my boss won’t let me use any of my vacation time

A reader writes:

While my job lets me accrue paid time off for vacation, I seem to be in a position where any time I request time off I am denied by my manager. On the other hand, my manager takes vacation time off all the time. Am I missing something here? I have a family who I would love to take vacation time with, but I am cut off any time I try. At the same time, my days off have accumulated to almost one month and I am just at a loss of how someone in good conscience would not even consider allowing me. How do I approach this situation?

I answer this question — and four others — over at Inc. today, where I’m revisiting letters that have been buried in the archives here from years ago (and sometimes updating/expanding my answers to them). You can read it here.

Other questions I’m answering there today include:

  • Our new hire is plotting a coup on her second day
  • Hiring a coworker to babysit
  • I think my former coworker is trying to poach me
  • Mentioning marriage and kids on a resume

{ 260 comments… read them below }

    1. Seeking Second Childhood*

      There was an update … not dramatic, but definitely predictable! Link’s in moderation. (2015/12/13)

    2. Engineer Girl*

      this tells me that her fellow recruiters are badmouthing my boss and telling her how awful he is

      I just want to point out that dysfunctional people think mmm-hmmm is full agreement and support. Just because they say “everybody” is behind them doesn’t mean it’s true.

      1. Boop*

        Agreed. Based solely on what had already been said about the new employee, my immediate reaction was to think she was fabricating or grossly exaggerating the feelings of the other employees. Frankly, if a two day old employee approached me with this kind of story I would be in my boss’s office so fast there would be flames behind me. And if all the other recruiters truly felt the same way about your boss you would have heard about it WAY before this.

        I’m also highly suspect that she left her old position due to corporate bullying – my guess would be she behaved the same way at her old job and they got rid of her. The update indicates something similar happened with this job. I think that says all you need to know.

        1. Emily K*

          Yeah, it’s so beyond the pale that I wouldn’t have been surprised to learn she knew LW’s boss from some previous context and had schemed her way into the job specifically to try to target him and get him fired. Which is an absurd thought but no more absurd than an employee plotting a coup on her second day.

        2. Engineer Girl*

          “Corporate bullying” = appropriate corrective action for inappropriate behavior.

          I swear, bullies screech bullying anytime they get consequences for their bad behavior.

          1. Jen RO*

            A former employee of my company recently shared an article (“Why Millennials Keep Dumping You: An Open Letter to Management” – you can google it). She very, very rarely shares things on Facebook, so it was obviously meant to be read by her former manager. Well, I happen to work very closely with the former manager and the truth is that the employee was on the verge of a PIP because she was extremely slow and blamed others when her work wasn’t done on time.

            My favorite interaction was the following:
            Manager, in team meeting: Are you going to be able to finish project X by date Y?
            Employee: Yes!

            On date Y, the project isn’t done.
            Manager, in 1-on-1: Last week you said you were on track, what happened?
            Employee: Oh, I wasn’t on track last week either, but I couldn’t say that in the team meeting! Why would you want to embarrass me in front of my peers?!

            *blank stares*

      2. Falling Diphthong*

        Second. This is in no way an obvious conclusion. People like this imagine an army behind them, of which they are the only one with the bravery to speak out.

    3. Move Over Thrawn - Florian Munteanu is BIGGER than you!*

      Now who doesn’t love a good coup??

      1. Marthooh*

        When you play the game of recruitment, you hire or you fire. Or sometimes, you get fired, I guess.

    4. ThisColumnMakesMeGratefulForMyBoss*

      I want to know how she was able to hide her crazy well enough to actually get the job, especially because she started acting like a loon on day 2.

      1. Clorinda*

        I’m sure there are plenty of people who can hold it together for a few hours and then let loose when they think the deal is done.

      2. iglwif*

        I 100% believe that she was able to hide her true personality long enough to get the job, because I have seen it happen — once with someone I hired myself, and again more recently with someone hired to an executive position at Ex!Company. In the former case it took a couple of months for the bananapants truth to emerge, but in the latter case I started noticing it literally within a week (because this person was hired as the new HR head, and I was hiring at the time so I was interacting with her a lot).

        1. Pipe Organ Guy*

          I once worked briefly with a choir director who had interviewed really, really well and auditioned with the choir really, really well. The same body showed up at the first rehearsal under his direction, but with a completely different personality. He mercilessly bullied an elderly gentleman in the choir, refused to communicate professionally with me, made rehearsals into bad experiences for volunteers. I walked away after a few months; I was just the first. He managed to drive off most of the volunteers, and made life miserable for anyone in the paid quartet whom he didn’t like. A few years later, I had a schadenfreude moment when this guy was fired from a college faculty position for various sorts of malfeasance.

          He had managed to pull the wool over everyone’s eyes, but once in the position, his true self appeared, and it wasn’t pretty.

  1. NotAnotherManager!*

    Re #5 – I don’t think that including your family information and personal info really conveys what you are intending it to. There is all downside to adding this information and no upside to it. I am of the mind that your resume should convey your qualifications for the job and market yourself, any any information that is not toward that purpose should be omitted.

    If you need flexibility with a job, then you should discuss the need for flexibility in the job, not include your family information and then assume that the employer will understand that. (I am married and a parent to two children as well, but my spouse manages most of the kid-related stuff so flexibility is more important for them than for me.)

    1. fposte*

      Yes, this is a classic case of it meaning more than just the explicit information, and what it’s meaning to a hiring manager that it’s on the resume is very different from what the OP was hoping it to mean.

    2. Sled dog mama*

      Absolutely agree, a resume and cover letter are about how you have the skills and experience to fill the position, information that doesn’t further an employers knowledge of this does not belong there.

    3. Treecat*

      Honestly, if I saw someone with “mothering,” “family,” and “church” sections on their resume, I’d worry that this person would get into the workplace and start harassing all the women who weren’t married, didn’t have children, and didn’t go to church about how they needed to do those things because they’re just SO IMPORTANT. It definitely conveys that the applicant has no appropriate sense of professional boundaries. It’s a huge red flag and I would toss that resume right in the trash.

      1. TootsNYC*

        I’m a church goer (former accompanist), and I would avoid someone who put it on their resume.

        And even all those hobbies, I would avoid that person as well. This isn’t a social club here at work; we’re not going to be dating.
        Maybe one “deep” hobby, or one “interesting thing” (I once hired someone whose resume said she’d studied Swahili; it was interesting, but it wasn’t why I called her in–her work experience was, and her test results got her hired).

      2. Princess Consuela Banana Hammock*

        I wouldn’t assume those things, but I would worry that this person doesn’t understand professional norms. It raises more red flags than it signals what OP wants to signal.

        1. Treecat*

          It’s not that I’d *assume* the candidate would do those things, it’s that I’d *worry* they would. If you feel that stuff is important enough to be putting on a resume for a position in which none of it is remotely relevant, what else do you feel is important enough to bring to the workplace and what’s the potential worst-case scenario? As you said, it strongly implies that the candidate has no sense of professional norms and boundaries, and I’d consider that too big a risk to take.

      3. Kathleen_A*

        To me, it reads as though the resume writer thinks that the number of years she’s been married, her kids, her church affiliation, etc., are as important on that resume as her professional experience. You know, she lists her last few jobs, her degree or other professional accreditation, etc….and then “Married for 9 years to John Doe; and mother of two children, Joe and Jenny/Member of Anytown Presbyterian Church for 10 years; currently serving as an active elder, supporting the work of the Fellowship Committee.”

        And they’re not. So no, don’t do that. This won’t give you the information you’re looking for, and it will strike the wrong note with most people. I mean, it does *me*, and I too have been a member of Anytown Presbyterian Church for 10 years and currently serve as an active elder!

      4. Annette*

        Wow. This assumption = pretty alarmist and O.T.T. I would assume that this person just isn’t hip to norms. Not intolerant.

        1. Falling Diphthong*

          As with the question earlier about whether to take notes during an interview on an electronic tablet–it’s helpful to know the range of reactions to something. So if you write “I have two children, aged 4 and 7” thinking that means “I am great at multitasking and managing multiple projects at once, and I need the flexibility to leave early if a kid is sick” know that other people will completely miss those intended implications and substitute others.

        2. Ego Chamber*

          No one said they’re concerned about the potential hire being intolerant, they said her resume is a blatant display of her lack of professional boundaries.

          There’s nothing wrong with talking about your kids or your church if someone asks what you did over the weekend but if your response to the status of the TPS reports you’re in charge of is “I’m really behind on all that because Jane Junior and Johnny have needed so much help with their homework and the only time I can try to arrange tutors is during work hours, and I can’t flex the time because I’m in charge of the big annual church fundraiser and it’s a lot of work to put together!”

          (I understand these things happen and I know work isn’t everyone’s top priority, but it’s a polite fiction we all play at that work is your top priority when you’re at work, so responding to a work question with a non-work answer is problematic at best.)

      5. Kate R*

        Yeah, I can appreciate that these may be unfair stigmas because plenty of mothers and churchgoers do not harass people, but best case scenario is that you have a hiring manager wonder why you felt those things were important enough to include on a resume. And worst case is that they fill in the blanks themselves with assumptions that don’t put you in the best light. Either way, I see no benefit to it.

        1. CmdrShepard4ever*

          I don’t think it is the fact that the person is a mother, wife, and churchgoer, it is the fact that they felt the need to mention it. A decent percent of people in the workforce are mothers, wives, and churchgoers, I am sure plenty other people are all three at once but they are not putting it on their resume.

