Boss canceled vacation. My honeymoon!
Please help me, Ronnie Ann. My boss canceled a vacation that was going to be my honeymoon. When I started my job 3 1/2 months ago I knew I was getting married out of the area in June, which is now in 2 weeks. I made this clear during the interview. And I even submitted a written letter stating the dates I would be gone (14 days) and the reason why. These dates were cleared and are even reflected upon in my original paperwork.
Since then we have had high turnover and are somewhat short staffed. My boss left a message on my phone last night saying that he had to schedule me during my ‘vacation’ and I would need to work during this time. I simply cannot work during this time as we have flight and hotel reservations 2,000 miles away!
What should I do? I’m so upset. If a boss canceled a vacation I planned for can I do anything to change his mind?
Thank you! ~ G
My response to G’s question
First to the good part … congratulations on your upcoming wedding! I wish you a lifetime of happiness with your new husband.
And now to the not-so-easy part. I strongly dislike that he left this as a message rather than telling you in person that . Obviously if your boss canceled a vacation this way, he knows it’s not a great thing to do. But he also clearly feels that, for the sake of his business, he has to do it. A tough call for sure.
I hope other people offer their opinions since there may be some better options than the ones I can think of at the moment. But here goes…
- First, I would meet with him eye-to-eye. Explain politely that you really understand why he felt he needs to ask you to work during your scheduled honeymoon. But he agreed in writing when you were hired to give you this time. And you’ve already paid for everything. Maybe he’s just hoping you’ll say yes and not put up any resistance. You can even offer to ask co-workers to pitch in and help make up the slack. Maybe they would under the circumstances.
- If he says he’s sorry but still needs to schedule you, you could ask him to compensate you for your losses. Make it clear that you went ahead and paid for everything relying on what he had agreed to. (Reliance is a legal term by the way. Although he has the right to ask you to work, if you lose money, that may be actionable in small claims court. Of course, he could then just fire you and good chance you wouldn’t win anyway. But I figure you should at least know of the legal concept.)
Also worth thinking about …
- Does this job mean a lot to you? If he is unwilling to bend at all, then think about what it would be like to work for him long-term. Is this really the job (or boss) you want to invest more time in? I know jobs are hard to come by, so I don’t say this lightly. But if he really won’t bend and has gone back on what he promised, then can you afford to let the job go? Will he go back on promised raises too? Or other time off when you need it. Does this happen a lot??
- If you can’t afford to let this job go and he won’t bend at all, then your best bet is to see how much you can get back on the money you already committed. Is the amount lost worth it to keep this job? Maybe it is if this is a truly great job. I imagine your husband-to-be also had to get his schedule cleared, so I know rescheduling might be tough.
- And once again, can you trust that he won’t cancel time off whenever he wants? This would be a good time to ask if you do decide to stay. I know some businesses have to do that, but is that something you can live with?
I’m really hoping that, if you meet with your boss, he can see a way to get other people to fill in for you and let you have the “vacation” you deserve. If not, I’m afraid you have a tough decision to make.
Hoping you make this work, but ….
So sorry this is happening in connection with something so joyous. But I’m a firm believer that sometimes things happen for a reason. This may show you whether this is a job you want to stay with after all.
Good luck figuring out the right course of action for YOU. And if anyone else has advice about what to do if a boss canceled a vacation, please feel free to offer your ideas for G!
I have my fingers crossed hoping your boss is actually a pretty good guy and things turn out well for you and your fiancé. Please let us know!
~ Ronnie Ann
[Post updated in 2020]
About the author…
Ronnie Ann, founder of Work To the Wise and Work Coach Cafe, bases her real-world advice on her many years as an organizational consultant where she helped interview and hire people, added to a certificate from NYU in Career Planning & Development, as well as her many adventures as a serial job seeker.
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