Home Travel That’s What Happens When Bosses Bother Vacationing Employees

That’s What Happens When Bosses Bother Vacationing Employees

by SharonKurheg


Reddit is an American social news aggregator, web content rating, and discussion website. It was established in 2005. It’s a huge community, with over 430 million monthly active members. Registered members can submit content to the site, including links, text posts, and images, which other members then vote up or down.

Reddit has over 100,000 active communities, one of which is called AITA. The initials represent the term, “Am I The A-Hole.” The community is defined as, “A catharsis for the frustrated moral philosopher in all of us, and a place to finally find out if you were wrong in an argument that’s been bothering you. Tell us about any non-violent conflict you have experienced; give us both sides of the story, and find out if you’re right, or you’re the a-hole.” It’s kind of like a “jury of your peers” sort of thing.

We’ve mentioned other situations from AITA in the past:

This latest one I found is something I bet someone of us may have dealt with at one time or another. You can click here to read it all (heads up here may be adult language in the original post).

AITA-For ignoring my boss and blocking his number on my vacation

My boyfriend (29 m) and I (26 f) are currently long-distance. We take turns visiting each other. He came to see me after almost two months of not seeing each other. We finally were to make plans. I requested to have five days off was approved from my job. I’ve worked there for six years.

It was after my shift, and I was heading out quickly. I had to pick my bf up from the airport. I clocked out, and while I was saying bye to everyone. My new boss of 2 weeks stopped me, and he asked if I could cover a shift. Since one of my co-workers called in sick. We’re short-staffed, and he needs me to stay for a couple hours more. I had a 10-hour shift. I was exhausted.

I responded no. I’m sorry, but I’m unable to, and I can’t stay late. I have covered it before in the past. I don’t mind, but I had somewhere to be. I mentioned I was picking up someone at the airport. He told me they could take an Uber. My boyfriend wouldn’t be happy with me if I did with him. Also he has no key to my apartment.

No one else wanted to stay, and I was the third person he asked to that said no. I said sorry, I can’t just tonight, another time.

He called me a lousy worker, and I’m not a team player. I said, guess I’m not a team player and I walked passed him. I called out. I’ll see him in five days. While driving to the airport, I kept getting calls and texts from him; it got so bad that I had to pull over to turn off my phone. My boss wanted to come back to work.

I had to turn on my phone, so my boyfriend could contact me. My phone was flooded with text messages. Ding after ding I think I got close to 15 texts. I blocked his number.

I was so happy to see my bf. I was getting emails from my boss constantly when I was supposed to be my time off. I didn’t respond to and I rarely take vacation. One, he was asking me stuff that I didn’t know the answer to. Second, even if I did, I’m not telling him. I don’t know; I was starting to get petty.

I still had fun with my boyfriend. When I went to work, my boss called into his office. He blew up at me for being unprofessional, and he’s still new to this job. I should’ve helped or at least replied to the emails. I responded other people could’ve helped him. It’s not my responsibility when it’s my vacation time. I got my first write-up ever.

Is this something I’m missing? Did I do something inherently wrong here? I’m actually considering to report him. He is still new to his job. Am I the a-hole?

Edit: I’m Canadian. I live in BC.

The responses let her know that she was NTA (Not The A-Hole). Here’s what a bunch of people said (posts only edited for clarity, brevity and adult language):