          1. Kate R*

            Yup, I agree. What I meant by “fill in the blanks” was the hiring manager making their own assumptions about why the candidate thought those things were important enough for a resume, since it’s such an unusual thing to be there. The OP may have simply thought, “Here are some facts about me so the hiring manager can get to know me better,” but the hiring manager might assume her reasons for including them were more sanctimonious than that. And I don’t see a hiring manager selecting someone for an interview based on anything in a “personal info” section, so I think it can only hurt and not help the OP.

            1. Lucy*

              If your resume says that you are the local junior sportsball team treasurer, or PTA chair, or whatever, then you’re putting it there because you want to evidence your skills or whatever, and 9/10 hiring managers will realise that you likely got into it because of your own children. That’s as close as most people ever need to get to mentioning their children in their resume (obvious exceptions being if you need to explain an unusually long career break).

              Similarly, saying that you hold a respected position in your local church (or equivalent) should only be included if it evidences specific skills or experience relevant to the position applied for, otherwise it reads to me like DO YOU KNOW WHO I AM?!!

              1. Ego Chamber*

                Yuuuup! Skip it if there’s no professional relevance.

                If you’ve been married for 9 years, it probably seems to you like a demonstration of skill and teamwork but I know couples who’ve been married for decades who absolutely hate each other. The implications are just so dependent on the other person’s experience that I wouldn’t risk it.

                Unfortunately, beyond just being unprofessional, I know several women who list their marriage on their resume and talk about their husbands a lot during the interview as the first step of a con where they threaten to sue the company for discrimination when they don’t get hired. :(

            2. Zennish*

              This. It’s not that the information itself is stigmatizing, but that putting it on a resume is so far outside of professional norms, that it might easily be read as someone who expects to insert their religion and family life into the workplace in an inappropriate way. I personally would really question the lack of judgment and the rationale behind including it.

      6. Anonooooo*

        yep. I recently received a one page resume where the person had 10 years of work experience that she compacted into about a quarter of the page.
        The entire bottom half was dedicated to her family and church. It included things like “raised a beautiful daughter into a loving wife and mother” and “spread the word of God through love and smiles at the church”

        She actually looked like she may have been a good candidate based on her titles at previous jobs but her resume went into the file because it was impossible to find out anything work related, it literally had Title, Company, Date only. The fact her resume was based on church and motherhood also made us wonder if it would be a problem for her that 96% of people we work with have not gone that traditional route.

        That being said though, I think if I saw the resume in the original post where it’s a few lines at the bottom I’d probably write it off as an odd thing to do and potentially meet with them if they were a good candidate.

        1. Quickbeam*

          Shredder. For about 10 years I did hiring for nurses and I was amazed that the marriage/kid stuff would often usurp their actual nursing skill s and experience.

      7. Asenath*

        I wouldn’t assume she’s going to harass her co-workers. The likelihood that those aspects of her life are going to be irrelevant to any job I’m likely to be reading resumes for is pretty high, which is what would be important to me, so whether she’d get any look-in at all would depend on what she put down about her more relevant experiences.

    4. Moray*

      I would be way less likely to give this person an interview, because if they got the interview but not the job there would be room to say “well, they know I was a parent/Christian and this was discrimination.” It would feel like a trap.

      1. AKchic*

        That’s how I’d feel too. Like it was some kind of set-up, especially in the current political climate. I wouldn’t want to risk it.

        1. Kendra*

          This was kind of my thought, too, or at least that since it’s illegal for us to let some of the things in her list influence a hiring decision, I actively don’t want to know about them. It’s a lot easier to stay unbiased by things you don’t know!

          1. Ego Chamber*

            The fact that LW said in her letter that she believed it was illegal for potential employers to ask these questions but she didn’t mind volunteering the information made it super-weird to me. Like either she thought it would give her bonus points she otherwise wouldn’t be allowed to get or it gives her an easy scapegoat for when she doesn’t get hired.

    5. Dust Bunny*

      I literally just had this discussion with a friend. Her thought was that mom skills = job skills in the sense of time management, multitasking, etc. (She did not think it was relevant, however, that she had been a supervised volunteer classroom aide!)

      Several of us explained that parenting isn’t supervised or evaluated, and you don’t need to be a parent to have those skills, and that the supervised aide bit was *exactly* the kind of thing she should have included on her application to [child-adjacent job in question]. But now she knows?

      1. MayLou*

        You also don’t need to have those skills to be a parent, and on the whole it’s pretty hard to be fired from the role if you’re terrible at it, so even if ONLY parents were good at multitasking etc (certainly not the case), not ALL parents necessarily are.

        1. Just Employed Here*

          I am certainly better at multitasking, quickly shifting between task and situations, and having patience with people than I was before I became a parent.

          But I won’t be putting those things on a resume or mentioning them in an interview (unless I can put them in a work context).

          1. The Man, Becky Lynch*

            That’s true for some people like yourself but given the amount of parents I’ve known who are never on time, impatient to the point it makes me uncomfortable to speak with them about anything and always forgetting to pick up Jr after practice, etc. It’s still not something you assume someone is good at simply because they say “and BTW I’m a parent!” on their resume :(

          2. JJ*

            I’ve worked in child protection social services so this correlation just does not work for me I’m afraid.

            Some parents are great. Not all.

          3. iglwif*

            I am much more patient now than I used to be. It’s tempting to ascribe that to having learned patience from being a parent, but I think it would be more accurate to say that being a parent made me realize how much I needed to get help for my anxiety, and now that I’ve done that, I have a level of patience I didn’t have ten years ago.

          4. Lynn Whitehat*

            I mean, the proof is in the pudding. If you’re that great at multitasking and prioritizing, you should have some work-related success in those areas.

        2. Bee*

          Right, the employer’s not going to be able to call up the kid and hear “they completely forget I need to be picked up from after-school activities at least once a week.”

          1. Jamey*

            lol that’s a great idea. If you want to list being a parent on your resume, your grade school aged child has to act as a reference hahahaha

            1. Mimi Me*

              I’m just imagining my 14 year old giving a reference. It would depend on the moment they called as to whether I got a good or bad review. LOL Last night she came into the kitchen sobbing about her friends, her period, and how I never let her do anything. I handed her a brownie and less than 4 minutes later she asked me for a hug, told me she loved me, and started telling me about a skit her and her best friend are doing for spanish class. I would not depend on that kid for a good review. LOL!

              1. iglwif*

                Bwahahahaha. I was having similar thoughts about my teenager giving me a reference XD

              2. Veryanon*

                Right? I have an almost 16 year old, and she veers between thinking I’m awesome and hating me like poison pretty regularly.

              3. StaceyIzMe*

                Nonsense! (Just make sure that she has a brownie FIRST!) Offer a scoop of ice cream on the side and you may be extolled as divine.

    6. epi*

      I have seen personal information on medical doctor CVs sometimes– although really just hobbies, and not everyone does it. I kind of figured it was because, in the medical subfield where I was seeing these CVs, most people’s professional backgrounds are quite similar. Research interests can be differentiating, but not all jobs are research oriented. So the hobbies are the only humanizing/differentiating thing to put on in that context. Sometimes I wonder if this practice survives because it is not totally verboten everywhere, making it appear optional for others.

      The information about marriage, religions, and reproductive choices that the OP is putting on their resume shows them in a bad light, frankly. Not everyone has a family structure or religion that they can feel confident it’s safe to share on a resume, or that will always be treated as neutral to positive.

      This is not just about the OP’s comfort but the comfort of those around them. These are topics where people making choices (that sound) less conventional than the OP’s will have dealt with discrimination, intrusive questions and judgments, and having to decide whether they even want to be out at work. The OP’s oversharing would make me concerned that they think this is OK to ask others about, or that they think making similar decisions is important in an employee or human.

      1. SheLooksFamiliar*

        ‘This is not just about the OP’s comfort but the comfort of those around them.’

        Thank you. The resume is written ABOUT you, but not FOR you.

    7. Liberry Pie*

      I am not completely clear on what mission trips are, so I suspect it might make employers fear you are going to try to proselytize in the office. My understanding is that they involve volunteer work rather than explicitly missionary activities, but I’ve never really asked the people I know who have gone on mission trips. I would feel hesitant about someone noting it on their resume, unless they were focusing on the work itself (such as coordinating donations, setting up technology in developing countries).

      1. That Girl From Quinn's House*

        To me that says “tons of time off.” Mission trips and sick kids? This person’s never going to be at work.

      2. epi*

        This is a good point. I think there have also been previous questions here about how to frame church-related volunteer work that is relevant, and whether to discuss it at all.

        It actually sounds like the OP may have some interesting volunteer experience, between the mission work and the animal rescue support– assuming the “support” is more than financial. They may want to think about whether their work on these causes was consistent enough, and involved enough responsibility that was relevant to their day job, to include on their resume. And in the case of the mission work, whether the information is important enough to justify identifying their religion on their resume. (They’d want to get an outside opinion on that since so far, their instincts are steering them wrong here.)

        Currently that experience gets lost in a section that is totally inappropriate and seems more focused on showing off the OP’s personal lifestyle and values.

        1. Librarian of SHIELD*

          There’s definitely a time and a place for putting religious volunteer work in the “volunteer experience” section of your resume. If, for example, you were the chairperson of the annual block party and you had to coordinate with vendors and musicians and caterers and do a lot of planning and preparation, that seems like valuable work experience that involved skills that can come in handy in some work places. But a resume is about “work me,” not “whole person me.” So it’s really important that the focus of everything you list be “I will be great at this job” rather than “I’m such a nice person.”

          1. StaceyIzMe*

            I’m curious- I’ve tended to refer to such work as being for a non-profit, especially if there are several entities involved (church, national volunteer org and one or more other stakeholders). Is that cutting too much information out?

