my boss revoked my vacation time — while I was on vacation

A reader writes:

I requested for paid time-off for a vacation four months ahead of time. My boss agreed to let me take the three weeks that I had requested. One week and 2 days into my vacation time, I got a voicemail message from her stating that she wanted me to come back to work a week early because we were short-staffed.

I feel that it’s wrong of her to do this to me since I worked hard the four months before my vacation time, and during those 4 months another employee was on vacation for 3 weeks as well. And a lot of times we were short-staffed where there were only 2 or 3 employees working but we just did the best we could. So I don’t see how she has the right to tell me to come back to work early when she had already agreed to give me the time off.

She has the legal right to do it, but not the ethical/practical right.

She agreed to let you take the time off, and you made plans accordingly. If she was truly desperate for some reason — meaning in a really dire situation, like one where the company’s survival depended on having you come back early — she could ask you to cut your vacation short and return, but this would be a request, not a command, and it should be delivered with abject mortification and apologies.

Also, her behavior here basically guarantees that anyone who works for her will from now on be unreachable on vacation, so that they don’t have to deal with this possibility.

And she clearly has no understanding of how to treat people or how to manage when they’re away, and I’d bet that this isn’t the only way in which she sucks as a manager.

Anyway, as for your choices in this situation, you’ve got the following options:

1. Pretend you didn’t hear the message until you were already back. Because she’s clearly unreasonable, this option (while completely reasonable) risks angering her. You know her better than I do, so you’ll need to judge what her reaction would likely be, and how much that matters.

2. Tell her that you’re unable to return early because you’re out-of-town with various nonrefundable travel and lodging arrangements already made. Same caveat here as for #1.

3. Return early. I hope you won’t do this, but if you think she’s unreasonable enough to jeopardize your job if you don’t, you’ll need to weigh that against everything else.

No matter which option you take, at some point after you’re back you should talk with her about how vacation time will work in the future, and the fact that once it’s approved — and especially after you’ve already started it — you’re assuming that time is inviolable.

And before all future vacations, let your colleagues know that you won’t have access to a phone or email and can’t be reached.

{ 55 comments… read them below }

  1. Kat*

    I agree and I’d definitely go with option 2. Even if I was in town, sitting on my couch eating Pinkberry Ice Cream and watching reality shows, I would still tell her # 2 because if I were to come back and that little emergency was only a few hours of time, I would be doubly PO’d.

  2. Malissa*

    This reminds me of the time my boss called me to think about something on my day off. Not come in to fix a problem, just to think about something. This something was nothing important, and he could have had his question answered by talking to a coworker. I ended up reading him the riot act for that piece of stupidity. I think I earned just a bit more respect from him that day for standing up to him. 2 years later and we’re good and he doesn’t call me at home for trivial stuff.

    1. Ask a Manager* Post author

      I once ripped into someone for doing something similar to me one too many times. It took me days to get to the point where I wasn’t thinking about work at all — and all it takes is one phone call to pull you back in. When you’re trying to relax, that’s infuriating.

      1. Jamie*

        What are these jobs you speak of, where you’re allowed to think of other things? :)

        Just kidding – I’m punchy because I just passed into hour 70 for the week and I am leaving now.

        Great advice though – set boundaries and set them early. It’s a very different conversation trying to scale back to normal a couple of years in.

      2. Coree*

        I’ve done the same. I was working 12 hour days and got a call because my boss had gotten an inquiry from her boss and wanted to pass the buck. I reacted really strongly and said, “unless someone is dying or the building is on fire, you are not to call me at home!”

        We were friends so social calls were pretty common but she would always preface it with “It’s not about work!” If it is an emergency, fine but don’t call me about things that I can’t solve right now.

      3. Joe*

        This is one of the ways I’ve always considered myself particularly fortunate. I’m very good at switching off. When I leave the office, even just for the evening or a weekend, unless there’s something unusually attention-grabbing going on at the moment, I can put work out of my mind easily, and focus on whatever other fun I’m having. And on vacation, it’s the easiest thing to not think about work at all. My division between work and the rest of my life is important to me, and is a division I’m regularly able to maintain. (Even when I’m doing things outside the office with friends from work…)

    2. Charles*

      Yes, that reminds me of the former employer (I only stayed about a month) who called several of us employees on Christmas (a legal holiday in the US) to ask trivial things about work; because he felt that Christmas was a religious holiday and that the government had no business telling him or anyone else that it SHOULD be a holiday; especially since he did no observe it.

