The Reddit user said they had won the annual leave slot by drawing lots as was the practice, which left the mom-of-four bitter.
Everyone is entitled to be treated the same way at their workplace, irrespective of their personal dynamics. It's not uncommon for people to invoke personal life details to avail themselves of more leave. While some may have genuine issues, they are still not entitled to extra preference at the workplace. One person opened up about how some colleagues got a little judgmental about not giving up their annual leave to a mother of four children. They turned to AskReddit to solicit opinions. The Reddit user (u/u/Hallelujah999) asked if they were wrong "for not giving up my annual leave slots up for my colleague with children?"
"In the company I work for and in my department, when more than 2 people apply for the same leave slots, we decide who gets the slot by drawing lots. So this year, I got the slot of my choice (HOORAY!). We do this at the start of every year," they wrote. "The past 2 years have been really mentally and physically exhausting for me and I am looking forward to spending some quality time with my family and friends overseas in June when it is the holiday season."
While they had earned the annual leave slot fairly, a colleague was trying to pressure them into giving up their slot. "The problem is that another colleague that chose the same leave slot as mine and did not get it has been possessively dropping hints that I should give up the slot as she has to spend time with her husband and 4 children," they wrote. "An example would be when we are having lunch, she would sit uncomfortably close to me and show me her childrens' pictures and talk about how she wants to bring them overseas and blah blah blah. Another time, she was in a foul mood for god knows what reason, looks at me, frowns, and starts saying stuff like 'you don't even have any children, so why do you need that slot?'" they added.
They had enough of this passive-aggressive behavior and decided to put their foot down. "I had enough of being nice and told her that I won the ballot fair and square. That if she feels unhappy about it, to go HR and complain about it, which she obviously won't cos it makes her look petty af," they wrote. Their colleague then started bad-mouthing them to other colleagues for months. They finally confronted her and told her in no uncertain terms that she would be reported to HR. "She just scoffed at me and walked off," they wrote.
She then sent a colleague to harass them. "A couple of hours later, during my lunch-time, another colleague of mine came to talk to me about giving up the slots as the other woman (the original harasser) is pregnant with her 5th child," they wrote. She stated that they should be more understanding and "give up my slots to her so that she can spend time with her children before her 5th child comes along." But they weren't having it and told her off. "Well that sounds like a personal problem. I have no obligation to give her what I rightfully won," they wrote, before eventually reporting them to HR for constantly harassing them. "Now, I am waiting for the actions to be taken," they wrote.
A majority of Reddit users sided with them on the matter, stating that family dynamics shouldn't give any employee preferences to avail leave. "We need to stop this 'movement' that people with kids get anything they want and have priority on everything. No. We, 'childfree' people, have lives too," wrote one person. "As more and more people enter the work force that don’t have kids (lowest birth rate in the US in decades) the narrative changes more and more. My husband has people all the time try to say they need vacation over others because they have kids. We do not have kids and we both have been expected in the past to work more or pick up the slack for someone that has kids 'because we don’t have kids.' Just because you have kids doesn’t mean you are entitled to days off over someone else," wrote another person.