            1. Ego Chamber*

              That should be fine, especially since you’re talking about a category rather than one organization, and you can always answer in more detail about the different organizations if an interviewer asks.

              I only have one long term volunteer role, so I list the name of the organization; if I didn’t, I think it would seem weirdly evasive when an interviewer asked and found out it was just one place that I was being weirdly cagey about for no reason.

      3. Krakatoa*

        They’re trips where people go to other places and serve their faith in some capacity or another. Some might include proselytizing, but it may include other things as well. I went with a group of medical missionaries to a developing country where they ran clinics in various villages in the past.

        I don’t think it needs any particular negative connotations, but I do agree it’s not something that necessarily needs to be on a resume without a specific reason.

        1. Emily K*

          Yes, to the extent the mission work could be a net positive, it would be because she has experience with field medicine or home-building or whatever the particular mission was. But with this sample as written, she’s purely volunteering that she goes on trips with her church. Which with a lot of HMs would get a reaction of, “OK…so?” at best.

        1. Ico*

          That’s a really uncharitable view of people that can be doing a lot of good. Someone above notes that their mission work involved running medical clinics in a developing country. Is that colonialism?

          1. Magenta*

            This could be country specific but running medical clinics is not the image that would spring to mind for most people I know if they were told someone was going on a mission trip.

            To people in the UK they would either be on some kind of patronising trip to “civilise the natives” and shove religion down their throats or are Mormons coming over here to knock on our doors and make us uncomfortable.

            If someone had experience running a medical clinic they could include this as volunteering experience without the need to bring religion into it.

    8. Bulbasaur*

      This can be quite country and culture dependent. In the US I was taught (by HR) that this kind of information risks crossing into protected categories, i.e. things that we weren’t allowed to base hiring decisions on because it would be against the law. We were strongly discouraged from ever asking about it for that reason, and were taught deflection and redirection strategies for use in case candidates brought it up anyway. I think the rationale was that it can be very difficult to either prove or disprove that the information played a part in your decision, and by far the best defense is not to have the information in the first place.

      If HR feels strongly enough about it to give interviewers explicit training on how to avoid learning that information, I’d say it’s a good topic to steer clear of.

    9. ket*

      Actually didn’t get to the bottom of the responses so don’t know if anyone agreed with me — but subconsciously this writer might be trying to screen out a lot of jobs/cultures. If she only wants to work places where mom/elder is an active plus and not be considered for positions where it’s not relevant, this is a fine way to do it. Maybe she doesn’t want most jobs! That’s ok.

      LW#5 should just not be confused that she doesn’t get callbacks.

  2. LaDeeDa*

    If we don’t get an update about that day 2 recruiter I will burn the place down! Ok, just kidding, but that girl is craycray and we need all the juicy gory details!!

      1. The Man, Becky Lynch*

        You are an angel.

        OMGGGG this update. She lasted 3 weeks! 3 weeks!!!! And did kind of go out with a blaze of glory given her snap-back email. *seal claps*

      2. Falling Diphthong*

        After she left, she sent an email to a senior employee complaining about our operations while flirting at the same time (using emoticons)…
        Like… “Your company sucks but you are kinda sweet (emoti-bat). I hate Emily. Have you ever thought about getting (coffee cup emoji with moving eyes).”?

        …and we felt confident that the right decision was made.
        … Yeah.

    1. Veryanon*

      Right?! Engaging in these shenanigans on her second day on the job? She needs to go!

  3. BadWolf*

    On #3 — The OP doesn’t mention that coworker has offered to babysit — just that she used to nanny. Unless a coworker has directly volunteered (or generally talked about currently babysitting), I’d be careful about asking (or at least how they ask) especially if coworker might not feel like they can say no. And I’d be very upfront about payment (assuming OP means to hire? Otherwise, I’d make sure to use “favor” or something so no one’s doing an awkward money dance). “Hey Coworker, I know you used to nanny. Are you still picking up babysitting jobs? I’m looking to add some sitters for our childcare options and was wondering you were interested.” Or something that gives coworker an easy “out.”

    1. The Man, Becky Lynch*

      The letter says that the coworker expressed interest in babysitting, so I take that as it’s been brought up in passing that she’s either actively babysitting or looking to take up some extra gigs if they come her way. So I don’t think it’s based only on the fact she was a previous nanny! But I agree that you need to be up front that you’re offering a babysitting job and not expecting her to be able to take it or want to take it. If a couple months ago she was saying I’d like to find a babysitting gig for side work, that doesn’t mean she hasn’t already found a couple clients and is simply not even available any more!

      1. BadWolf*

        Oops! You’re right! “What’s your opinion on hiring a coworker who has expressed interest in babysitting” in the letter.

        1. The Man, Becky Lynch*

          I’m a notorious skimmer-reader so I dig it! I had to go back and make sure I was “reading” something that wasn’t there with your comment ;)

    2. she was a fast machine*

      Definitely this. I noticed the very peculiar lack of “and she offered to babysit” language, just that OP is assuming this is an option.

      1. Jennifer Thneed*

        “What’s your opinion on hiring a coworker who has expressed interest in babysitting?” from the OP.

        1. Ethyl*

          Ehhhhhhh that doesn’t necessarily mean that interest was expressed *to LW.* I’d say you can’t go wrong with an email along the lines of “would you be interested in…” no matter how explicit the interest was. Maybe she changed her mind, or had an experience that went wrong with a co-worker, or anything else in the interim, after all.

    3. Yvette*

      When I don’t want to put someone on the spot with a request that is voluntary and may boarder on a favor, even if it is at work and totally work related, I ask via email. Not that I don’t have the guts to ask face to face, but email does not put them on the spot the way face to face would. It gives them a chance to take a breath, think about it and compose a response instead of blurting out “Yes” even if they don’t really mean it.

  4. KHB*

    #1: If you can’t get a satisfactory resolution from your boss, this might be worth escalating to your boss’s boss, or HR (if there is such a thing at your company – if it’s a tiny business and your boss is the head honcho, there’s not much you can do other than what Alison said). It’s entirely possible that your company is allocating you those days off with the intent that you’ll be able to use them, and that your boss’s policy of denying all vacation requests is Not How It’s Supposed To Work.

    1. Goya de la Mancha*

      This. I’d only put up with so much before I went over my Supervisor’s head for something like that.

    2. Me*

      Right. This is the one piece I thought was missing from the advice.

      Presuming the OP works for someplace where there is someone above her boss and/or an hr department, she should absolutely try to escalate before finding a new place.

    3. Serafina*

      I fear LW 1 may have found themself in a workplace that uses the selling point of vacation time and “work/life balance” but in practice, expects employees to forego them. I’ve run into that a lot in the legal profession – workplaces who boast of their vacation time, but then frown on and even penalize employees who actually use it (they couch it as not being “committed” enough or not being a team player and other BS.)

  5. LaDeeDa*

    #5, I want to know why you think that is a good idea, or would benefit you in any way? Why do you think people 1. care, and 2. won’t have a bias towards any of the things you listed?

    1. Veryanon*

      Agreed. Although maybe she’s trying to lay the foundation for a lawsuit by putting all her personal info out there, and then when she isn’t hired, she can sue? Otherwise, I don’t really see the point of including any of this stuff. Your resume should be about your work qualifications and what experience you’ve had. Period.

      1. AnonforToday*

        I was on a hiring committee and an applicant listed his age (which was over 60) on his resume. It made us really suspicious he was trying to justify a lawsuit. We ended up interviewing him because he was very highly qualified in the subject matter, but then he said he refused to use a computer, which is literally how we conduct 100% of our work on an institutional level. Ugh.

        1. Falling Diphthong*

          I guess a job like literal llama wrangler or teapot spout affixer would not have the computer as a central aspect, and some places you input data by writing on forms (Tuesday: affixed 3 teapot spouts to llamas) and others you input it to a computer. This seems such a weird line to draw in the sand, unless you are so in demand that you can be described as a literal prima donna and they hire an assistant to use the smart phone for you.

          1. Nyltiak*

            I had a job as a monkey wrangler, and pretty much everyone still needed to use a computer occasionally.

        2. Veryanon*

          Wait, what? I don’t know of any jobs outside of manual labor where you don’t have to use a computer at least some of the time. How did he even apply for the job?

          1. doreen*

            Even with manual labor , you might need to use a computer or smartphone. My son does manual labor, but he still needs to use an electronic timesheet and the work order system is smartphone based.

          2. AnonforToday*

            It was also confusing because this guy was about as old as my parents, who are both very tech savvy.

      2. LaurenB*

        The kinds of women who are unknowledgeable / unsophisticated enough to be putting “wife of John, mother of Joe and Jenny, like to bake” on resumes are not the ones who are sophisticated enough to be suing. I don’t think the recipient of this kind of resume need worry that they are being set up.

        1. Ego Chamber*

          Disagree. An ex-coworker has a lawyer in the family (because of course she does) and the lawyer told her to put this kind of info on her resume because people would have to interview her to avoid the appearance of discrimination and then if they didn’t hire her, she could have him write a letter threatening to sue and get a settlement.

          So then she double-checked that with her sister who hires for a fast food place and the sister said she would definitely hire any applicant who listed that stuff to avoid maybe being sued—the sister also said this is a law (what?) because that information is illegal for an employer to know (what?).

          The cherry on top is I met her in a training class at my call center hell job and she claimed this “strategy” is how she got hired there, even though they will hire literally anyone who’s at least 18 and can pass a background check and employment verification. Like 20 minutes of class time wasted on her sharing this with everyone as part of her introduction.