      Stupid is as stupid does!

  3. GeekChic*

    Ick. I don’t check voice mail or email while on vacation for this reason (and also because it’s a vacation).

    I had one boss who tried something similar on me and wasn’t thrilled about the fact that I didn’t check my voice mail when I was away. My response: “What is my on-call rate of pay going to be – since you’re expecting me to essentially be on call?” He dropped the subject…..

  4. Adam V*

    I can guarantee that in this situation, I wouldn’t go back to work without having updated my resume and notified my network that I would be on the market shortly.

    As far as the available options… I’d love to do #1 and just ignore it until I was back, but more than likely I’d take #2 and call and tell them that this was unacceptable, and that I wouldn’t be returning early without some serious consideration – something along the lines of “company reimburses me for the return flights I already paid for, pays for the flight + first class upgrades for the trip back, gives me an additional 2 weeks of vacation for the 1 week that I didn’t get to use”. These are all negotiable, but the company has to give me *something* to make up for the fact that they’ve become completely untrustworthy when it comes to vacations. And if they don’t agree to anything, then I’ll be perfectly happy to say “then I’ll stick with our original agreement, which was that I’ll be out of the office for the next week.”

  5. Mike C.*

    This infuriates me to no end!

    Paid time off is earned compensation and should be treated as such! My boss doesn’t get to take money out of my bank account after a paycheck has been deposited nor does he get to take back prescription drugs after they’ve been dispensed under the company health plan.

    Also, what is it that the OP does that means s/he cannot leave for three weeks after four months of notice? What is the big emergency that cannot wait a week? Even the President of the United States has a back up in case the worst happens, so if we can come up with contingency plans for the leader of a world power, we can certainly come up with contingency plans for just about everyone else.

    Has your manager ever heard of cross-training? Does your manager understand the effects of time off on productivity and health? Or is this just another case of someone else’s procrastination attempting to become your emergency?

    Look, unless your job is for transplanting organs or hostage negotiations, work can and work will wait. It’s simply not as important as taking care of yourself and your family, and part of that means taking time away from work. If you go back, then you are giving your boss permission to screw you over for any other vacation you take, as well as your coworkers.

    Don’t be a doormat, ignore work until your time back. Simply say you had no idea and if it’s made clear to you that you were “on call”, then look into labor laws regarding that time, because you need to be paid for that.

    1. L*

      I agree. This is absolutely horrible to me, as it is just another example of how employers mistreat and abuse their staff. The OP gave plenty of notice in advance, and the manager should not have okayed a three week vacation if it wasn’t going to work at that time. There are few crises that can’t be handled without interrupting someone’s vacation.

    2. Kimberlee*

      I actually disagree with this. It’s totally a dick move to expect someone to come back from vacation because you (as the manager) didn’t plan ahead, but the reality of the world is that businesses can’t afford to have extra people on staff, can’t afford the time it takes to cross train every jobs, etc. My job is a sort of standard administrative job, but I’m going to be taking a vacation for a week (across the country) and I’m just living with the reality that I can’t be “off” the whole time… there are waaaay to many aspects of my job that nobody else there knows how to handle, and too many things that, if something crazy went wrong, I would have to be available to at least make a phone call or give instructions. It would take a LONG time to cross-train other (very busy) people in this job, in part because it encompasses a lot of small tasks, rather than being more focused. I think this is actually fine… I’m going to get paid for this vacation anyway, and any time that I’m working won’t be vacation time, so I’m actually using less vacation time than I would be. I think that arrangements like that are OK, but they would have to absolutely be made ahead of time (instead of learning, on your way out, that you’re expected to be available).

      I think, to some degree, part of advancing in the world, building your skills, and becoming indispensable is just that: you have to deal with the downside of being indispensable.

      And I would bet any amount of money that the President, even on vacation, doesn’t go 5 hours without having to field a phone call for something work related. I would also bet that the majority of CEO’s are in this same boat (not to inflate myself or my job to theses levels).

      1. Ask a Manager* Post author

        I do think this is sometimes the case — but I also think that even then when you want to take a real, totally uninterrupted vacation, you can do that too. You just need to prep people in advance.

