47 Times People Asked For Time Off From Work But Were Met With Awful Ignorance

Paid time off, aka personal time off or PTO, is your right as an employee. Whether you spend your time off holidaying in Bermuda, doing charity work, watching endless reruns of Spongebob Squarepants, getting married, or eating all the ice cream you ever wanted is entirely up to you. However, some bosses and managers are so controlling, so dismissive of their own workers that they start to resemble Saturday morning cartoon villains. For them, PTO is more of a suggestion, not a right.

To show you just how toxic some workplaces can be, we’ve collected some of the most jaw-dropping Reddit stories about employees having their paid time off requests denied. Some even had to deal with scheduling issues when it came to their weddings and honeymoons. It’s unfair. It’s infuriating. It’s something you Pandas might have had to deal with yourselves.

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Scroll down to see just how bizarre some workplaces can be when it comes to dodging the terms employees signed up to. It’s the Twilight Zone of workplace culture, and we’re heading right in: keep on strolling, don’t be tempted by the coffee machine, and ignore all of the ‘RUN!’ signs plastered on the cubicle walls.

A redditor shared how they were (almost) scheduled to work during her wedding, and others began sharing the times that their paid time off requests were denied


My old boss tried to deny leave because I had used a lot of my leave the previous year. I lost both parents and had to deal with the estate and selling the house etc. I apologized to them that my folks had died, and promised that it would never happen again.

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My boss texted me while I was at my mother’s funeral to let me know they ‘really can’t give me any more time off for this’

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I got fired for taking a week for my honeymoon. F**king wish I had just quit and taken two weeks. Would have been so much less stressed.

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Sometimes, a scheduling mistake is exactly what it sounds like—an honest-to-God mistake. But when these mistakes tend to pop up whenever you have something important going on in your life, it might make your Sus-o-meters go haywire and show ‘Max Suspicious.’

Oftentimes, it’s inflexible managers or bosses who don’t see their workers as living, breathing human beings that are the problem. Learning to navigate these sorts of superiors, who relish making your life hell and want to squeeze every little bit of usefulness from you, is a challenge. Usually, it all comes down to what you can stomach: do you want to try and stay and make things better or have you finally had enough and want to move on somewhere else?


I was fired for going to my wedding in 2010. I ended up in the hospital 3 weeks before. Had a positive stress test and they kept me 3 days. All was ok but work said because I missed those days I could only have my wedding day off. Not the week requested. We were traveling 900 miles to the destination and a few days for honeymoon. They sat me down and said I had to work. I told them straight up, I will NOT be here. They tried to get me to quit but I forced them to fire me. I took the unemployment for a year just to spite them. F**k them.

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I started a job right before I got married, entry level work in the dietary department of a hospital. I mostly washed a lot of dishes. Before getting hired, I mentioned I would need quite a few days off due to my wedding, & they said they’d work with me. They didn’t.

I was scheduled to work the night of my reception dinner, & I informed my supervisor of that. She knew this in advance, but for some reason scheduled me anyway. I asked every person there if they’d work for me, & they said no, but they were sure I’d get it off. So I reminded/asked her, & she told me tough luck. I stood there, dumbfounded. Everyone else overheard this, & they, too, we’re in absolute disbelief. Thankfully, one of the ladies offered to work for me, & the supervisor couldn’t say no to that.

The next day I asked to speak privately with my supervisor. She was in the cafeteria with a friend, & told me that anything I needed to say I could tell her out there now. So I politely handed her my two week notice. She tried to keep calm, but she was furious, & her face was beet red. I basically had to come back & work two days after my wedding, & I did.

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My job tried giving me s**t for going to my wife’s funeral…

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Edit: Luckily it was resolved because I work for a major transportation industry job that constantly spouts in about its lgbt support and my relationship was queer and the funeral was during pride month. Basically tell me no and I’ll destroy your reputation via social media.

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Life coach Lindsay Hanson explained to Bored Panda during an earlier interview that we ought to be honest with ourselves about how we truly feel about our work. All of us are responsible for setting the boundaries for what we’re willing to tolerate in all aspects of our life, including at work. And it’s up to us to act when these boundaries are (repeatedly) ignored.

It might seem that you’re alone, but you always have options. You can ask your colleagues for advice. You can talk to the folks working in HR. You also have the option of speaking to your superiors directly. Sure, your direct supervisor might be a jerk who’s making you consider quitting, but their boss might be someone who actually cares. 