          Tl;dr: Unknowledgeable and unsophisticated people are just as likely to try to pull a scam as anyone else, especially if the scam only relies on the threat of a lawsuit and not an actual lawsuit.

          1. Ego Chamber*

            ETA: I don’t think the LW was doing this as some kind of scam because she sounded so sincere and confused, but this is part of a known scam and that’s worth being aware of.

    2. Massmatt*

      Only place I can think of where it wouldn’t be weird (or worse) would be a religious-based position or at a very conservative type of business, such as maybe Hobby Lobby. And even there it might be that some denominations don’t like yours, and even within denominations there can be factional fights. It would be a huge minus for me.

    3. Annette*

      If people have a bias toward being married having children or belonging to a church. That = illegal to act on in hiring. OP should not include it. But those biases are not O.K.

    4. irene adler*

      Not disagreeing. I think the personal info on the resume is a bad idea all-around.

      I did run into a professor, who owned his own legal firm, who made a point to ask job candidates about their personal interests and how they spent their off-work time. This was via a written pre-interview question. In fact, he liked seeing personal info on the resume as well. His goal was to hire well-rounded individuals. So he bristled at those who tried the ‘gumption’ approach by writing things like “I live and breathe law and spend my personal time reading up on case law and hanging out in law libraries, etc. etc.”. He wanted employees that understood that there was more to life than work.

      I agree with his sentiment, but not so much with his methods.

      1. anon for today*

        I generally hate this approach. Someone could be the perfect candidate but they spend their off-time sitting on the couch eating ice cream and watching Netflix. Just because they don’t have outside interests that make them well-rounded doesn’t mean they can’t do the job. But I feel like ice cream + Netflix never fall under the appropriate answer because it doesn’t make someone “well-rounded”.

        1. Eillah*

          Yeah! Or when I was suffering from depression and couldn’t work up the energy to engage in or even care about my hobbies.

        2. Allornone*

          I agree, but I’m a little biased because I know I bombed that question in a recent interview (I actually got a much better job in the meantime, so take that, company with stupid, cliched hiring questions!), because I legit couldn’t express any interests outside of the standard reading/movies/music answers. Aside from being poor (not for long, thanks new job with way better pay!), I am an introvert and homebody and my favorite thing to do on a Sunday is snuggle on the coach with my boyfriend eating delicious takeout and watching Game of Thrones (though this new season, dude, too rushed).

          1. Ego Chamber*

            “I know I bombed that question in a recent interview […] because I legit couldn’t express any interests outside of the standard reading/movies/music answers.”

            Wait. Did you bomb the interview because you couldn’t think of anything besides reading/movies/music, so you didn’t answer at all or did you answer reading/movies/music and they were disappointed and pushed for different answers?

            It’s a bad question because it’s always a trap: they either want some version of “I educate myself about work topics when I’m not at work!” or “I have fun, popular hobbies that I can do outside of work (but nothing big that will require time off)!” (or they want you to share an obscure interest of theirs for no reason because the company is a hive of bees RUN).

        3. CmdrShepard4ever*

          I think it depends on your definition of well rounded. If he truly meant he wanted people who knew there was more to life than work, I think eating ice cream and Netflix certainly counts as well rounded. The law and lawyers in particular tend to have a high rate of alcoholism/substance abuse and mental health issues. So someone that knows how to relax and disengage with Netflix and ice cream to me means they are less likely to burn out.

          1. Bee*

            I think, also, “watching Netflix” implies a passivity that the actual act doesn’t necessarily have. Like, can you speak to a show you’re currently loving? Did the movie you saw last weekend really stick with you? Are you an avid Game of Thrones theorizer, or did you just discover a show that’s been off the air for a while and now you feel like the only person in the world watching it (me, four months ago, telling everyone I saw about Halt and Catch Fire)? I think many people who ask this question would be happy with a thought-out answer about your current favorite show and why you like it where they wouldn’t be with “I dunno, watching whatever’s on TV, I guess.”

            1. CmdrShepard4ever*

              That is a really good point. I think the same can be said most hobbies. If you just say reading, woodworking, bee keeping etc… it does not come off as strongly as talking more in depth about each hobby. Saying reading series by xyz author, or I am really into World War II military history and enjoy these authors, I like to build bookshelves, chairs, or x species of bee for honey making purposes.

              I do think that TV still has a bit of a stigma of not being high brow enough.

              1. Brandy*

                Its a shame to because I while do love me some plain tv, i also swear i learned more from tv documentaries then in school (I hated school). and I like to get my learn on when watching tv. I can talk your ear off. And talking about books, I like to read, but i read cozies and can talk your ear off about it, but they tend to want someone who reads classic fiction, (Of Mice and Men), not my type books.

        4. Falling Diphthong*

          In a literal sense, you can argue that eating ice cream on the couch makes you well-rounded.

        5. Sara*

          I really feel like it can get messy because different people value different hobbies in different ways. I’m not an outdoorsy or sports person at all. I am a crafts person. I find that this affects my dating life (I live in an area that attracts outdoorsy people) which is understandable and fine in that context…but isn’t fine in the hiring context

      2. Me*

        Yeah I really dislike “lifestyle” questions.

        One, it really doesn’t tell you anything other than they do something in their time outside of work. It just doesn’t. You don’t know what their motivations are, how good or not they are at it, how often they do it etc.

        Two, it’s a really good way to get a group of people who are not diverse. Most people asking that question are assigning value to the activity. So you re likely to get bias in that manager Joe things people who run marathons are dedicated go getters but people who read are lazy introverts. Extreme example, but homogeneity doesn’t foster great ideas.

        Three, what about people who may have activities that are legal but not socially acceptable. It forces them to lie or to disclose something they aren’t comfortable with and likely judged on. That’s just really awful.

        TL:DR Hobby and lifestyle questions don’t tell you what you think they do and are irrelevant to a candidates success at a job.

        1. Falling Diphthong*

          “You can have 20 years of experience, or you can have 1 year of experience 20 times.”

      3. londonedit*

        It’s come up here before, but in the UK it’s fairly common for people to list non-work activities on their CV. It’s by no means compulsory, and I don’t think it would raise any alarm bells if you didn’t include anything, but a lot of employers like to see a bit of non-work personality from candidates. That said, you wouldn’t just put ‘I like reading, baking and music’ – you’d use it as a way to show that you’re a well-rounded sort of person with interests outside work that might be helpful in your approach to the job. So if you say you’re an active member of your local knitting club and have served on the committee, that shows off skills that are relevant to work too, as well as giving an insight into your non-work personality.

    5. pleaset*

      Another question to OP5 – you write “as a young mom” but the other info only vaguely implies the kids are young. They could be grown up. This is beside the point in the resume – but there’s a bit of assumptions about marriage and kids in there too.

  6. Massmatt*

    Some interesting ones from the archives! I would love to see an update on the vacation-denying boss and the new recruit trying to engineer some kind of coup in HR especially.

    Vacation denier is hypocritical if he says he can’t spare his employee yet takes time himself. Sounds like a huge jerk, unless OP just happened to request vacation at the worst possible times.

    New recruit should be fired yesterday, hopefully this is not one of those organizations that take forever to get rid of dysfunctional employees.

    1. Grace*

      A couple of people elsewhere in the thread have posted the update to the recruiter one. It’s fairly satisfying.

  7. voyager1*

    #1 I still disagree with asking which days will be okay to take off. LW needs to ask why the requests were denied first before deciding if it is worth the effort of conforming her vacation time to the boss’s whims.

    Couldn’t find an update on this one…

    1. KHB*

      Yeah, I agree with you. It can make sense to ask things like “Is it more convenient for the team for me to take my vacation in July or in August this year?” when you have a manager who has a history of giving you as much flexibility as possible, so you can afford to give them some flexibility in return. But that’s very much not the case here, and by offering to bend over backwards to be accommodating, you may be setting yourself up to hear “I can spare you from January 15 to January 23, and that’s it.”

      It may be just a big ol’ coincidence, and all your vacation requests so far have been for all-hands-on-deck periods, or periods when several of your coworkers were already planning to be out, and literally any week other than the ones you asked for would have been just fine. But if that’s the case, it should be easy enough to clear up without ceding any more ground than you have to.

      1. Autumnheart*

        If this person has a month of accumulated vacation (20+ days), then either they have quite a generous PTO policy, or OP #1 hasn’t had any vacation approved for at least a full year. If nothing else, the manager should certainly be working with OP and the rest of the team to make sure everyone can take PTO.

        1. DAMitsDevon*

          Yeah, even though there are certain times when I shouldn’t take vacation days (the same time as my boss, so we can have coverage) or can’t guarantee I’ll get my request granted (around Thanksgiving and Christmas since a lot of people in the office want to take off around those holidays), my boss still makes sure that I actually use them.

          1. Liz*

            Same here although I don’t need to have anything approved or any kind of request granted. There are only 3 in my group, and the general rule is only one person out at at time. Mainly my immediate boss and i since our other boss really has no clue how to do what we do. He and I can handle things alone for a day or two, but she cannot.

            But we have a write on/wipe off calendar we use. As long as no one has that day off, its fair game for anyone. so all you need to do is put it on, and its a done deal.

      2. Paulina*

        If any other week would have been fine, a decent manager would discuss this rather than just saying No to each request. Especially when there have been several requests denied.

    2. The Man, Becky Lynch*

      I’m interested in knowing if the boss gives any reason to the denials. I can imagine if someone is constantly asking for time off that’s not 2-3 weeks out, it’s not always easy to approve given coverage issues, etc. So there’s just a major communication issue going on from all sides.

      However if the OP has constantly asked or been told what the reason is along the way, then it’s the time to ask them the “when is a good time then” question.

