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Company requests PTO donations from employees for man seeking leave to be with dying wife

In a time when empathy and understanding are greatly valued, this individual's friend had to go through a scenario that defied those very principles.

Company requests PTO donations from employees for man seeking leave to be with dying wife
Representative Cover Image Source: (L) Pexels | Mikhail Nilov; (R) Reddit | u/mganson99

A lot of times in life, some unprecedented circumstances lead us to do things we might not do otherwise. Things like illnesses, disasters and deaths can happen whenever, and no one can exactly plan their schedule around these. What we often do, however, is expect a certain level of compassion and consideration from those around us. This story posted by u/mganson99 on the r/antiwork Subreddit makes one wonder and question a lot of things. It is a shocking yet eye-opening tale of how compassion is absent from the current work environment.

Representative Image Source: Pexels | Mikhail Nilov
Representative Image Source: Pexels | Mikhail Nilov

The individual posted this story on behalf of his friend who is a long-term employee of the company in question. The friend has been working for said company for almost a decade. One unfortunate day, he found out that his wife of many years had a brain tumor. He got to know that he only had a few weeks left to spend with her before she would pass away. The friend needed leave from office for that. Unlike what any compassionate and considerate person might assume, which is that the company gave him the leave he needed to spend time with his wife on her last days, this company opted for a different approach.

Instead of offering the man support and time to emotionally gather himself and be there for his wife unconditionally, the company asked other employees to donate their paid time off (PTO) to the man voluntarily. The individual while talking about the incident said, "HR sent out a letter to everyone in the company asking for voluntary PTO donations so the guy can take time off to be with her instead of you know, just giving the guy some time off after he gave you 10 years of his time." The friend was baffled as to how could the company not offer his friend the required time off, especially when the man's wife was dying.

Representative Image Source: Pexels | Marcelo Dias
Representative Image Source: Pexels | Marcelo Dias

u/stormycat0811 recounted a personal experience that was a stark contrast from what the individual's friend went through. They said, "When my then 4-year-old was scheduled for a 13-hour brain surgery to disconnect half his brain, my husband asked for vacation time. He requested 7 business days off. HR called to tell him it was not approved. They told him his vacation time was not approved as they were just giving him the time off, with no need to use his vacation time. He was told to take whatever time was needed for our son's recovery. We will always remember that. My husband has been a dedicated, loyal employee, and his company treats their employees like humans." This comment was the perfect example of how employers should be ideally. 

Image Source: Reddit | u/If_its_mean_downvote
Image Source: Reddit | u/If_its_mean_downvote

Another individual, u/ramblingamblingambling, said, "A similar email went out as I was about to leave a long-time job. I have been very frugal with my PTO and had several months saved up, but I knew I was going to get screwed out of it. So before I put in my notice, I very publicly donated four months of PTO to this random employee I had never met. I made sure this donation was acknowledged and noted, and then put in my notice the next day. The company was super mad because they felt like I was screwing them out of the PTO that they were planning on screwing me out of anyway. Oopsie! My bad! I thought we were trying to support the random employee!" Well, this employee surely deserved an award!

Image Source: u/feedmescanlines
Image Source: Reddit | u/feedmescanlines

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