Work is a contract between employees and employers. The workers offer to do a job for a certain pay, and the employees provide that wage in addition to some benefits to keep the workers happy.
One benefit far too few American employers offer is time off.
People need vacation time. They need to spend time with families, relax, unwind, and enjoy their lives. Employers see time off as a weakness, viewing their workers as personal resources and granting as little free time as possible.
A user of the popular Antiwork subreddit highlighted the struggle when sharing that his boss refused to grant him time off.
Wanting A Week Off
The Original Poster (OP) shared that they requested seven days off for a birthday trip to Europe, but the boss denied them.
“My boss denied my vacation and said I can only go 5 business days because it is unfair to my other co-workers,” they said.
How is it Unfair?
We could maybe understand the boss’s point of view if the company was short staff, had tight deadlines near the scheduled vacation, or was in a demanding industry like healthcare.
However, none of that is the case. OP covered all those basis with their colleagues.
“I also asked everyone else in my office and no one has an issue or is taking time off at that time. I also made a point that we are fully staffed and that I’m going at a time that it’s actually very slow in the office as it was also slow last year,” they reported.
Boss Doesn’t Care
OP’s arguments didn’t sway the stubborn boss.
“My boss threw a whole fit and said that it’s unfair to everyone else for me to take so many days off,” said OP. An argument ensued, and OP told the boss that people take vacations all the time, and often at the same time, so they don’t see how seven days would be a huge impact, especially considering the boss approved the first five days.
“These companies are ridiculous,” stated an exasperated OP.
Time to Job Hop
Users commiserated with OP, saying companies go too far in demanding all people’s time, and OP should jump ship to a job that treats them with respect.
“If they’re being unreasonable, just start looking for a new job and bounce. Loyalty means squat these days,” stated one user.
Or Get Fired…
Others advised OP to go on their trip and deal with the consequences later. What’s the worst the company can do?
“Just go on your trip. Return back when you said you’ll be back. Basically, let them fire you. Collect unemployment,” said one user, showcasing that getting fired wouldn’t be the end of the world.
Europeans who visit the US-skewed sub come to marvel at the horrendous working conditions Americans put up with.
“To be “shook” by someone having the audacity to take two consecutive weeks off to me as a Swede frankly just makes me sad for you guys,” said one, adding that their country mandates a minimum of 25 paid vacation days per year and companies must allow employees to take up to four weeks off at a time.
“It’s sad that most Americans can’t even dream of taking more than a week off consecutively because they are lucky to get one week for the whole year,” added another.
Work Shouldn’t Control Our Lives
Many pointed out the insidious culture where workers have to beg for time off. Our employers don’t own us, we go to work because they pay us, not because we have to. Therefore, we should be able to take time off as needed.
“You’re not ASKING for vacation, you’ve giving NOTICE that you’re taking vacation,” said one user, flipping the script on the common misconception.
“If vacation is considered a benefit and part of the package then they shouldn’t be able to tell you when and if you can take it,” replied another.
US workers need to ditch the toxic work culture and realize life is about more than working. As more employees reject horrible bosses and terrible work-life balance, more companies will catch on and offer better conditions.
A work culture that works for employees will ultimately benefit everyone.