Worker Praised for Quitting after Boss Tried to Make Him Work Thanksgiving and Christmas

A man who was told he would have to cancel his holiday plans to work during Thanksgiving and Christmas has won the backing of the internet after standing up to his employer and quitting his job.

In a text exchange posted to Reddit by the user frenzzzykid, a man purportedly called Brandon shared the details of his frank final conversation with former boss, John.

John messaged Brandon to inform him he would be needed at work as they were "short staffed for the rest of the year" because another employee had "quit without warning."

"We're really backed up so I'm going to need you to come in during Thanksgiving this year," John said. "Don't be shocked if you have to come in during Christmas Eve and Day too," he said.

While working over the holidays is common in certain industries, Brandon had a genuine reason to be irked by his boss's demands.

"I already told you 3 weeks ago that I need that week off and you agreed," Brandon responded. "Now you're changing your mind?"

Almost immediately, Brandon hit John with an ultimatum: "I will not be working Thanksgiving and if you ask again I will not be working for you at all anymore."

The threat didn't wash with John, who told Brandon: "Coming in is the least you can do," and he informed him that his "PTO (paid time off) has been denied."

"I'm not asking you to come in," John added. "I'm telling you that you have to." Brandon stayed true to his word, responding: "And I'm telling you you'll have no worker at all now. I quit."

The original poster, frenzzzykid, told Reddit he had "never told a boss off like this'' and it "felt amazing." The purported exchange has been upvoted more than 123,000 times, with many highlighting it as an example of the so-called "Great Resignation."

According to statistics published by the U.S. Bureau of Labor in September, a record 4.3 million workers quit their jobs in August, adding to a total of some 20 million since April. While some of these resignations have been reported in the low-paying retail and hospitality sectors, the data indicates resignations across a wide range of industries.

The reasons behind the "Great Resignation" remain unclear. Research published by Limeade found that 40 percent of employees cited burnout as the top reason for leaving. They found that in 28 percent of cases employees were so dissatisfied with their situation that they left without having another job lined up.

Poor working conditions have also been cited as a chief motivator. A study conducted by Stanford University found that companies who fostered bad working environments doubled-down on bad decisions that didn't support workers during the pandemic, such as layoffs.

This, in turn, drove out already unhappy staff who survived the sackings, because they could see they were working in unsupportive environments. By contrast, companies that had a good culture and treated employees well tended to retain staff better as a result.

Commenting on the Reddit post, Aekero said it seemed apparent that Brandon's employers had "been able to treat people like garbage in the past" and it was "finally catching up to them."

Jealous-Roof-7578 said the exchange was symptomatic of a wider shift in work culture, noting that people are finally "catching on" to the idea that other things should be more import. "Don't kill yourself for these people," they wrote. "Live free, enjoy the s*** out of life."

Houseofbacon said Brandon had been right to take a stand, explaining that: "If you had let your boundaries be ignored that one time, it would have become permanent."

Others, meanwhile, shared their own experiences of dealing with unreasonable work expectations. "I had a boss tell me I needed to get my shift covered on my mother's funeral or I'd have to work," Carmakazie wrote. "I threw my work apron across the room so quick, he was still peeling it off his face as I was walking out. "

Robinlovesrain commented: "I had a manager that told my co-worker he couldn't have the time off he requested, and that he needed to reschedule his wedding."

Newsweek has contacted frenzzzykid for comment.

Earlier this month, a similar exchange came to light in which a man quit his job after his boss canceled his vacation time and threatened to fire him unless he returned to work, telling the employee he was "replaceable."

A man working at Christmas.
A file photo of a man working in a Christmas jumper - one employee has earned the backing of the internet after refusing to cover shifts over the holiday season. Kerkez/Getty