After having missed so many personal family events, he decided to spend more time with his family but his boss objected to it.
Editor's note: This article was originally published on December 30, 2021. It has since been updated.
It's never easy to toil through the holidays, knowing that you should be spending that time with your loved ones. In a world where CEOs make infinitely more money than workers, you are basically toiling to fill their coffers as they spend time with their families. One worker who had spent their good years working to make money for his CEO rejigged his priorities after missing many important personal milestones in his life including missing his children’s first steps and their school events. He was determined to spend the holidays with his family this year but his boss demanded he work. Without blinking an eye he quit, but not before making the company pay for demanding he work through the holidays. He shared the story on Reddit where it went viral.
"I was brainwashed at an early age that loyalty and hard work would add countless “0’s” to your paycheck. I remained optimistic after receiving year after year of 3% raises and working holidays. I missed my children’s first steps, their school functions, and other life events so I could make the CEO more money," he said of the work culture that had been inculcated in them from a small age. It was a personal tragedy that spurred him to prioritize his family. "After the passing of my stepfather and my boss calling me during the funeral, asking me to troubleshoot an issue while my mom cried into my shoulder, enough was enough. I changed companies and made a personal pledge to put family first and my career a distant third or fourth."
His current job involved automating the company's processes through a custom API developed by him. He even offered to train someone else to support the API but his manager told him, “No way, we would never do anything to lose you!” His relationship hit a snag when he was asked to work through the holidays he planned to spend with his family. "At the beginning of December, ABC Company was audited by the government and found to be out of compliance. They hired my company to regain their compliance by the end of the year or risk fines near $750,000. I save my vacation days so I can take the week between Christmas and New Year off. I spend it with my kids to make up for all the time I lost when I worked when they were younger. This time is very precious to me," he wrote.
He let his boss know that he needed ABC Company’s information as soon as possible so he could work on it and take the holidays off as had been previously agreed. The information came two weeks late and he offered to walk someone else through it but his boss declined his leave. “I’m sorry. But I have to ask you to work. I declined your time next week,” his boss told him. "I asked, 'What happens to my vacation time?' My boss says, 'I’m sorry. You know the rules. Use it or lose it. I fought for you but HR wouldn’t budge.'"
He made up his mind and drafted his resignation letter, but set it to delay delivery on Monday at 8 am, and went home. This would cost ABC $700,00 because nobody else knows how to program that system as there is no backup. "We had six projects in progress involving extensive API and reporting, now those projects are dead in the water. Seven clients prepaid for API and automation upgrades in 2022 Q1. I don’t know what will happen to those," he wrote.
His boss is furious he quit and demands he return to work pestering him with messages and even calls his partner and his Dad. The worker refuses blankly and quotes $10,000 as his price to fix the temporary problem and train someone else on the team. His manager scoffed at his demands but was losing money by the day. During one of the messages, he stated that the company had already lost $32,000 as a result of his quitting. The manager refused to acquiesce to his demands and even labeled him greedy. He didn't budge.
He was only concerned about his family time. "The ABC Company may not learn anything. To them, a $700k fine is a drop in the bucket and will be passed to their clients or docked from a bonus fund. Based on how the contract is structured, my company might be in breach of contract. But I’m not a lawyer and I don’t care. I have to worry about The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit trilogy and watching this with my kids. They never saw it," he said, concluding his post. "Please remember. Family first. You never get that time back."