My former employer tried to pull this with me.

It was a call center and was notorious for being difficult to get time off. People were pissed and eventually they “caved” and adopted a new PTO system. I knew it was a crock of s**t and in the HR/staff meetings regarding the issue, I puiblically called HR and management out on it. They told me it out be different.

I stood in front of about 40 people and I was like:

“In 12 monts time, I’m taking 2 weeks off, flying home, and getting married. I will not be here for 2 weeks regardless if I have a job or not. I invite every person in this room to check in with me in 12 months time and see the fruits of HR’s labour”

Management was not happy with me and I had a meeting with the center director. Luckily she was one of the few I trust in management. She understood but promised it would be different.

8 months later, I entered my PTO request (we can make a request 4 months in advance). A week later, it was all denied. I went back and forth with management and HR about this. Constant denied PTOs, bulls**t from management, same old s**t. Finally I went to the center director and told her; “This is my wedding date, these are the days I won’t be here, this is the result of numerous PTO requests. My flight leaves in 2 days. Make this work”

She told me she’d take care of it and I got confirmation of my PTO request being aproved 9 hours prior to my flight leaving.

Flew home, got married to the love of my life, visited family, had an amazing time. Came back to the center, stress levels on max right out of the gate. Those f**kers had me as “no call, no show” for the whole 2 weeks I was away. My supervisor had to contact HR every day I was away to remind them.

Anyway, I survived and ended up working with a handfull of others to try and form a union. We got close but the center tied it up with their lawyers and closed the center prior to the union forming.

OP, Get married and enjoy life a little. IF you died today, your workplace would replace you tomorrow. Good luck brother!

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Hey me from 12 years ago! Wedding anniversary is July 23rd. I got hired at this company and let them know months in advance of my wedding. I was a top performer in my department they all loved me, but denied my request for “unpaid time off”.

Kept saying it was non negotiable. I was getting married, period. They kept acting confused, saying things like “who’s getting married? Your brother?”

Ultimately I told them my last day would be the week before my wedding so I could concentrate on that. They tried to get me to stay and I told them, literally just give me off the days I requested and I’ll come right back and keep being the same top performer in the department!


So I had to quit.

It sucked getting married and being unemployed, taking months to find something else. But ultimately I’m glad I left. If they wouldn’t accommodate my marriage they would have sucked for other things too. My career really took off after that company.

Good luck!

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Ooooo I have a similar experience, back when I was about 20ish, my poor dog passed away. I texted and told my manager I won’t be making it in for a couple hours because my dog died in my arms. He proceeded to tell me about how this is highly unprofessional and that I needed to get my priorities straight. I told him to f**k himself and my dog is my priority, and if he didn’t think that was a good priority to f**k himself. When I showed up later at work balling my eyes out all he did was glare at me from his office. When I told the rest of my coworkers what happened they went absolutely ape shit and forced me to go home (“we’ll clock you out in the morning, get out of here and go home”). Last thing I remember was all of my coworkers outside of the managers office going off on the manager (nobody liked him that much lmfao) while I was walking out of the door. It was a great group of people to work with and we were all like family. I hope they’re doing well now.

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“If you feel that there’s nothing you can do to change the situation and the company or people involved are unwilling to change, then you have to decide whether you’re willing to stay in that environment or not. A good question to ask yourself is, even if this toxic situation were to change, would I still want to work here?” life coach Lindsay shared some guiding questions that each employee should ask themselves.

In the expert’s opinion, workers can either try to find some form of happiness or contentment in the position they’re in now, or realize that they have to look for a way out. Nobody should ever feel like they’re imprisoned in the position and company they’re at currently, whether there’s a pandemic raging globally or due to the financial issues we’re seeing right now.


My job tried to write me up for a no call no show when I was on my honeymoon. I don’t work there anymore and life is much better.

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I put my wedding PTO when I worked retail 6 months prior. I kept trying and trying to get confirmation but it was never officially approved. I’m gay and this was before the (now temporary, it seems) Supreme Court ruling, so my now husband and I had to fly to another state. A couple of weeks before our wedding, my time was denied; at this point everything had been paid for, flights had been booked, hotels and the like. My manager at the time basically was like “too bad you gotta work.” I had set up a meeting between my manager, our district manager and myself and just told them “listen, this is a retail job. I am leaving to get married. At this point, it’s not a matter of whether or not I’m going; it’s a matter of whether I will have a job when I get back. Figure it out.”