        Kim, in your situation, since in the long-distant past I used to manage your position in your particular organization, I can tell you that if at some point you want to truly escape for a week, you can. It’s been done by your predecessors! It’s less convenient for the office, of course, but people find a way to survive :) Stuff does wait, if it has to.

        I think it’s about how flexible you’re willing to be, and that often stems from how your workplace treats you. And in the good workplaces, that flexibility will go both ways; the fact that you’re willing to do this should win you flexibility from them when you need it.

        1. Ask a Manager* Post author

          Oh, but I wanted to add that I completely agree with you about this: “the reality of the world is that businesses can’t afford to have extra people on staff, can’t afford the time it takes to cross train every jobs, etc.” There was a post recently about sick leave where a few people kept pushing this as a solution, and it’s just not realistic in every case.

      2. Laura*

        Yes, but on the other hand, there are most people aren’t president or CEO (and wouldn’t want those jobs anyway) and I think the people who don’t want to be contacted during vacation should be able to set things up so they don’t have to be.

        Also, there are plenty of jobs out there where no one would need to contact you during your time off. My current job is one of them. Which is what I want at this point in my life. That may change, but for now I like it.

        1. Stacy*

          Wow sounds like if you were to injured or killed or sick… the company would collapse. You are very important.

          One day, a long time from now… when you are nearing the end… laying in your bed… you’ll think…

          “I could have spent that time by the pool with my granddaughter OR responded to those emails from my boss while I was on vacation.”

          Which one would you rather have done?

          Bosses need to consider the cost of re-recruitment. So they don’t have you for a week or so, but if they piss you off enough and you quit… trust me… it will be a LONG LONG time and TONS of $$$ for them to get a new person in and up to speed on what you do.

          They can live without you for a few days.

  6. Anonymous*

    My team takes extreme precautions so we don’t have to worry about this. We’re all copied on almost EVERY single email that has to do with any of our work, so if any of us ever has to leave/miss a day, someone can easily pick up.

    Of course, that means we all get 200+ emails a day…. :/

    1. John*

      Email filter is your friend. I have folders for group emails, emails where I am cc’d and emails where I am the sole recipients. It puts some sanity in your work life :)

  7. JamieH*

    My husband works for a large lawfirm. They have definitely called a few people back from vacation an several others have spent their vacations working full days in their hotel rooms. In these cases, something came up in a lawsuit that wasn’t anticipated at the time of the vacation request and there is nobody else with the needed case knowledge. This risk is generally understood by everyone, though and the firm does reimburse travel expenses if somebody has to cut a vacation short.

    1. Anon y. mouse*

      If it’s generally understood – and the firm doesn’t abuse it and compensates if applicable – then that’s a different kettle of fish. IT is somewhat like this. You may not officially be on call, but if your system goes down at 2:00 in the morning and the on-call guy can’t handle it on his own, you’re getting a call at 2:05. It goes with the territory.

      We all do have a tendency to ‘have no access to phone or email’ during planned vacations, though. Even the internet addicts that I know don’t travel.

  8. John*

    It’s opposite for me. My direct reports tell me the best way to reach them if I need anything when they are on vacation. It’s telling of how much respect I have earned from them.

    1. Anonymous*

      Or it’s the kind of work environment where they expect to be interrupted on vacation and/or are afraid to be unreachable because of potential repercussions from management.

      1. Dawn*

        Yep. Or they realize that no one in the organization is actually cross-trained and know they’ll come back to a big ol’ mess. Easier to be available than have to deal with all the crap upon return. I know, I’ve been in this situation.

  9. Cassie*

    I would hate this. I went on vacation for 3 weeks about a year ago (trip abroad) and I am glad I asked one of my coworkers to take care of stuff while I was gone. I had intermittent email access (and did end up checking email often) but just the thought of *having* to check email at least once a day would have been murder.

    This reminds me of an incident a couple of years ago – I was going to Hawaii over Labor Day weekend (leaving Saturday morning, returning Tuesday night). My bosses knew I was going to be out on Tuesday but I didn’t say (and they didn’t ask) where I would be going or what my travel plans were. Well, one boss called me on Friday evening, at 10:47pm. I was in bed, trying to sleep (early flight Saturday morning), and he wanted to know how many invoices had Company XYZ submitted. I dragged myself out of bed, turned on my computer, connected to my work computer, and then spent over an hour finding the information he requested.

