“No one wants to work anymore,” employers cry out in agony. At first glance, you feel for them. Their businesses suffer because they can’t find workers.
However, when you dig a little deeper, you find that the ones who shout loudest about no one wanting to work treat employees the worst.
One young worker came to Reddit seeking advice after their boss denied vacation time.
Boss Denies Vacation to Minor
The Original Poster (OP) said they’re a minor working their first job. Their family planned a vacation and asked their boss for the time off.
“They denied multiple requests (first request came with 1 months notice) for only 4 days off,” shared the young worker.
A Symptom of Toxic Work Culture
One of the biggest lies corporations sell us is that they own our time if we work for them. Unless someone works in an essential field, like healthcare or defense, they should be able to take time off whenever they choose.
A retail store, restaurant, and even most offices can manage with a few employees out for a few days.
Unfortunately, managers can’t stand it when they have to step up and help the team, so rather than do the work themselves, they tell employees they can’t take time off.
The fact that this manager thought they could control a minor’s life highlights how pervasive the attitude has become.
What Should I Do?
OP came to the popular Reddit community, Antiwork, renowned for its hard stance against toxic work culture and support of employee’s rights seeking guidance for what to do in the situation.
As a regular community user, OP already took skipping the vacation off the table but wasn’t sure if they should quit or just go on the vacation and get fired.
Community members were outraged on OP’s behalf but not shocked. They offered various great pieces of advice to help them decide how to move forward.
The Job Means Nothing
The top comment reminded OP that the job doesn’t mean anything.
“This job means absolutely nothing in the long run. Spend time with your family,” they said.
Don’t Ask, Tell
The community advised OP not to quit. Instead, they should reframe their time off “request.” They aren’t asking for time off; they’re informing their employer that they will be unavailable for those days.
“Come back to work on the date you told your boss you’d be back. If you discover you have been fired, you have documentation that you did not quit the job willingly and had plans to return, which may allow you to apply for unemployment,” advised one user.
Real Life is More Important
Most users said it’s valuable for OP to learn now that real life is far more important than a job. Many wished they had taken more time off when young for family vacations and once-in-a-lifetime experiences.
“I missed so many cultural touchstones as a teen because I had to work. Grown me wishes I had seen Lilith Fair or the OG Lollapalooza instead of working some lame food service or retail counter,” said one user.
“Not to sound grim, but you never know when your family vacation will be your last family vacation, replied another. “Definitely prioritize that over your dime a dozen cashier job.”
Learn it Now!
Companies want people to think their job is the most important thing on the planet. It starts with these first jobs, where low-level managers believe they control their employees and permeates every position throughout our lives.
Workers are finally wising up to the insidious arrangement, but many wish they’d learned the lesson when they were OP’s age.
“Better to adopt this mentality now, when you’re young. You don’t ask for time off; you inform them of your availability. Similarly, you don’t find cover for your shift if you’re calling out sick, scheduling cover for vacation and sick days is what management gets paid more than you to do,” said one user.
Employment is not indentured servitude. It’s a contract where you agree to do a particular job, and they agree to pay you for it. They don’t own your life or your free time.
Melanie launched Partners in Fire in 2017 to document her quest for financial independence with a mix of finance, fun, and solving the world’s problems. She’s self educated in personal finance and passionate about fighting systematic problems that prevent others from achieving their own financial goals. She also loves travel, anthropology, gaming and her cats.