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This is like when I worked at a major chain grocery store and they “declined” my time off for the last 2 days a 5-day trip.

I found out when I had already left.

Called the store and told my boss “I’ve already left, we drove, it’s not my car and so I couldn’t come back early even if I wanted to. This wasn’t a request, it was a courtesy so you had time to schedule someone else. Good luck getting that staffed tomorrow.”

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There will always be companies hiring, there are always ways to make money on your own. It’s important to let go of the notion that you’re stuck and that you can’t change your situation.

“You can do everything in your power to bring attention to the toxic situation and attempt to change it. And at the end of the day, you always have control over your own mindset, how you’re reacting to the situation, and how much you let it affect you,” Lindsay told Bored Panda.


I remember I had family coming into town, and at the time I lived near Disney world so obviously any family coming in town wanted to go. I put the whopping TWO DAYS of PTO in 3 months in advance and they approved it. They had two people quit the week before my dates and let me know they’d be rejecting my PTO.

I tried to reason with them that 1. Id purchased tickets and 2. Planned it in advance and did everything I was supposed to do. No dice, manager was sorry but they needed me. “No. I don’t think you understand. Im letting you know that I’m going… so all you did was force me to take an attendance point.” My manager was flabbergasted I was just still planning on going.

My PTO requests in advance are not an ask. They’re a tell.

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My boyfriend’s job tried to recall him in the middle of our vacation. He was a groomsman in his best friend’s wedding and they called him the day of. They eventually gave in and “let” us stay. Then they promptly fired him for “insubordination” when we returned.

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20 years ago, I was a consultant at Deloitte and I took a week off for my brother’s visit to America. I have been looking forward to our time together and we had several plans in place. My boss called me in the middle of the week and asked me to fly to Canada for a pre-sales presentation prep and it can’t be done without me. I told him I can’t, and he said think about it and call me again in two hours. I didn’t and he called me sharp after two hours and again asked me to cancel my PTO in the middle of it. I told him no can do.

When I got back, our MD called me and told me I am let go. The best thing to happen to me. I joined a biotech company whose stock exploded a couple of years after I joined and now I am a Sr. Director making over a half a mil a year and have had great work life balance ever since I quit Deloitte.

So, leaving the bastards who want you to prioritize dumb shit over important aspects of your life is the best thing that can happen to you.

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Meanwhile, Eddy Ng, the Associate Professor & Smith Professor of Equity & Inclusion at Queen’s University, stressed to Bored Panda that if one’s manager and HR don’t react to repeated complaints about a toxic workplace, it’s an indication that it’s best to switch employers.

However, there’s a flip side, too. “If management makes an effort for change, then it would be an opportunity to assist with that change,” he said that if the workplace makes genuine attempts to change things for the better, it’s a sign that the employer is listening to feedback.


I was hired for a new position that was absolutely desperate for staff (manager even told me this in the interview). Before saying yes, I asked the manager if I could have the week of and the week after my wedding off for wedding and honeymoon. She said no. I declined the position. Ended up getting to go back and work there as a travel nurse after my wedding and honeymoon were all done. This was even for about 4 times the pay and only temporary staffing help. Now they’re even more desperate for staff but I got to work my 5+ months and then leave. So glad I didn’t stay as staff.

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When my daughter was in high school, she worked for Safeway and she asked for a day off for her best friend’s (now her husband) mom’s funeral. Her friends mom had died very unexpectedly.

They told her “You have to ask for PTO seven days in advance”. She said “But she wasn’t dead then!” They gave her the day.

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A friend of mine booked off for her destination wedding 1 full year in advance. The month before she was to go they told her she could not. She said fine, I won’t take it as paid time off but I can’t come in as I won’t be in the country. They said her not being there would put them in a huge bind and they could not afford to not have her there so she would just have to come in to work. She went top her wedding anyways of course. When she came back she was brought in for a meeting with all the higher ups about her disciplinary action. Her punishment for taking 2 weeks off to get married and leaving her team high and dry without her was… get this… a 2 week suspension!!! The irony!

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Yeah, my daughter was refused Her week of bereavement leave for her grandfather. She quit.

