'Think of Your Family as Incentive': Worker Slams Boss Over Schedule Change

Internet commenters were quick to defend one employee who claimed their manager told them to think of their family as an "incentive" during a performance review.

In a viral Reddit post titled, "My job called my family 'incentive'," Redditor u/59raccoons recounted a tense conversation about a recent change to their schedule, and explained how their manager justified the seemingly unreasonable adjustment. Posted on Reddit's popular r/antiwork forum, the post has received over 26,000 votes in just 8 hours.

Writing that they had previously voiced their displeasure with their new schedule, the Redditor said that their new business hours would prevent them from spending time with their family.

"I cannot go to this schedule because I would literally never see my family again," they wrote. "My manager said if this schedule assists the work environment in a positive way, I could possibly go back to my preferred schedule."

However, after maintaining that their new schedule would not work for them, the Redditor said their manager encouraged them to use their family as a source of motivation.

"When the manager saw I was visibly not agreeing, she goes 'Think of your family as incentive to work harder!,'" they wrote.

Responding to the suggestion, u/59raccoons said their family is their priority, and that a schedule that takes away from their family could not be incentivized.

"My family is not incentive to work harder," they wrote. "My family is a guarantee at the end of the day, and not seeing them is not an incentive."

"What the actual f**k," they added, expressing their disbelief.

Employee frustrated with new work schedule
One Redditor said their manager told them to think of their family as an "incentive" to work harder after an unwelcome schedule change. fizkes/iStock / Getty Images Plus

According to Business Insider, working extreme hours can lead directly to the erosion of personal relationships, and in some cases, ruined marriages. From prioritizing work over a marriage, to using a spouse as a sounding board for work-related thoughts, Business Insider reports that workaholics' dedication to their jobs can lead to divorce and other marital issues.

In a study published in Psychology Today, researchers at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte revealed that marriages involving at least one workaholic reported "far more marital estrangement, emotional withdrawal, and thoughts of separation and divorce."

The study, which surveyed 326 women and 272 men, revealed that 45 percent of women who reported being married to a workaholic were still married, while 84 percent of women married to non-workaholics reported the opposite. Husbands who perceive their wives as workaholics also reported that long work hours were responsible for marital estrangement.

In hundreds of responses to viral Reddit post, commenters stood firmly behind u/59raccoons and were appalled by their manager's comments.

u/MinksandFurze, whose comment has received 8,800 votes, likened the work conditions described by the original poster to a hostage situation.

"Wow. That sounds like something you would say to someone you're holding hostage," they wrote, responding to the manager's encouragement to think of family as an incentive.

In a separate comment which has received over 1,300 votes, Redditor u/LoneReaper115 said that the manager's suggestion should be a major red flag for u/59raccoons, and encouraged them to seek employment elsewhere if their schedule requests aren't met.

"Family is not an incentive," they wrote. "I would be adamant about keeping your schedule that works for you."

"If they complain tell them, 'Just think of it as incentive to not be shorthanded and have to retrain someone,'" they added.

Echoing a similar sentiment, Redditor u/thefixxxer9985 agreed with the original poster's explanation that anything interfering with the wellbeing of their family is non-negotiable.

"I have always told my employers that while I may like what I do and who I work with, at the end of the day I'm there to provide and care for my family," they wrote. "If work interferes with the ability to do either, I have no reason to be there."