    3. Seeking Second Childhood*

      True. For all we know, the requests may have been denied because LW requested it too close to the date for the manager to arrange coverage.

      1. Dust Bunny*

        Then the manager should be explaining that instead of denying repeatedly but not saying why.

    4. Bilateralrope*

      I’ve seen the vacation denial situation happen at my work. I work security. The guards working for one client weren’t able to take vacations because they were the only guards trained and vetted (by the client) for that site. Eventually a spare guard was trained and vetted and the original guards could take vacations.

      Our management weren’t hypocritical in taking vacations while those guards couldn’t, as managment absences could be covered.

      The long time it took to get a replacement/soare guard trained for a site is a regular problem here. Even with clients that dont do background checks.

      1. DerJungerLudendorff*

        That’s very understandable. But it’s ultimately still managements responsibility to properly compensate their employees. They are supposed to make sure there is always enough room to accommodate employees who go on vacation, become sick, leave, or are otherwise not available.

        That will probably be quite difficult with so many positions who need special training or vetting from the client, but it wouldn’t be an excuse not to do it as well as possible.

      2. The Man, Becky Lynch*

        What happened when a guard got sick!? Were they supposed to come in if they had the crippling stomach flu [I’m still not over my post-flu feelings, I’ve never been so miserable *sobs*] I could hardly get from my bed to my bathroom in a studio apartment :( If someone had come and carried me out, maybe but then I’m not going to be very good at securing the building when I’m literally poo’ing myself and cannot sit up or eat.

        At least the guards would know what the problem is and why vacations weren’t available at the time. That makes a ton of difference.

        As a one-person department, I frequently make sure my vacations/scheduled absences are when I will be missed least but yeah that frigging stomach nonsense. It took me out for a week.

        1. Bilateralrope*

          I’ve seen them pull the night manager off his rounds to cover shifts when they had no other choice. I’ve also seen them leave shifts empty.

        2. boop the first*

          Lots of managers literally HAVE NO PLAN for this. It’s mindboggling. I usually end up in situations where I’m the sole keyholder, and when I get can’t-stand-up-sick, everyone is locked out and the business literally cannot open.
          Or I end up being the only person trained for a large chunk of happenings, and suddenly nothing can possibly get done. I’ve had two weeks of vacation in the past six years, and that’s not a coincidence! Employers just can’t think ahead 24 hours.

    5. lnelson in Tysons*

      I too would love an update for this.
      Many places have a variation of the “busy season” as it is known in the accounting world. Also company have policies on how far in advance for planned vacation is required.
      Having said that. If in the US someone has racked up 20 days, then yes they have gone a long time without any real time off.
      If the employee’s perception really is, my boss goes off on vacation regularly , but I can’t go. In his shoes I would be looking for another job. At past jobs, I have had to work out with other co-workers bosses that there would be coverage in the office. I did put down my co-worker at one point, she sent me a tentative vacation schedule for the year with her taking time off around all the major holidays. Some of which I really didn’t care about (spring vacation for the kids) July 4th. But also Memorial Day, Thanksgiving and Christmas. Seriously. I basically said which of the two is more important to you? I want to be off around one of them.

    6. Rusty Shackelford*

      The thing is, it’s not really just conforming her vacation time to the boss’s whims. It’s kind of… calling the boss’s bluff? I’m not sure that’s the right way to describe it, but it’s forcing the boss to come right out (explicitly or less so) and say “you will NEVER be able to use your vacation time.” Or, conversely, to say “I’m glad you asked. Your previous requests have been for really busy periods/without enough lead time, so let’s work together to schedule some time for you.”

  8. Bend & Snap*

    #5 I am so put off by that whole paragraph. Why mention the length of your marriage? Or mention it at all? Just yuck on the whole thing.

    I don’t think there are a lot of hiring managers that would respond favorably to that.

    Was there ever an update to #2?

    1. Eillah*

      Agreed, I’m also pretty bummed to know that a man would never even think to ask this question :/

      1. Ask a Manager* Post author

        Actually, I think I’ve seen more men include that kind of thing on their resume than women! I think to show they’re “good family men” or something.

          1. Yvette*

            I am in my late 50’s and when I was a kid I remember my father having that on his resume. As others have said, it was to make the person appear more stable. Someone with a family had others to consider and might be less likely to change jobs on a whim. It was taken off later.

            1. SheLooksFamiliar*

              There was a time when resumes also included height, weight, general health status, and – whoa! – Social Security Numbers. I wish I were making that up…I got resumes like that until the early 90s, and made a point of telling people to please Never Do That Again.

              1. Sara*

                I work for a business school and we have copies of all graduates’ resumes dating back to the 70s. Reading through them is wild

                1. Southern Yankee*

                  OMG, is there any way to entice you to redact the identifying info and put pdf’s somewhere, or put a few of the best excerpts in a Friday open thread for us to all enjoy? I would pay money for that level of entertainment!

              2. Carlie*

                Tons of part time jobs (retail, fast food) now ask for Social Security numbers on their online applications, and won’t let you skip it. Makes no sense.

                1. Ego Chamber*

                  Yeah, I hate this. And a lot of them won’t let you through using obvious fakes like 000-00-0000. When my identity gets stolen, even odds it will be because of a past application to a shitty part time job that never even called me for an interview. :(

          2. JanetM*

            Bios for the Tennessee General Assembly members all include marital status, usually their spouse’s name if married, and religious affiliation. I find this distasteful.

        1. Autumnheart*

          Yuck. That just underlines the bias against women for having the same family responsibilities that men do, that men have a reason to believe that including this info makes them a more viable candidate.

          1. Annette*

            Yes Autumnheart. Studies have proven that married men who have children make more money. While married women with children make less.

            1. MP*

              Do those studies get into causation? I could also see it working the other way that men with greater earning potential are more likely to marry and have kids

            1. Jadelyn*

              My favorite* experience of this was when a temp agency sent me to this shady outbound “appointment-setting” call center (which was raided and shut down for fraud about a month after I walked off the job) that paid minimum wage but liked to boast about how much commission you could make if you were “hungry” enough.

              And sitting there in a room of like 9 women and only 3 or so men, where several of the women had specifically mentioned being single mothers in the “introduce yourselves” portion of the morning, the male trainer went on at length about how a man with a family to support – specifically, a *man* with a family – is the best and most motivated kind of employee, and those kinds of men do really well at this job, because a man with a family to support knows he needs to hustle for his family’s sake. The women were all looking at each other like “…does he like, not realize we’re here or something?”

              I didn’t even stay the whole day. I left at lunch, called the agency and told them I was absolutely not able to work with this company, and went home.

              *and by “favorite” I mean “most egregiously terrible”

        2. Grace*

          I think it used to be a thing (I know I’ve seen people from the American South saying it used to be a fairly common standard in their area) where in some regions, a man didn’t get a good job at all unless he put down that he was married with at least one child. I believe the stated reason was that a married man with children needed the job the most so that he could be the breadwinner. With the probably-intentional side effect of excluding everyone who wasn’t a ‘good family man’, of course.

          1. logicbutton*

            Also perhaps the side effect of excluding people who might have more free time to look for a better job or feel less pressure to stay in a job where they weren’t being treated well enough.

          2. Liane*

            I’ve always heard that there are places outside the US where those kinds of details, or even including pictures, are common on resumes/CVs, but I don’t know if it’s still true.

            1. Academic Admin*

              I’ve seen it on international academic CVs submitted to teaching jobs at $NewEnglandUniversity. It always gives me pause; I’d think highly-trained individuals would research the norms for CVs in the country they’re applying to, but nope.

            2. Perpal*

              Hmm, i always thought of including a picture as a way of being personable; but i could see it getting exclusionary if required

            3. Zurich*

              Absolutely. I work in Switzerland (but am from North America), and photos on resumes are pretty much required. All resume advice here gives comments about how professional your photo should be, what you should/shouldn’t be wearing in it, etc. Marital status and kids are extremely common but slowly shifting out of fashion — well, at least in the sense that it’s not absolutely required. Date of birth is more or less mandatory too. Also, what I find pretty funny is many Swiss resumes include information about which high school you went to, and sometimes elementary school too.

              1. Brandy*

                Due to the times i was in school, during them redistricting alot along with moving, I and probably many peers here went to alot of schools. I can name them all but i think i went to over 10 schools total between elementary – high.

        3. NotAnotherManager!*

          Early in my career, I was helping put together a proposal that included the CVs of the team of professionals that would support the project, if we won the bid. We asked for everyone’s CV in advance to format them consistently for ease of reading, and one of the senior principal’s CV was 7 pages long (not including the five pages of every article he’d ever written, relevant or not). The “personal information” section alone was nearly half a page and included his wife’s finishing school and charitable board positions, his sister’s ambassadorship, his country club membership, his kids’ fancy-pants private schools, and an number of other details that were clearly intended to signal that he was the “right” kind of person (wealthy, upper-crust of society). I do not envy the marketing person who had to sit down with him to help him trim his CV down to two pages and tell him that the fact that he paid $50K/year/kid for private school was not actually relevant to the bid.

        4. MatKnifeNinja*

          It really depends were you live.

          Missionary work, spouse, kids, soccer coach will pole vault you to the top of the heap here.

          My niece’s (public) elementary school had three new teachers who included family, missionary work, and church jobs on their “Getting to Know Me” newsletter. All go to the same mega church.

          This district can get 400 applications for one position. I’m sure the above information made it onto the resume.

      2. anon for today*

        I don’t think it’s just a gender thing, though. The people I’ve seen write about putting marriage, kids, and religion on resumes are usually heterosexual Christians. I think there’s an underlying assumption from these groups that showing these traits makes them more desirable.