    I should have just told him that I’d get back to him on Wednesday (or honestly, anyone else in the dept with accounting access could have looked this up for him – if it truly was urgent, which it wasn’t really… not for a late Friday night call, at least). But he is a persistent, extremely moody person, and I guess I was just naive in thinking I had to get the info right then and there.

    I’ve gotten a tiny bit better about standing up for myself in situations like this (I usually go the passive-agressive route, where I won’t answer calls, or pretend like I don’t see the email request), but I think there might come a time where I need to actually say (nicely, of course) that non-urgent requests will just have to wait until the work week. And by non-urgent, I mean, basically everything that we deal with (no transplants, hostage negotiations or court cases here!).

  10. Sabrina*

    That reminds me of New Years, 2000 when management at my company wanted the number of where we were going to be in case the world went to hell in a handbasket and they needed to call us in. You know because if the world ended that night the first thing I would have wanted to do was come in to work.

  11. Another Anon*

    On the same subject, what do you do when you obtained vacation permission months in advance and you have expensive non-refundable reservations, then you’re told at the last minute that you must postpone until next month? I’m afraid to commit to reservations because of the times I’ve had vacations cancelled at the last minute.

    1. Ask a Manager* Post author

      I would say pretty much that. “I’m about to make nonrefundable reservations, so I want to make sure that these dates are definitely okay, because I won’t be able to change them later.”

  12. Anonymous*

    When I went on vacation last, I was going out of the country. My cell phone works perfectly out of the country, but I didn’t want anyone calling me or texting me while I was over there. Therefore, so I can still call home just to check in (Hey I made it and I’m fine sort of stuff) I brought my phone with my mother’s SIM card in it. No one has that number, including work, so I wouldn’t be bothered. She’d get all of the phone calls and even then, she wouldn’t know because she barely uses her cell phone. Of course they can always call the house, as I don’t have the luxury of living on my own yet, but she was going to play it up that she hadn’t heard from me and with the 8 hour difference wouldn’t have a clue as to where I was. Granted, no one had a reason to call although the one manager has been known to call someone on vacation to find out what their availability is for the week they return; I did try to get that all squared away prior to leaving.

    Therefore, a suggestion would be to trade either phones or SIM cards with someone from home so you can honestly say you didn’t get the message until you got home.

  13. Anon in the UK*

    The one time anyone I worked for tried to do this to me, I said ‘Well, if it’s really that important, OK, but I need a written notice of what the work-related emergency is so I can fax it to my travel insurance company and get my money back. I assume the firm will be paying my excess?’

    The manager developed an oddly frozen look, and shortly after, I was told by *her* boss that changing my leave was not necessary.

  14. NikkiN*

    I just took 9 and a half weeks of maternity leave, and while I wasn’t contacted constantly, I was contacted often. I have a director role of a 24/7 department which means I have to be available 24/7. I have to learn to filter the calls. I never answer- I always screen through voicemail- as some may be so bold as to call me on a Saturday to talk about being off next Thursday. They all know if they do not leave a message- I do not call back. I really don’t mind being contacted for the most part- I remote into my office PC with my laptop or any computer for that matter. While I am not that important in the grand scheme of things, there are some decisions I have to make and they need to occur in a timely manner- discipline for example. My husband gets regulary hacked off – he has been known to give my blackberry a time out. My problem is not just direct calls- I want to go ahead and answer emails so that they dont build up- this is what ruins my time off- I can mostly blame myself for the compulsion…. Ha.

  15. Dawn*

    I get really annoyed when I hear people say that the company can’t afford the time to cross-train people. It might be time-consuming or a pain in the ass, but in the long run it cuts down on people calling those who are on vacation, not to mention it spreads the knowlege around and helps to prevent the company from being in a position where *nobody* knows how to do something.

    When I first took the position of operations manager, I had a workaholic boss (actually a chronic delegater and slacker, but he was “there late”) who would always tell me before my vacation to have a good time and make sure I check in. Having a good time and checking in to work don’t go together. For me, it’s practically impossible. He was also one to ask me if I’m “working a half day” when I would leave at the normal time of 5 or 5:30 PM, rather than 8 or 9 PM. I was so overwhelmed at that time that I was working 8 AM to 9 PM many days of the week (office hours are 8:30 AM to 5 PM). Shortly thereafter I learned the value of cross-training.

