Companies have no chill. They absolutely hate it when their employees behave like real people, expecting to enjoy things like earned time off.
One company went so far as to threaten to fire a long-term employee for daring to enjoy his pre-approved vacation.
HVAC Workers Need Time Off Too
The Original Poster (OP) shared the tale on behalf of her husband, an HVAC employee who worked for the same company for over 15 years.
Each year, he took the week of Labor Day off work to prepare the house and family for fall and winter.
Unfortunately, the company OP’s husband grew with was recently bought out by a national mega-corporation, which changed the rules regarding vacation time.
He no longer receives bonuses; his five weeks of paid time off dwindled to two, and his 15 years mean nothing.
Still Taking Off Labor Day
Despite the horrific changes, OP’s husband stayed, using one of his paltry two weeks of vacation to enjoy his traditional Labor Day Holiday.
Company Calls His Emergency Contact
Unfortunately, Labor Day demand soared for the company due to a chronic heat wave. We don’t know how many employees they lost over their policy changes, but we do know they wanted to overwork the good employees who stayed.
They didn’t have enough staff to cover the demand, so they frantically called OP’s husband to convince him to come to work. He turned his work phone off while on vacation to avoid these disruptions, so they decided to call his emergency contact instead, OP.
He Refuses To Go In
They finally got ahold of him through OP and demanded he cut his vacation short and come in to help.
“He told them he was away on vacation and would be happy to report to work on Monday,” shared OP.
The Company Threatens To Fire Him
Unable to fathom that an employee would dare say no to their ridiculous demands, the company upped the ante and threatened to fire him if he didn’t return to work immediately.
“He was told if he did not come in, then it would be assumed he refused work, he would face disciplinary action, possibly termination,” she shared.
OP and Husband Scrambling
The husband didn’t want to lose his job, and they can’t afford for him to retire yet. They believe he has enough experience to find another job but can’t believe the company he worked with for 15 years would treat him so poorly.
What Does Emergency Contact Even Mean?
Many Reddit users were shocked at the company’s gross abuse of the emergency contact system. Emergency contacts at work are for the employee, not the employer.
The sole reason for having an emergency contact is so the boss has someone to contact if something should happen to the employee while working. It’s not a bonus number for calling an employee into work.
Two Week Vacation
Having only two weeks off yearly after 15 years of service is ridiculous, but not by most American standards.
No law or regulation anywhere forces companies to give employees paid vacation time, and two weeks is about average for most Americans.
That doesn’t mean we have to like it, though.
He Should Start His Own Company
Others advised OP that her husband should start his own company. The demand for HVAC workers is through the roof, and he obviously has the technical skills to do the work.
He could be his own boss, take whatever time off he wanted, and never have to worry about toxic bosses again while likely working less than he does now and earning more.
Mega Corporations Destroying Every Industry
Redditors from all industries chimed in to describe similar happenings in their world. Conglomerates are buying mom-and-pop shops across the board, slashing pay and benefits, and making life worse for their employees, all in search of greater profits for their shareholders.
Every industry has felt the dark touch of these megacorps, from HVAC to veterinary medicine, retail to toxic waste cleanup.
The small businesses that were the backbone of the American middle class are swiftly becoming replaced by giant monopolies, and soon, workers won’t have any options for better work-life balance.