        Religious minorities would never ask this question because they know putting that they’re Jewish or Muslim would probably get them rejected. LGBT individuals would never ask this because they know putting that they’re in a same-sex marriage would get them rejected.

        1. TootsNYC*

          I’m so confused–I thought our vice president recently established that our society today persecutes heterosexual Christians.

          1. Ego Chamber*

            Yes, that is what he said: no group in all of history has ever been more persecuted than modern day Christians.

            Oppression is a hell of a drug, man.

        2. Liane*

          I’m a heterosexual Christian and I don’t put that in my resumes. Nope, not even 30+ years ago as a new grad.

          I did once put in a cover letter that my kids had done ABC Mission Org’s Teen Stuff–because I was applying to ABC Mission Org for a position on the Teen Stuff team.

        3. Dust Bunny*

          I’m an atheist from a left-of-center religious background and you better believe I’d never put any that on a resume.

    2. My Dog's Person*

      When I applied for a job in the same field I left 14 years earlier to raise my child, there had been a massive sea changes in office technology (use of e-mail and internet!) and also in several basic elements of the subject matter of the job. My resume highlighted my prior related positions and showed the industry education I taken then to learn the subject matter. (This stuff was not taught in school but learned on the job.) I had been involved in my in a number of activities during my “retirement” and put them on my resume, but in a ways that highlighted their relevance to employment. I tried to learn updated computer technology and so listed the small newsletter I wrote and published for a hobby group, the database and templates I created to handle Girl Scout troop paperwork as assistant leader, and 9 years as a weekly computer room teacher aid at my child’s school. I worked on the PTO annual spaghetti dinner (800+ people fed in 2 hours) and co-chaired it for four years which showed my management and leadership experience. I was a volunteer counselor at an non-profit that served women and children and learned there how to talk about serious and uncomfortable topics with anyone. I did not list church and social activities and did not directly name the school or non-profit. It was neutral as possible

      The first time I sent out the resume, I got an interview. I stressed that I had kept up with changes in the field a much as possible but offered to take some more industry training if needed. I noted that my technology skill were up-to-date but was ready to learn more. I was hired for the job and worked with some wonderful people who turned out to be wonderfully supportive and a very bad time in my life.

  9. SenseANDSensibility*

    For my last two vacation requests, my boss took two months to consider and reply to them. They ended up granting each request, but by the time they did, all the good/affordable airfares had been taken for the trips I’d wanted to take each time, so I just stayed home but still took the time off. It’s really infuriating and disrespectful for managers to do things like this when we have worked hard to earn our vacation time.

    1. Looking ahead*

      I would suggest asking for approval within two weeks so that you can book your reservations in a timely manner. Especially since this has happened twice!

    2. Bend & Snap*

      I had a boss like this except he approved the time and shamed me into not taking it because i was up for a promotion. “A director does not take 3 fridays in a row off.”

      When I quit they paid me for all the vacation time he denied the year before.

      1. WonderingHowIGotIntoThis*

        The last time I took leave – it was a “use it or lose it” scenario because HR were changing the accrual process – it was for five days, a full week. When I got back there were numerous problems with hitting targets that stressed me out, which my manager blamed on my decision to take a week’s leave. Apparently the better way to do it is to just take every other Friday or Monday off because then (direct quote) “we won’t miss you as much”.

        Honestly, I probably need to quit at this point – but we’re at the beginning of our leave accrual period, so there’s no vacation pay to compensate me.

    3. ThisColumnMakesMeGratefulForMyBoss*

      Did you say anything while you were waiting? I wouldn’t have just sat idle waiting for a response. I would have become a thorn in their side and explained why I needed to know.

      1. Becky*

        If I don’t hear back from my boss within a week on a PTO request, I ask him directly about it–it usually means he has missed it in his inbox. He usually approves them within 24 hours.

  10. TootsNYC*

    #4–the former coworker wanting to meet for coffee.

    There is no such thing as poaching.

    I wanted to type that in all caps, but I think I’ve done that a bit too much lately.

    I’m really surprised Alison didn’t explicitly call that phrase out.

    My own advice would be: Always meet former coworkers for coffee (if you’re on good terms, etc.). You just never know, and it is so very helpful to keep those connections with people who think your work is good.

    The fact that someone wants to hire you at a different job is not a bad thing; you have no obligation to put your current employer’s interests above your own.

    1. Moray*

      Why do you say there’s no such thing as poaching? Even if the word itself has slightly negative connotations, it describes a very specific kind of recruiting which does exist.

      1. Pilcrow*

        Because poaching implies theft – that the poacher took something that rightly belonged to another (and the poachee has no say in the matter): 1) an employee is not *property* of the employer, 2) an employee accepting an offer from a competitor is not theft.

        Targeting your recruiting efforts from a particluar employer is not theft. In the context of the letter, one might consider it networking.

        1. Ego Chamber*

          The only time I’d consider it poaching is if there’s a formal employment contract in place, like if a high level employee breaks their contract to work for a competitor who instructed them to leave their current company, or if a contractor is hired by a competitor in the middle of a job in a way that means abandoning their previous contract. (And it’s poaching-adjacent if Company A specifically recruits current employees of Company B out of spite or as a weird power play or something—I’ve seen this happen and wtf.)

          It’s not applicable to the vast majority of recruiting/networking, is what I’m saying.

      2. Princess prissypants*

        I agree that poaching is not a thing, and it’s because the employer doesn’t own, or isn’t entitled to the employee, just as the employee isn’t obligated to the employer. Poaching means stealing an owned thing from its owner. The employee has agency.

      3. TootsNYC*

        Pilcrow has it right.

        I am not the property of my employer. No one is. I am free to leave at any time. If I have a contract that binds me, it’s still not poaching for someone else to ask me if I’m interested in leaving; enforcing that contract is on me.

        I get that people can use it without truly meaning that, but especially for that Letter Writer, the whole tone was “she is trying to do something unethical by stealing me!”

        And yes, there is a specific kind of recruiting–approaching someone who isn’t actively looking for work and asking them if they’re interested in applying, and maybe even trying to offer incentives that would get them to leave their current job to work for you.

        That is actually called “recruiting.” If someone is applying under their own initiative, you didn’t really have to recruit them.

        1. londonedit*

          Not sure if it’s the same in the US, but in the UK this is called headhunting and it’s extremely common, especially in industries like finance. There are recruiting firms whose entire raison d’etre is to headhunt people – they work for their clients to identify top-performing people at various companies, and offer them huge incentives to jump ship and go and work for their client. It’s totally a thing, and it’s not ‘poaching’, it’s an accepted part of business.

    2. WellRed*

      Eh, we had a jr editor we shared with our sister publication. They lost one of their editors and moved him into that position immediately without even telling us (and with no notice). That sure felt like poaching.

      1. CmdrShepard4ever*

        It might feel like poaching, but the jr editor could have refused to do the new job given by the company. Yes it might have led to jr. editor being fired but the company did not force him to keep doing the job. If it was a sister publication it seems both were owned by the same company. This would be like moving an employee from Dept A to Dept B to fill a vacancy. I am of the general mindset that short of putting a gun to your head or the head of someone you love you (and a few other extreme examples) can’t really be forced to do anything against your will. Someone can put consequences in place for doing/not doing something those can be both very good or very bad consequences but you are choosing what you prefer to do.

    3. Psyche*

      It didn’t sound like they were putting their current employers interests above their own. They sounded like they were happy with their current job and were uninterested in taking time out of their day to be recruited. While it isn’t a bad thing that someone wants to hire them, they have no obligation to listen to the pitch if they don’t want to.

    4. StaceyIzMe*

      I have to say that I concur. It feels a bit “off” to be concerned about being put in a position of having to fend off an offer that hasn’t even been proferred yet. You can be deliriously happy and entirely uninterested in searching for other offers. But it seems to be putting the proverbial cart before the horse to avoid meeting for coffee because someone might possibly have you in mind for a position. (You don’t have to listen, but why wouldn’t you at least hear them out? Maybe they can offer more salary, training, advancement opportunities and perks. Not that you have to hear them out.) It just seems premature not to and a bit odd to be preoccupied with it in advance since it’s a wholly theoretical question at this juncture.

    5. Essess*

      There is absolutely such a thing as poaching. In my company, the owner sold the company and in the sale contract was a clause that he could not recruit or actively solicit any current employee to leave to go with him to his new company for a period of 1 year. (And at 1 year + 1 day, all of the employees received an email from the old owner offering them interviews to go to the new company).
      Also, my company does software consulting for thousands of other companies. There is a clause in our contracts that says that the client cannot actively recruit or offer jobs to our employees within x amount of time from when the employee worked on their account. These contracts would be held up in a court of law.

    6. JustaTech*

      If there’s no such thing as poaching, then why are there anti-poaching clauses in so many tech employment agreements? I know some of them have been struck down by the courts in California, but it’s common enough to be a joke among tech workers.
      Example: “Oh, Kevin must have left Media Giant for Ride Company exactly a year ago because he’s been pinging me like crazy to come join him at Ride Company!”

  11. The Man, Becky Lynch*

    #5 has so many bad-vibes attached to it. Do you also introduce yourself as “Mrs. John Doe” and tell everyone that “this is my husband of 10 years”, it sounds really dated and a throwback to when it was a novelty to find a working woman outside of the home.

    I haven’t flinched at seeing volunteer positions listed, even if it’s all church related but it’s strange to just list the membership and elder status, unless you’re looking for work somewhere that this is relevant, say a non-profit owned by your church or such. Sometimes you just need to remember that a resume isn’t about you, it’s about your qualifications. They will learn about you when they interview you and if they care, they’ll ask you about hobbies and interests, a lot of interviews start with “tell me about yourself” where you can list that kind of thing.

