this trip as everything is paid for and things are scheduled, I told them if I am forced to cancel my plans that are 5 months set in, they would need to reimburse me and each one of my family member I am visiting. They quickly said we arent there yet and will discuss this all during our meeting," u/Vect0r5 wrote.

bad boss vacation 5 months notice antiwork
A boss is being heavily criticized on Twitter for only giving an employee a week's notice that the vacation they put in for five months ago was being denied due to a scheduling error. iStock/Getty

While many companies give their employees paid time off, in the United States, there are no federal requirements demanding businesses do so. While the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) estimates 10 days a year of paid vacation time is the average, companies are under no obligation to provide that time—or even paid public holidays—to their employees. Only seven countries—including the U.S.—do not require companies to offer any days off at all.

It's also legal in the United States for an employer to call employees while on vacation as well as cancel a worker's vacation, according to Alison Green's "Ask a Manager" column.

"This is one of those issues where the question of what's legal is different from the question of what's smart," Green points out. Since vacations are supposed to let workers "recharge," she says, it's foolish to infringe on—or cancel—vacation time without very good reason.

Requests like this not only hurt morale with the worker denied their vacation, but throughout the office, as they're sure to make it known. And low morale leads to high turnover and poor reviews, which can make it more difficult for the company to find replacement workers for those who leave due to the poor treatment.

Reddit was in shock at the amount of advance notice the manager was given to turn around and deny the request at the last minute.

"You gave this person one hundred and fifty days of notice—five months—and they're up your a** about coverage? Insane," u/tandyzanzibar wrote. "Absolutely riveting, I can't believe they just keep doubling down."

"I like how s**t managers like this guy act like ThE sCHeDULe is some all powerful sentient being that can't be questioned—instead of a chart of employee hours that the stupid manager himself wrote (usually poorly)," u/ta112233 wrote.

"Any manager giving an employee a hard time about coverage is by definition a bad manager. It's never the worker's job to find coverage. That's literally management responsibility," u/DonNemo added. "Some businesses understaff as a strategy and get managers who treat their workforce like indentured servants. It's a feature, not a bug."

"How are these complete morons in charge of managing actual people? You literally followed the stupid company procedures and this idiot in his head wholly believes you're making the mistake of not allowing him to abuse you because you won't drop your plans and do as he says. It's mind boggling and infuriating," u/book-bosomed wrote.

Newsweek reached out to u/Vect0r5 for comment.