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My grandmother, who practically raised me, passed away unexpectedly. The funeral was set for Easter weekend (just a few days after her passing). I worked at a chocolate store and Easter was one of the busiest times of the year. My boss asked me to come into work after her funeral…

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I just lost a great employee because my DM rejected the time off I submitted for her for literally no good reason at all. I had coverage for her shifts. It was no problem at all to accommodate her. DM declined it just because she could.

I warned her this employee would likely resign, as she doesn’t need this job – she works because she wants to.

When she did quit, DM did some serious mental gymnastics trying to craft reasons it was MY fault we lost her.

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When I was getting married , I told my boss that I needed that week off.

” I don’t know if we can give you that time off. There are already a bunch booked off that week.”

” Bring a camera to work that Monday and take a picture. Let me know if there’s a surprised look on your face, ‘ cause I won’t be here. “

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I had this situation for my honeymoon. I told them I had plane tickets set and everything. They tried to tell me that I should only buy tickets after being granted that time. There were absolutely no reason for them to deny it besides having a low pool to pick from which isn’t my problem. I gave proper of time ahead and followed all the rules and then not being able to retain people is not my problem.

So it came down to that they can grant it or I won’t be returning after my honeymoon. So they granted it.

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I got written up for not attending the Christmas party over our days off, I had the flu. When I asked the ceo why she wrote me up she said, the rules do not give anyone a reason to miss the Christmas party. I asked her what if I died, she said, well, the rule says you have to attend or you get written up. This was a non profit to help me dv victims and provide mental health treatment to those in Los Angeles. A few weeks later she fired an intern for getting pregnant. The intern sued and rightfully won.

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I remember one time, I had put in for some vacation days. Handed the paper to the supervisor, and he immediately tried to deny it. He said he had too many people off that week and my request was denied. I told him straight up, “I wasn’t requesting, I was informing you that I will not be here those days.”

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I started a job at Pepsi a month before my wedding and they initially denied it. After 3 voicemails and confronting my new boss about it he “forgot.” Convenient.


Had a very similar thing happen when I was in vocational school. Gave them 6 months notice but they decided it wasn’t responsible to take a Friday off to prepare for my wedding on Saturday. So I told them to fuck off and left. Best decision I ever made.


I asked for 5 days off for my wedding (20+) years ago. I worked for a super shitty place. They said I could have 2. Took 2 and called in sick the other 3. Zero repercussions. Fuck them.

Most places should know how expensive it is to replace you.


A few years I worked part-time and was unavailable certain days/times for college classes. I tried my best to give them the most availability I could, like if I had morning classes I’d still put I was available for the evening and vice versa. There was a single day a week that I had a bulk of my classes so that was the only day I put I was fully unavailable.

I go in one day to see they wrote me in on the schedule for my one unavailable day… during finals week. I told my manager I couldn’t come in and she told me to make it work. No, she needed to make it work. If she didn’t find someone else there wouldn’t be anyone covering, and that’s not my problem. She threatened to fire me, but I was a college kid living at home. I didn’t have any bills besides my car and I was damn good at my job, so they needed me more than I needed them. I told her if the job interfered with school I’d quit.

Magically she found someone else to cover and got pissed at me for “threatening” her with quitting. I told her it’s not a threat, it’s a statement. If she was going to force me to choose between work and school I would choose school.

I’m so f**king glad to be done with customer service.

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Back in 2012, I decided to take my entire family on the first vacation we had ever had.

My wife and I worked at the same company, her Frontline me a little further up the ladder.

The management learned not to mess with any of my requests for anything, I was not afraid to go screaming up the ladder all the way to corporate if necessary

As we reported to 2 different management chains, her request for the time off was immediately and completely denied. She was told that there was absolutely no availability.

I stepped in, contacted hr, my management, and the highest site management noting I would go beyond if needed. I advised that we were both taking that time off and that the denial had better be reversed. Also that I wouldcnot be checking any further.

We went on that vacation as we decided.

Not a word was said by anybody in the company.


I worked for a company that would routinely deny PTP or vacation time and valued the workers who never got sick, never took any time and work themselves to death. I worked 5 years without taking a single day off and often slept at the office since I had a long commute. Finally got physically sick of that place and left. There was no concept of work life balance, the more you worked the other managers would compare who worked more…stupid looking back now. Owners would take their entire family many sales and office personnel for a 2-3 week all inclusive paid for flights included to their beach house in Hawaii for the winter holidays. All us peons had denied time during that month since “no one is available to cover “ wonder why. Luckily I WFH now making 50K more than that place. Work life balance is an amazing quality I’ll never give up again.