    It’s also not illegal to ask about families, it’s only frowned upon because it can be misconstrued as discrimination by those who are not interviewed, etc. So I feel like this is just a really archaic method that should be thrown out with objections and the note about “References available upon request”.

    1. Liane*

      I think the only time I have put anything family & church related in application materials was when I applied for a position at a missions organization. It went in my cover letter, not my resume, and was only there because it explained how I knew about their programs and why I wanted to work there.

      1. The Man, Becky Lynch*

        I have heard that a lot of faith-based organizations will straight up ask you about how you’re a good candidate to help with their mission, so I would think it’s going to make you a stronger candidate if you bring it up first in a cover letter.

        I would also mention that you would want to do what we’re taught to do with resumes and remember to tailor a resume for the job you want. So you can have a “faith based” resume for when you’re applying at The Mission or such and the one that omits the church information for standard businesses!

  12. SheLooksFamiliar*

    OP 5 – It actually is not illegal to ask those questions – there are times when age, health, religion, etc., are a BFOQ – Bona Fide Occupational Qualification. For example, the ADEA does not prevent asking about age because your age can be a proven factor for certain jobs: civil service or government roles, airline pilot, bus drivers. Another example: if you want a job as editor for a publishing company that creates Sunday School materials or programs, your religious beliefs absolutely are relevant to the job in question. In fact, the only truly illegal question is ‘How much do you currently make?’, and that’s only in certain states.

    However, it is illegal to make a hiring decision that discriminates against you due to a being in a protected class, and/or for factors irrelevant to the job. If you include all that information on your resume you have given potential employers ammunition to use against you – and you won’t even know it. Edit your resume as Alison suggests, and customize your cover letter as appropriate.

    1. fposte*

      Federally speaking, marital and family status aren’t explicitly protected anyway. (However, to complicate the myth of illegal questions, there’s a federal outlier–asking if the applicant has a disability is forbidden.)

      1. SheLooksFamiliar*

        Yep. I’m not for a minute suggesting it is okay to ask about those things during an interview with a Fortune 100000 company, and I have taken people to task for doing it. But I grind my teeth when people blithely assert it’s illegal to ask about those things.

        1. fposte*

          I think it’s one of those shortcut things–“illegal” is quicker than saying “Just don’t, because there’s a high chance of getting us into legal hot water.”

          1. SheLooksFamiliar*

            I think so, too. Asking the question vs. discrimination is a fairly sophisticated concept.

  13. freedlabrat*

    #5 I’m not sure I agree that having the info about marriage/kids not hurting, maybe its a bit field dependent, but I cannot see that going over well in my office…. and I also cannot imagine a scenario where this would be a positive, so why take the risk?

    1. Just Employed Here*

      Alison’s advice states that the info about the *interests* would not hurt the candidate, but that the *marriage/kids* stuff should be taken off the resume.

  14. iglwif*

    LW#1 – manager is being a jerk, and I hope he gets in trouble when you find a new job that actually lets you use your vacation time and your current employer has to pay you for all those days he didn’t let you take!

    LW#5 – don’t do it! If you have job-relevant volunteer experience that’s connected to your church, fine, that’s useful info for the hiring manager, but the rest of it isn’t. And as Alison says, what it actually communicates is “I’m unaware of or actively ignoring current norms for what goes on a professional resume”, which is … not what you want.

  15. Me*

    LW5 – I am hiring you as an employee. I care about what is relevant to your ability to do your job. Being married, having kids and going to church have no bearing on your ability to do the job. Furthermore, you including that is going to make me question why you think providing me that info is relevant to your ability to do your job. If I have a bunch of good candidates and I’m looking to narrow the pool, the weird resumes go in the circular file.

    1. SheLooksFamiliar*

      I coach job seekers at a local job search ministry, and most of the time people understand these things. Still, at least once a week a job seeker insists they want the employer to understand who they are ‘as a person.’ I tell them the employer cares about them as a professional, and they don’t care about or want the distractions of hobbies, family size, marital status, or quirks.

      Yeah, I’ve had some, um, interesting coaching sessions…

      1. Me*

        I went on an interview recently where the employer asked a vague question about things not on my resume which I answered work related. They clarified that no no, they wanted to know what I actually did in my free time outside of work. I instantly no longer wanted the job. (scarily this was government).

        So I mean I guess there are employers for everyone!

        I frame it to people as you are you, but work you is a bit like first date you – you just less. You lite.

        1. Southern Yankee*

          Oh, I like this. “First date me” isn’t going to disclose that little detail….

  16. Autistic Farm Girl*

    #5: do you also specify that your husband very kindly allows you to have a job? Sorry if that sounds harsh but someone who would list their marriage and length and introduce themselves as “Mrs John Doe” would make me wonder is she’s my grand parents age, or so controlled by her husband that she needs permission to work.

    I’ve recruited people, and quite frankly I could not care less if you’re married, single, in an open relationship where you have 10 partners or anything else. What you do and who you sleep with outside of work is exactly that: outside of work. And I don’t want to know about it.

  17. Klingons and Cylons and Cybermen, Oh My!*

    Back in the early 1990s, my then boss refused to let me use any vacation time for TWO WHOLE YEARS. At the end of Year 1, Timekeeping agreed to carry over my time AND scolded him for not letting me use my time. At the end of Year 2, Timekeeping unilaterally converted ALL of my accrued vacation time to sick leave. My boss responded to that by scolding ME for not using my accrued time! (Needless to say, I got out of that department within the following year, but I’ve stayed with the same employer for 30 years.)

    1. Liza*

      I feel for you. I had a manager years ago who would not directly REFUSE holiday, but created a culture where people were hesitant to ask. Because she did the rotas, she would complain bitterly every time she had to schedule holidays for people. Odd days caused her more ire than booking a whole week/fortnight in one, and she also complained about having to cover our department (we were a small business and something of a skeleton crew, so staff on holiday or off sick often meant managers having to jump in and do our jobs). As a result, people wouldn’t take their holiday time. And then the end of the financial year would come round and everybody had a ton of holiday still to take and she’d go around and shriek at everyone for not taking it sooner because now a bunch of people still had three weeks worth of holiday to use up in two months. You couldn’t win.

  18. MicroManagered*

    OP5 If you added all that info because your resume is a little on light side with actual work experience, I do think you could possibly expand on this:

    domestic and overseas church mission work; and supporting local animal rescue and pet adoption organizations.

    You could list specific organizations and what specifically you did for them. I think right now you have it there more to show you have character? (Based on the fact that you are including your family info with it.) But really, it’s work experience as a volunteer.

    1. Massmatt*

      Right, mission work is work, it’s right there in the title, maybe it could be expanded and tailored to fit a specific job or field.

    2. The Man, Becky Lynch*

      Hmmm, even expanding on the mission work is iffy honestly. I have had people list their mission work for LDS and it really is a turn off for a lot of people outside of those communities. I’ve had friends who go on yearly “international” mission trips to “build homes” in South America and it’s really still not something that should be brought up unless you’re going into non-profit work and it’s somewhere with a faith based mission.

      1. President Porpoise*

        Generally agree, but on occasion it could be a helpful thing. My mom, for instance, is currently working in a volunteer capacity in a leadership role for the LDS church, putting in well over 20 hours a week on her projects. Her biggest project? Coordinating assistance for immigrants who pass their initial refugee screening and are admitted to the US for her (extremely large) district. To be clear, we’re talking about providing meals, essentials and assistance to 50-100 people a day who’ve just been bussed into the city, most of whom do not speak English or Spanish. Some of these poor folks think they’ve been deported because they’ve been sent to New Mexico, and are not aware that it’s part of the US.
        The coordination, networking, logistics, etc. related to that project alone would be resume-worthy (but I know she’s done with the workforce forever if she has her way).

      2. Jadelyn*

        Well, *especially* with LDS “mission” work, because that’s specifically to proselytize to people. Mission work in general may be more community-work-focused depending on the particulars of the group – going somewhere to build houses or whatever – but LDS missionaries are specifically going somewhere to try to convert people, so putting that on a resume is basically saying “I think you should value me more as a prospective employee because of my ability to convince people to join my religion” which…yeah no. 1: not relevant to 99% of jobs, and 2: a lot of us non-Christians find that sort of proselytizing off-putting and borderline creepy.

        1. President Porpoise*

          Not true – there are (a lot of) LDS service missions, which may be anything from being tour guides at Mormon landmarks to helping with IT support, offering humanitarian aid, etc. These are open to the young men and women many people think of when they think Mormon missionary, and also to middle aged and elderly volunteers.

          But that’s an interesting assumption you have there.

          1. NotMyRealName*

            Let’s be honest here, most people’s experience with LDS missionaries involves them going door to door to try to convert people. I don’t doubt that their are other types of missions, but that’s not who most people are going to encounter.

        2. StaceyIzMe*

          You have to be aware that a word like “mission” is a varied in its meaning as a word like “work”. Think of it in the context of organizational, military, familial and other contexts. What I’m saying (and not very well, granted) is that it’s necessary to read the details of anything on a resume and not just assume (“oh, faith-based thing- Oh, God, THAT denomination, NOT…) . People shouldn’t have to disclose their personal lives but managers have a duty not to infer negative connotations to identifiable demographics, in my view, irrespective of the vocabulary used to convey the general nature or details of the activity that identifies a candidate as belonging to any particular group.

      3. Richard*

        On the other had, listing that mission work can be a positive dog whistle to other members of that faith community who will be favorable to hiring people of the same denomination. It’s not really a fair hiring practice, but it is common enough.