  • NTA. You need to elevate this to HR. Your boss doesn’t get to impede on your vacation time. Unless your contract states that you have to be available 24/7, he crossed major lines and needs to be held accountable for it. – NUT-me-SHELL
  • Yup- definitely report to HR in WRITING and show all texts and emails. Hold onto that info for the labor dept just in case you get fired. (Blind cc yourself and convert to PDF)
    You may want to start looking for a new position if he’s still your boss 1. He will turn it into a toxic work environment and 2. You will be replaced once he no longer needs you, someone that unprofessional will hold a grudge. – Important-Pair-3553
  • OP if you are in Ontario there is fairly recent legislation that just went into effect regarding this exact situation called RIGHT-TO-DISCONNECT. – Dinkster-Ringer
  • Before you go to HR, make sure that you are fully prepared and have a decent understanding of your rights and responsibilities as well as those of your boss by posting about this in r/legaladvicecanada.
    Make sure to state which province you are in so that they can give you advice specific to your location.
    I’ve only just started reading the thread so I haven’t yet seen if you’ve mentioned the type of work you do and perhaps shifts that extend beyond 8 hrs are normal in your industry/field?
    But to me, your boss was seriously taking the p**s by asking you to stay and work another 2+ hours when you’d already worked at least ten!
    The only one showing unprofessional behaviour here is your new boss. Not just unprofessional but incompetent too.
    1. Not already having sufficient staff employed to be able to handle situations like this – people call in sick regularly in the workplace, it’s his job to manage that when it happens
    2. Creating and implementing a rota that has staff stretched so thinly that they need to work shifts longer than 8 hours per day
    3. That the same rota is also stretched so thinly that it collapses the moment that a member of staff cannot work their planned shift, for whatever reason
    4. Bullying and harrassing you to work as cover, after having already worked 10 hrs, including trying to interfere with your private life outside of work – he should never have put you on the spot and made you feel as if you had to justify your prearranged plans. From the very start, a simple ‘Sorry, no, I’m busy tonight.’ should have sufficed.
    5. Then further harrassing you with calls and messages to the extent that you had to block him, disrupting your private time away from work and also your time to rest and relax.
    6. His reaction on your return was completely inappropriate and retaliatory. You did absolutely nothing wrong. That write-up was completely unjustified.
    Everything about this smacks of a new manager who’s been inadequately trained and/or promoted above their abilities and/or someone who is trying to make his mark by really stamping down, lashing out and just generally coming in hard. He’s trying to compensate for his lack of management skills by being over-authoritative.
    You see this a lot in retail and fast food and other similar industries where low level managers/supervisors are promoted up from the ‘floor’.
    Good luck, OP! – EmmaInFrance (Note from Sharon: Dang, I want to work for HER!)
  • If you are in Ontario, I’m pretty sure it’s literally illegal now for your employer to contact you about anything more than “hey can you work today”. And aside from that, he’s harassing you. Contact HR, but if they don’t do something in a couple of weeks(depending on the size of the company, smaller company=less time to wait) go to the labour board, they aren’t too fond of employers doing this kind of stuff, especially when it’s via a personal device and while on approved time off. – Tushfeathers
  • Also, if you are in a union, please talk with your representative. – Elinesvendsen
  • What he did is unethical. He is a lousy boss with incredibly poor boundaries. Get yourself straight to HR and report him for harassing you on your vacation time. I would also formally request that time off be re-allocated to you as you had to spend it worrying about your boss’s reaction.
    In the US what he did would be a violation of labor law. Because he wrote you up for essentially taking your earned vacation, that would be considered workplace retaliation.
    You really do need to report him. I guarantee you’re not the only one he’s doing this to, and it will only get worse. – pieridaered
  • If you were the third person to say no to taking over that shift, what did he do to the first two who said no? Did he harrass them too? Did he only do it to you because he knows that you ARE a team player and more likely to cave? Either way he’s an ass, but it might be interesting to know which kind of ass you’re dealing with. – Quadrantje
  • NTA. Report that behavior and I hope you kept the texts, emails and call logs as proof. Many companies are very strict that you do not work off the clock. Even if it were PTO (you didn’t specify but I wanted you to know it’s even in that case.) That behavior was harassment and you should not have been retaliated against with a write up. – ItsOmNominous
  • NTA. Contact the Labour Board, that write-up is not okay. Also, tell your manager you’re doing so as you’re worried that the excessive amount of contact outside of work hours without compensation might be ‘contractually tenuous’ and you want to make sure everything is legally sound in terms of Canadian employment law. https://www.canada.ca/en/employment-social-development/services/labour-contact.html – Throwjob42

You get the point.