    Now, my vacation is SACRED to me because of this former boss, and also because of all the crap I went through to get to where I am now. Everyone in the office knows not to call me unless the server goes down (must call our IT vendor FIRST), a co-worker dies, or there’s an actual disaster. I’ve cross-trained others so that there really isn’t any reason to call me except in the circumstances I just mentioned.

    I feel the same about my subordinates’ vacation. I will do eveything in my power to avoid calling someone they are on paid time off. I also get very upset, and make it known, when I hear certain co-workers say. “Call Jane. She’ll know the answer.” She’s on vcacation (or sck)!! I’m the manager and I trained them on how to do their job. If I can’t handle something related to their job, which I trained them on, what does that say about me?

    End of rant. :)

    1. Dawn*

      Ack! Sorry for the typos. I’m actually on vacation right now and I guess my mind is out of work mode (a good thing!).

  16. Anonymous*

    My company only allows us to take a maximum 2 weeks off at a time, no matter how much vacation time we have.

    In the many years I’ve been here, I’ve only seen the manager ASK an employee to come back from vacation two days early, due to short-staffing (one coworker had apendicitis and the parent of another died unexpectedly) one time and only as a last resort. The employee did so, unbegrudgingly, and was also rewarded with an additional vacation day for the inconvenience.

    I don’t think that was poor planning on the part of the manager. There are just some things you can’t manage. Just because the OP doesn’t mention the circumstances, doesn’t mean there isn’t a valid one for the request.

  17. anon-2*

    I have had weird experiences in this area over the years.

    One unique one – I was written up for botching a major task. The problem was, not only did I not botch the major task, but I was 2000 miles away from the facility — the incident happened while I was on vacation. They wanted to blame it on me. So I did respond to the written reprimand, with hotel receipts, phone records, even credit card records for gasoline. When it hit the HR department, upper management wanted to rescind my reprimand and forget the whole thing. I said “No. Gee whiz, you don’t back your managers much, do you?” — I wanted that in there, because it proved that the manager was “out to get me”. Handle with care from now on.

    A year later, I returned from a vacation to an honest-to-goodness chewing out. I did shift work then (nights). I was yelled at for not answering my phone on Friday night. I replied that I wasn’t there. “Well, where WERE you?” I was (in a city 1500 miles from there). No cellphones back in the 70s, folks. I said I can’t be two places at once, and when I’m on vacation, I’M ON VACATION! I wondered why I was being chewed out — but it was because while I was on vacation, a lot of work wasn’t getting done. So they paid two of my co-workers overtime to cover for me through the week, and Friday night they both decided to call in sick.

    Somehow that was my fault. Go figure.

    This has nothing to do with vacations, but suspensions. I worked with a guy who had been suspended for three weeks for disciplinary reasons. So -what does the suspendee do? He and his wife get in the car, and drive to Florida. OK, it was March, escape the northern winter, make the best of a bad situation, right?

    Well — two days into his suspension, they are frantically trying to reach this guy. It seemed that two of his co-workers were unexpectedly out of commission (one, early maternity, the other, injury). Could he come back?

    By the time he had picked up his home voice mail, he had been in Florida on his “vacation without pay” for three days. And he wasn’t going to be able to be back for another three-four days at a minimum. The manager was upset — and implied that a suspension means, you should be at home atoning for your sins.

    Like a house arrest? Yeah, right.

  18. Katie*

    This is why I always tell people when I go on vacation that I will be completely and totally out of contact.

    Tell your manager that you have plans that can’t be changed. Hopefully, she’ll learn a valuable lesson about approving more time off than her office can reasonably afford OR approving too much overlapping time off to get necessary work done. This is her mistake, and frankly, she should have to deal with it. I doubt you’ll get fired over this. There’s nothing she can legitimately say if you can’t change your plans.

    1. Anonymous*

      Am I missing something? The OP doesn’t say WHY the office is short-staffed. Could there have been some emergency that caused the issue? I don’t see how you can assume this is a mistake the manager made.

  19. Anonymous J*

    My earned time off is non-negotiable. It helps that at our usual vacation spot, neither myself nor my boyfriend has cell phone service.

    I always plan for my vacation well ahead of time (a month or more for 1 week,) and I make sure to wrap things up before I go.

    Sometimes things happen, but if I’m not reachable, I’m not reachable.