        1. The Man, Becky Lynch*

          IMO most people who put this on their resume are hoping for that kind of reaction, they are hoping that the person who is hiring sees it and says “me too!”. It’s the same concept of why people put on hobbies or other interests so that they may be given a foot in the door because they have something warm-n-fuzzy in common with the hiring manager.

  19. Librarian of SHIELD*

    I’m just baffled when I get resumes or applications that include non-work information. Knowing that you belong to a church or a social club or have baseball season tickets doesn’t do anything to help me understand what you would be like as an employee. And sometimes it actively makes me feel bad, because now I’m not just weeding out an applicant who isn’t right for this position, I’m rejecting the mother of an adorable three year old who presumably needs a roof over her head. It just leaves a really bad taste in my mouth and I wish people wouldn’t do it.

  20. Bilateralrope*

    For the babysitting one: Does your employer have any conflict of interest rules which might be a problem ?

    Check before talking to your coworker.

  21. Bella*

    #1- I have a friend who was in the same boat and when I dug into the issue further it was because the vacation time she was requesting was unrealistic. She works in health care and wanted every single weekend off. Her argument was, “it’s my vacation time and I should be able to take it when I want. I am newly married and my husband (who works from home by the way) doesn’t work weekends and I want to be with him.” Unfortunately, in health care, that’s just not how it works when you are on a weekend rotation.
    If your boss is rejecting your vacation requests, make sure that they are compatible with your co-workers and your managers schedules.

    1. Dust Bunny*

      If this is the case, though, her manager could be giving her feedback about it.

  22. Noah*

    “currently serving as an active elder, supporting the work of the Fellowship Committee”

    This immediately gets any resume I read thrown straight in the trash (metaphorically… that’s not what you do with rejected resumes). Not because I care about the religious aspect. It’s that anybody who is so caught up in themselves that they don’t know that the majority of people who read this line will have absolutely no idea what it means (I’m certain that it literally means nothing, but that’s probably not true) generally lacks sufficient judgment and common sense for any job I’m hiring for. This person is speaking 80% in jargon a week into their job. It’s torture.

    1. DerJungerLudendorff*

      I imagine they’re part of a venerated circle of elders, who sit around a campfire drinking alcohol out of bowls to rule on issues in their community while organizing trips to the local doom volcano.

      1. Not One of the Bronte Sisters*

        Maybe they used to do that sitting around thing. Elders are the governors of each individual Presbyterian church. It is a religion in which each congregation governs itself (called Congregational in the U.K.). Came from each Scottish clan governing itself. I still wouldn’t put it on a resume.

        1. Noah*

          Cool. I’m not researching that stuff and it is tone deaf of applicants to assume I have any idea what they are talking about. I prefer non-tone deaf employees.

    2. Me*

      Facts. Are you on the fellowship committee? Then just say that. That at least means something. (although really don’t put that on your resume at all).

      Supporting a committee but not on it? So you…answer questions if they ask you? Provide snacks? Email minutes? Clap when they walk by?

      1. Noah*

        What the heck is a fellowship committee? That’s code/jargon, and it doesn’t belong on a resume unless you’re sending it to somebody who you know knows the same code/jargon.

        1. Me*

          Eh. It’s fair to assume being on a committee requires some work and commitment. Any job title is jargon to an extent. It also isn’t required that a potential employer understand exactly what your role was by title. That’s why you list out your duties and functions.

          Depending on what is involved, there’s nothing inherently wrong with listing the committee so long as the work is relevant to the job.

  23. Peaches*

    I know Alison mentions that church references are okay “only in a leadership role”, but I still get the feeling from her answer that it might be better just to leave it off completely.

    To be clear, I’ve actually never included my church role on my resume, but I do include it on my LinkedIn under “volunteering”. I am a communion coordinator at a church of about 500; I schedule individuals to serve communion on a weekly basis, recruit new team members, answer questions about serving, etc. Is this okay to have on my LinkedIn, or does it appear too conservative?

    FWIW, I’m not actively job searching.

    1. Sedna*

      In my opinion, I would want to hear more about the actual tasks you did (balancing schedules, recruitment, supporting volunteers, etc) than about the organization you did them for. So maybe mention the context briefly (either as a church or just generally as a religious/faith-based/community organization) and then emphasize what you did and learned in that role.

    2. Noah*

      Alison, like me, has no idea if that line of OP’s resume is a leadership role or not because the description is either totally vague or totally inside baseball. If it’s a leadership role, that needs to be understandable by non-church members.

  24. Anonymeece*

    I’ve had people mention their church (non-leadership, just “member of”) and even political party on their resumes. I’ve never seen someone mention who they were married to (?!?). The people who put those sorts of things do strike me as being out-of-touch and even when I have brought them in for an interview, generally I get other impressions that they’re not familiar with work norms. I even had one person ask me what church I went to, which threw me off and made me uncomfortable.

    If you need to know whether a company will be flexible to a new mom, then ask about general policies, flexible time off, etc. I hire primarily part-time people, so I get a lot of moms who bring up their kids in interviews to gauge the waters, and I’m able to reassure them that we can work with their schedule (or not, as the case may be).

  25. ShwaMan*

    Number two is a good example of what I like to call a “mis-hire”. Always good to do a post-mortem on how you (or whoever) arrived at the decision to hire them in the first place. I know some poor employees are good at hiding it during an interview, but there just had to be a missed red flag in there somewhere.

  26. Wendy Darling*

    I had an employee try to foment revolution on his first day once!

    I work in a field where NDAs are VERY, VERY normal (I have a current coworker who doesn’t have one from her last job and not only is everyone on my team shocked, SHE’S shocked), so when we hired a bunch of people (all fairly new to the workforce, lots of new grads) to staff up a new initiative we got them all in on their first day and sat them down to sign their NDAs before we started training them, you know, as you do.

    One guy decided that this was a HUMAN RIGHTS VIOLATION and refused to sign. We were like, you can’t work for us if you don’t sign. He was like, I need a minute, and walked out. He reappeared after lunch and told us he wouldn’t sign and we were like, that was too bad please tell us where we can send your paycheck for 2 hours.

    Apparently he’d gotten all the other new hires’ emails at some point because the next day he emailed all of them AND ME (?!) and urged us to throw off our oppression and leave this company that was violating our rights and come work for his revolutionary newspaper.

    No one did though.

  27. Alice*

    Was there ever an update to #1? I’m shocked that this is even a thing. In my country it’s simply not possible for employers to reject requests to use vacation time. They can reject a request for a specific day if they motivate it, but then they have to propose an alternative date for your vacation. Not being able to take time off with your family sounds awful.

    1. londonedit*

      I’m really not sure whether it would be possible/legal where I am (UK) either. The way it works here is that rather than having to accrue holiday, you’re given your year’s holiday allowance up front – either at the beginning of the calendar/financial year, or when you join the company (in which case you get a pro rata allowance). Usually you get between 20-25 days, not including public holidays (there are 8 of those in England). You’re then free to book your holiday for the year as you see fit. It is always at the discretion of your manager, and some companies will have busy times when no one is allowed to take holiday, or they’ll have rules governing how many people on a team are allowed to take holiday at the same time, but I don’t think a company can prevent its employees from taking the holiday that they’re entitled to. There are also rules that vary by company around whether you’re allowed to roll over any unused holiday into the following year – where I work, you’re allowed to roll over up to five days from a previous calendar year, but these have to be taken by the end of March or you’ll lose them.

  28. Workfromhome*

    #1 I agree that it makes sense to have a bit more context. There is a big difference between “I’m an accountant and asked for 1 day of vacation off 20 times through the year saying I’d be flexible which day of the week that day was and was denied 20 times and “I’m an accountant and I asked for a week off 4 times during tax season and was denied”.
    If its situation 1 then your boss sucks, boss won’t change and you need to find a new job.
    In the meantime if you’ve confirmed that its not being denied because you are asking for something unreasonable (2 weeks off in the busiest time when someone is already off on medical leave) then you need to put things to the final test.

    “hi I want to use some of the vacation time that’s part of my compensation package. I want to take one week off. I’ve listed out 4 weeks of options. I only want to take one of them. Could you let me know which week works best and approve it.?”

    If the answer is none of those 4 works no vacation for you then you have your answer. The next question is “So is there any way I can use the vacation that is part of my compensation package or is that no longer part of my package ?”

    Some companies are just weird and stupid about vacation. At my former job I worked in a high stress job that required a lot of travel. I had 3 weeks vacation by could also accumulate (I’m in Canada) paid time off for certain overtime . I accumulated several weeks of this paid time. I requested to use one day of it weeks in advance which was approved. The day before I got a call no that trip we told you did not have to make we changed our mind you can’t use that day” That was the day I started looking for another job. There was always this underlying feeling covered up by pretending to be joking. They would say everyone needs vacation to recharge. Then when you took it it was “oh taking vacation again? It sure was rough covering for you while away ” Not to mention the calls or emails on vacation “Sorry just this one thing”.

  29. Bears Beets Battlestar*

    I once had a job at a very small business where I was only allowed to take time off if the boss was available to cover. He would go in vacation for 2-4 weeks at a time every other month or so. I stayed there longer than I should have because I was young and dumb.

  30. Ian*

    OMG, is #1 the old letter i sent in years ago? I tried to talk to my boss about it, and he flat out told me he’d never approve a vacation day. I took it to HR who backed him, so I quit. I’d been there almost 6 years. I’d taken vacation before, but then got a new boss who did this to me. Meanwhile he was taking entire months off…
    No regrets about quitting on my end at all.

Comments are closed.