The OP did add a few additions, later on:

Update: I just sent an email to my HR with all the emails texts call logs. And any other evidence I have. My job isn’t like on call.So I don’t understand why he was bothering me he is my age roughly. On a happier note me and my boyfriend are planning to move in together


I’m a security guard at a departmental store. I like my job. HR Is setting a meeting up for tomorrow with me and my boss. My boss Tried asking me out in his first week of working But I told him down (nicely).


Thank you for everyone’s support. When I posted this I thought I was being a little dramatic. I’m glad I’m not the crazy one. I decided that I’m gonna look for a new job. I still wanna do security work but I’m just gonna move on. Don’t worry I’m still going to complain about my boss And report him.

Final update.

I prefer not go into much detail but my boss’s boss (how I knew for very time) took my side and my new boss is now my old boss.

So it was a happy ending. Well, at least for the OP. For the former boss? Probably not so much.

I think everyone has had a boss at some point who overstepped boundaries in terms of asking people to work during their non-working hours or even full vacation or PTO time. True, for some occupations, especially nowadays when there aren’t enough workers out there, asking employees to work more than their weekly approved hours is almost a given in some industries. But if someone has a scheduled vacation, they’re asked to work anyway, and when told no, they STILL keep harassing the person? Even going as far as to write them up when they get back from vacation? No. Just…no.

This particular instance struck a chord with me because, years ago, I had a boss who WOULD NOT leave me alone when I was on vacation. Mine was an unusual job where working hours were relatively open ended, and I was in a position where I understood I might be needed while I was out of town. Call it an occupational hazard ;-). So when I was gone for long weekends (a lot of the getaways Joe and I take are only 3, 4 or 5 days long), I wouldn’t necessarily be tied to my phone/computer the whole trip, but it wasn’t unusual for me to put in an hour or two of work each day during my so-called “time off.” It wasn’t a huge deal for me; it was what it was.

But my boss and I had an agreement that for one (usually) week-long vacation per year, I planned to officially “clock out,” and told them as much – don’t call me, don’t text me, don’t contact me, I’m ON VACATION.

And oh, I PLANNED for this time off. I’m a very detail oriented person, and I did lots of stuff ahead of time so there would be nothing typically on my plate that others either couldn’t, or wouldn’t have to handle. One particular year, I also made sure everything was all ready for an annual “big thing” that was going to happen the day I got back to work. My boss was a notorious micromanager, so I made sure they knew everything that was going on, as well as what all my plans were for the “big thing” when I got back. Their response was that I had done a great job with all that planning and that they “trusted me.”

So what happened? My boss texted me in the middle of my vacation – at 6am, no less (I was far away from home and there was a 3-hour time difference) – and said they decided to start the “big thing” that day, instead of waiting until I got back on Monday. I swear, smoke was coming out of my ears, I was so livid. From a work perspective, there were a million reasons why starting it early, and not waiting until I got back, was a REALLY BAD IDEA.  But on a personal level? That’s when I fully realized, despite their lip service, how little my boss respected me, my work and my personal time.

I quit a few weeks later. It wasn’t the only reason for my leaving, not by a long shot; the possibility had been simmering for a long time. But it was the catalyst for my deciding I was “done.”

So yeah – the story of the worker from Canada really brought me back. Both of us had happy endings to our respective stories – it sounds as if she got a much better boss, and my departure eventually led me to becoming a travel blogger, which I find much more satisfying on several levels (including having a boss who rocks) ;-).

(Note from Joe: FWIW, I know that in this instance, Sharon was NTA)

How about you? Did you ever have a boss who wanted you to work during your vacation time?

Feature Photo: Pexels

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Brian L. July 6, 2022 - 12:06 am

At my last job, my CEO asked me to be available on a weekend to help him with personal stuff. He got pissed when I said no. Also overheard one of my coworkers saying said CEO made him work on Christmas one year. Had another one of my bosses at this job tell me it was a problem if I wanted to take an uninterrupted lunch break.

Donald July 6, 2022 - 2:43 pm

Never had a boss like that. Just ones who were jerks when they had their boring meeting if you didn’t have a question would try to embarrass you. That from one who had an affair and his wife left him. Another who ate herself into oblivion.


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