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Enjoy Your Really, Really Long Vacation

, , , , , , , | Working | May 24, 2022

My company hires from all over the world and requires travel almost constantly. We also offer “home time off,” which is exactly how it sounds; it is in our hiring contract that we can take a four-day weekend every other month to go home to see our families.

I receive a job assignment in a different country, so my contract states that I get a full week off to accommodate the longer travel time. I get tired of going back and forth, so I ask my supervisor if I have to go home during this time off or if I can use it to tour US attractions like Disney or just relax and rest for the week. He agrees that the time off is my own and if that’s what I want to do, I just have to arrange the appropriate travel.

For my next home time off, I decide to take a five-day cruise with my husband. Upon return, I have a slew of emails, voicemails, and texts from [Coworker], who is from the USA. I go through them all and I am just floored. [Coworker] heard (though he didn’t say how) that I was not using my home time to go home, and he threatened to report me to Human Resources for abusing my privilege.

When I return to work the next day, he is sitting at my desk.

Me: “Good morning, [Coworker].”

Coworker: “How was your trip home?”

Me: “Oh, we—”

Coworker: “Or should I say, ‘How does it feel to steal from [Company]?’”

Me: “I didn’t steal anything. I—”

Coworker: “It is in our contract that we have to go home for that time off, not go globetrotting.”

Me: “Not my contract. Please move. I have work to do.”

Coworker: “You might as well write your resignation letter. Once HR finds out what you did, they’ll send you right back to your dirty, third-world country you didn’t want to go to in the first place.”

Me: “Okay, then. You go do that. Just get out of my space. Please and thank you, goodbye!”

[Coworker] did go to HR to complain that I hadn’t gone home. When questioned about why it mattered to him, he said that he had tried to extend his home time off to go to Australia for two weeks and it was denied. By his logic, my request should have been denied, too.

After that, I put in a complaint with HR, showing all the texts, emails, and voicemails from [Coworker] when he knew I was on vacation, as well as his insult to my home country. He was suspended for a performance review and quit before they could finish.

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