  20. Jameson*

    Eight years ago as I’m getting ready to leave work for my wedding and week long honeymoon, I mentioned to my sales director the preparations that I had made to make sure all my accounts were covered and he responded with,”I’m more concerned with who is going to be prospecting for new business while your away.”

    I did mention it was my honeymoon? And no he wasn’t kidding, he was a jerk, and I had a new job with withing 6 months.

  21. Anonymous*

    I was recently let go from an unpaid internship because I refused to respond to emails on a Sunday due to school work. Keep in mind the previous Sunday I worked a 15 hour day and I am also a MBA candidate at a well respected university. Some employers feel that it is a privilege to gain experience from them. The arrogance is astounding to me.

  22. Anonymous*

    I took a half PTO day for my grandmother’s funeral. I got a call as I arrived at the church, simply needing to know where a file was (it was where all the files were) to answer a question that could have waited until the afternoon when I felt obligated to return to work despite the events of the day. I was working for $10 at an understaffed agency, and have since revised my mindset on where work is prioritzed in my life. On-call time during my grandmother’s funeral was well above my pay grade. I got out of there as quickly as possible.

  23. Truly Non-essential*

    One of the best bits of advice came from my Father-in-law when he reminded me that no one is indispensible.
    If you died as you are reading this the company would continue functioning tomorrow, next week, next month and so on.
    Take your vacation and enjoy yourself. I guarantee that on your death bed you will not wish you had worked more hours.

  24. Sass*

    My husband and I were just returning to my grandmother’s house from a funeral when the phone rang. It was my husband’s boss, a Commander. We were both junior officers, so couldn’t say anything, but my father — a retired Commander himself — loudly said as the phone was being handed over, “What kind of asshole calls people on leave?!” It was a very short conversation — about something completely unimportant — and he never called again. So, I guess the solution is to go on vacation with your father-in-law. :-)

  25. Kain*

    Ignore the author. This is completely illegal. As you have rostered that time off and are now taking it, your employer cannot demand you return to work under any circumstances.

    If you are reprimanded in ANY way for taking your legally allowed vacation time, or even fired once you come back, you are entitled to sue your employer. Vacation time, along with accrued sick time, comes with the right to not be fired or lose your job for that time off. It’s a legal right heavily fought for that stops an employer from using it as an excuse to replace you.

    Ignore your employer. Remind them it is illegal. Record, on a voice recorded, anything your employer states and then you’ll have more than enough evidence that they have reprimanded you or fired you for taking your legally allowed time off.

    And ignore any of these morons if they say “hurr that makes you a bad employee” or “omgz you can’t just sues!”. They are idiots, no different than the same idiots that complain that someone is being “lazy” if they don’t work for nothing.

    1. Stacy*

      Not completely true… most states are Employment at Will meaning you are allowed to leave and they can fire you whenver, however (as long as it’s not discriminatory or violation of another law).

      However, employment IS a contract. They offered to pay you $ and vacation time, you accepted the offer, the consideration is the work that you do for them. It COULD be viewed as breach of contract, ESPECIALLY if you have written approval for your leave.

  26. aj*

    It sounds like the employee has the upper hand.

    If the company is so desperate that they can’t do without her when she’s away, then I don’t think she will be easily replaceable.

    One problem with dropping everything to do something unreasonable is that it makes it look like you are weak and you may now really be walked on in the future so…..

    Even if you give in, DO NOT GIVE IN TOTALLY!!!

    (1) Make them wait a few days because you have obligations to others etc,
    (2) Tell them you don’t have easy access to a computer so they will need to make arrangements to buy your ticket and everyone else in your party home.
    (3) Make it clear that you are doing this because you are a team player and that they owe you big time for ruining your plans.

    Sometimes you hurt yourself by being too nice…. DO NOT COW-TOW AND LOOK DESPERATE!!!

  27. Mike*

    Basically it’s tough poo-poo for her that she is now shortstaffed. She approved your time off and you’re using it. If she raises hell when you return, call her boss and file a formal complaint. She cannot revoke approved time off while you are using it. Before you leave to use it, sure…but not once you’ve left.

  28. Dan*

    I know at work I have no back up. For me, vacation is one day off every three or four months. It has been close to five years since I took a week off. Ironically, I like my job and the people I work with. The owner, however, feels vacations are not something to whine about.

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