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I have a friend her principal told her to go to a Dept mtg with the District on the 1 yr anniversary of her son’s suicide. F**king ridiculous

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I was a teacher and there was a policy against taking pto the day before or after vacation.

In September I said I was taking a Friday in April. It was the Friday before vacation. Principal said he couldn’t approve it. I said “well I’m not going to be here so do what you have to do.”

I wasn’t there. He never mentioned it.


Same thing happened to me. Put in PTO at the beginning of the year for my sons first birthday next month and it was just declined due to staffing issues. I’ve been at my job for 1.5 years and never requested any other time off. Looks like I’m going to be sick that day

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This happened to me too years ago. I submitted my two weeks notice to HR directly referencing the decline of PTO to get married. The PTO was suddenly approved, oversights happen don’t ya know?, and I stayed working until I found a job that didn’t have so many oversights.


Had the same thing happened. Two weeks ahead of time, let the owner and scheduling know I would not be available for my daughter’s birthday. The day of, owner called me and asked why I wasn’t there. I replied, “Two weeks ago, I let you know today’s my daughter’s birthday and I wouldn’t be available for scheduling.” He replied, “You told me, you didn’t ask.” That was the end of the working relationship.


My former employer tried that with me. I had to let them know the time off isn’t a request, Its a courtesy notification of the days my labor is not for sale. I took the time off, came back to work afterwards and it was never mentioned again


Mine was rejected when I got married the first time. Simply told them that I wasn’t asking for permission. I was giving them a heads-up that there would only be one person on my unit those days unless they filled those spots. Didn’t hear another thing from them.


I got married earlier this year and requested the weekend of my wedding off because we were doing mandatory 8 hrs OT on Saturdays. I was told I could take Saturday off but still had to make up the OT somewhere. I quit that place as soon as I got my yearly bonus in the bank.


I had a similar experience at my job, my wife was pregnant. Now how many months does one know that at some point there will be time off needed? Oh about 8 to 9 months, not to mention i was talking about it for the entire 9 months and everyone in the whole building knew. Leading up to the day she was scheduled to be induced my boss told me he had had no idea i asked for time off and was super surprised


i sent my manager a message saying i cant make it in and to put time in for me. his reply- ‘why not?’ i ignored it and sent the same message to one of the other, more experienced managers and got a near immediate ‘ok’. the next day i went in, the first manager came up to me in person and asked again why i wasnt in that one day, plus he gave me a hard time for ignoring his message. i called hr about that, and sent a screenshot of the initial text conversation. i guess he got it good because he hasnt been making much eye contact with me since then.


Ooof, this reminded me of when I asked my boss if it was okay with her that I take time off over Christmas to get married (wedding took place about a week before, and that was the only time to be able to get our families who live all over the US together in one place) and she told me “no it’s not okay with me but you’re getting married anyways so what am I going to do about it?”

This was after I had told her multiple times about the window we were thinking for the wedding and requested the time off several months in advance. I had even verbally extended an invitation and had one printed out for her. Anyways after that conversation her invitation went in the extras pile and I didn’t tell her any more details about the wedding, which was great.


I took a month off for my wedding and when I told the boss I was taking a month off he started saying he wasn’t sure that would be possible…

Oh your mistaken sir, I won’t be here that month. It’s no longer my problem. Let me know if you want me to come in when I get back.

Image credits: junkdumper


Same thing happened to my sister in law. She was working at Target at the time. When they denied her request she was like, “well I’m not going to be here so you can either work around my schedule or go through the pain of trying to replace me.” Thankfully they made it work.


My old company tried to do the same thing to me. I told them they might as well approve it because I was going anyways, and if I had to take it unpaid despite having earned PTO, I’d be looking for a new job.


I always think of my old manager at Applebees who tried to keep one of the managers on the day they were getting married. It’s because he had plans to go out of town. Don’t worry, the staff revolted and he ended up postponing his plans like a caring person would. I recall he was just going to go fishing, like he did once a month and he could easily move it to the following weekend but he just wanted to be a little controlling bitch.


I like when you request time off and the boss tells you to find someone to take your place that day. It’s like, that’s your job, not mine.
Source: boredpanda.com

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