Boss demands employee to return to work mid-way through annual leave: ‘Is this a joke?’

Boss demands employee to return to work mid-way through annual leave: ‘Is this a joke?’
  • PublishedDecember 21, 2023

‘You aren’t seriously asking me this?’

A boss has been ripped into shreds on social media after shocking text messages emerged showing him demanding an employee to return to work mid-way through their annual leave.

Ben Askins, from London, read out an anonymous submission from an employee whose manager unexpectedly texted him while he was on holiday in Mexico.

“Hey I am sorry to do this so late, but there has been a mistake with the annual leave and I am going to have to cancel the second half of your annual leave this week,” the boss said in the text.

“You will need to be in the office Thursday and Friday.”

Confused, the employee responded: “Huh? But I am already in Mexico?”

Shocking texts have emerged showing a boss demanding an employee to return to work mid-way through their annual leave.
Shocking texts have emerged showing a boss demanding an employee to return to work mid-way through their annual leave. Credit: Text message mockup

The boss replied: “Sorry, like I said, there is nothing I can do, I am going to update the system now saying you will be in.”

The employee explained: “But I won’t be in? I am literally in another country, there is no scenario where I can make it back in time.”

Refusing to back down, the boss suggested: “You will have to move your flights around, I have just checked and there is one on Wednesday evening that you can get.”

The worker then asked: “This is a joke right? You aren’t seriously asking me this?”

The boss confirmed: “Definitely not a joke and I am not asking, I am telling you the situation.

“I appreciate it isn’t ideal but too many people are off Thursday and Friday so you are going to have to be back here by then. I have updated the system,” the boss continued.

The employee ended the text with: “You can do what you want. Even if I wanted to come back in time (which I can’t), I wouldn’t. And if you push this I will be reporting this.”

It’s unclear what happened between the employee and boss — but the text exchange was re-shared on social media.

Harsh or fair? The employee confirmed he was not cancelling his trip to go back to work (picture of a text message mockup).
Harsh or fair? The employee confirmed he was not cancelling his trip to go back to work (picture of a text message mockup). Credit: Text message mockup

Ben, who’s a managing director and co-founder of a digital agency, weighed in on the appalling text messages after he read out the exchange in his now-viral video.

“You must know you’re not allowed to do that?” Ben said about the boss.

“You can’t just update a system and expect that it’s just going to magically summon someone from Mexico for god’s sake.

“I’d love to know what he thinks this system is that just magically produces employees whenever he wants…. and expects to magically summon someone from Mexico for god’s sake.”

Ben said he believed the boss was in the wrong for making a mistake when approving his employees’ annual leave.

“Basically what the boss has done is he’s messed up. That sounds like a rota problem for sure but it’s certainly not the poor employee’s problem,” Ben said.

“He’s got annual leave signed off, it’s a right, not a privilege. You can’t f*** around with it. Get a freelancer, move things around. That’s your problem to deal with. What’s not okay is you start meshing your employee on his annual leave.

“I don’t understand what the boss thinks is going to happen. What do you think he’s gonna come back with? Of course he’s not cancelling his holiday — just get a freelancer if you’ve messed up.”

The video has been viewed more than 4.2 million times — with many outraged over the manager’s unreasonable request.

“My response would be, ‘If the company purchases my new flight and refunds me for the two hotel nights. Sure I’ll be in. Let me know when they’ve finalised — don’t forget to send my flight details over. Thanks’,” one suggested.

Another said: “Sure, I’ll come back, as soon as you wire me the money for the flight down, reimburse the rest of my vacation, and pay for when I come back down.”

While one added: “No job is worth that. Quitting on the spot.”

Many revealed they went through a similar experience with their boss while they were on annual leave.

“My old manager called and said, ‘I know you’re on leave right now but I need you to come in today. I told him, ‘I am in Italy’. He said, “oh would you be able to make it back in the next hour?’. No I cannot teleport,” one shared.

Another revealed: “I had an employer ring me asking to do a nightshift, I was in Spain on holiday. To be fair they’d forgotten. They hung up when they realised how much the call was costing.”

While one shared: “My boss called me in while my daughter was in the hospital almost dying. He said the clients still expected me to be there. I quit… He lost a good employee.”

Meanwhile, many pointed out the employee made a “mistake by answering their phone on leave”.

“Why would you even respond to a work text while on holiday?” one said.

Another suggested: “If I’m in Mexico and I get that text I’m not responding. I’ll show up the day I was expected and be like, ‘Oh yeah I was in Mexico no cell service sorry’.”

One shared: “I wouldn’t have even replied. I’d have just turned up on Monday after my holiday.”

While another added: “I would have just responded, ‘Do you want me back in on Monday or never again?’”

SOURCE: 7NEWS

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