'Shove It': Woman Applauded for Quitting Job After Leave Request is Denied

Members of a popular internet forum were thrilled after one retiree recounted how his wife embarrassed her difficult and disagreeable employer, quit her job, then embarrassed them again.

In a viral Reddit post published on r/antiwork, Redditor u/slugsinmycup (otherwise referred to as the original poster, or OP) said his wife was denied the unpaid leave necessary to travel the world but explained how she pulled the rug from under her now-previous employer—twice.

Titled, "My wife traded her job for the trip of a lifetime. They were shocked." the post has received nearly 13,000 votes and 97 percent upvotes in the last ten hours.

Writing that his wife was a top performer for her employer for 10 years, the original poster said that he was able to retire early, and encouraged his wife to take six months off to travel the world.

The original poster's wife was on board, and so were a handful of her work supervisors, but noted that her department head made it their mission to deny her request for time off.

"She was told to officially request the unpaid leave with strong hints that it would be accepted," OP wrote. "After two weeks she was called into a meeting. She entered the room to see her supervisor and office manager with their heads down and the department head with a big s**t eating grin on her face."

The original poster said the unpaid leave request was denied "due to undisclosed concerns," and that she was told the only way she could travel the world was if she lost her job.

What her employer didn't know, however, was that both she and the original poster were more-than-prepared to take that leap.

"My wife said 'no problem, here's my notice,'" OP wrote. "She handed them the papers on the spot and left the room. Shocked faces all around.

"We ended up going [around] the world and had an amazing time with no worries," OP continued. "After around a month of being home the old department head reached out, asking her to return as they couldn't retain staff."

"My wife got to tell her where to shove it for a second time," OP added, with great satisfaction.

For many workers in the United States, taking time off from work can be incredibly contentious and require a substantial amount of planning.

Although some employers offer employees a certain amount of paid time off per year, there are no federal policies requiring paid vacations, sick leave or holidays, according to the U.S. Department of Labor.

And while the Family and Medical Leave Act, passed in 1993, protects both employees battling major medical issues and employees caring for loved ones facing major medical issues from losing their jobs, there are no guarantees of payment for anytime spent outside the workplace.

This means that, for those wanting to take time off to travel or tend to any matters outside of the realm of personal or familial health, the only option is to quit.

But since April 2021, quitting a job has become more normalized than it ever was before.

With swirling conversations about labor shortages and the youngest generation of American workers' highly-debated work ethic, the Great Resignation has seen millions of employees quit their jobs every month.

In fact, since last October, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics has reported more than four million quits per month, with the most recent published data showing 4.4 million quits in April 2022.

Earlier this year, data collected by Pew Research Center revealed that the most common reason for quits throughout the Great Resignation has been inadequate wages.

But 45 percent of employees surveyed by Pew also reported that a lack of flexibility, and a lack of time outside of work, were both major factors in their decision to separate from their previous employer.

Woman quitting her job
Members of Reddit's r/antiwork forum commended one woman who quit her job after a request for unpaid leave was rudely denied. SeventyFour/iStock / Getty Images Plus

Throughout the comment section of the viral Reddit post, Redditors acknowledged that many American employees have experienced scenarios similar to the original poster's wife and applauded her strength in standing up to her department head.

"Stories like this are why I think this [forum] is called anti work but it's more like 'anti control freaks and a**holes,'" Redditor u/Maybeadecentboss42 wrote in the post's top comment, which has received nearly 1,500 votes. "The [department head's] strategy only has bad outcomes: a good person quits or maybe worse, staying and being miserable."

"I support long unpaid leaves for people who want to travel for this exact reason," they added.

In a pair of separate comments, Redditors u/diegotheengineer and u/blaisreddit commended the original poster's wife for quitting and OP for sharing the story.

"F**k yeah!" u/diegotheengineer exclaimed. "Good on you and very good on your wife!"

"The type of antiwork post they don't want you to see," u/blaisreddit chimed in. "Congratulations!"