IT Guy Stands His Ground As Upper Management Scrambles Like Ants To Fix The Situation
by Chris Allen
Knowing your value in the workplace:
A currency as precious as gold.
It can take a long time to even reach that wonderful stage in life, while some sadly never do.
Of course it serves everyone best when coupled with the ability to treat others the way you’d like to be treated.
And when in sync, a workplace can hum at the speed of empathetic efficiency.
This story is an example of someone having to follow through with knowing that value.
Leave – no leave – yes leave
I work as the sole IT guy in a firm with about 75 people that is part of a larger nationwide mother-firm.
Our local firm has an ongoing agreement with another local firm that we play backup for each other in case either one needs help/backup/knowledge-sharing/whatever.
This has been the case since 2009. I work for this firm since 2002. Kind of an old hand if you want.
We have this generous leave package that builds the longer we work here. A starter has 180 hours per year leave, someone with 20+ years has 240 hours. I have that.
He then goes on to detail how he’d usually planned his leave in the past.
Ya know, with others in mind, like a considerate person would tend to do.
Now because we have this much leave I’m of a mind not to be all too strict with the when and the how. I’m single and have no kids so I’m happy to let others with kids take priority to handle school holidays.
As such the last 15-something years I have always taken the bulk of my leave in september/october and the rest in fridays counting back from new year if that makes sense.
The only rules we have regarding when and how we take leave is: no more than 6 weeks together, you can’t transfer more than 7 days to the next year and leave must be approved (which it almost always is).
A slight hiccup happens with his planned leave.
And like solid communication and understanding begets, he changed it to a different date.
Enter my BigBoss
As per usual i put in my leave request for September/October somewhere in May. This gets approved. Around August we get news from our hardware vendor that they will be installing our new servercluster in the end of September.
Not cool but waddayagonnado.
I talk it over with BigBoss and agree to move my leave to February/March of the next year. I don’t mind too much. He is happy, I am happy and we go ahead and plan it all in.
Enter my department head
Since I am a one-man department, but corps are gonna be corps I have a department head that oversees my department along with a few others.
The department head inserts himself like a prototypical control freak does.
He doesn’t care what agreements were in place, what decisions might have already been made.
Somewhere end of september he walks in to my office and tells me when i am planning to take the bulk of my leave. I tell him about the servercluster install and that my leave is moved to feb/mar.
Now one cannot be a department head or part of management and still be reasonable right? So he tells me that since i wont be taking my leave in this year it will be forfeit.
I tell him i have an agreement with BigBoss to wich he states that he talked about it with BigBoss and that the arrangement wont work since he didnt approve it. I take my phone and call BigBoss.
Shocker, he’s stubborn too?
Tell me it ain’t so.
He states that, indeed my leave will not be approved and cant be moved to next year. So I tell him ok.
OP’s storm begins to brew.
I was pi***d. not just angry but genuinely ready to m****r someone pi***d. So I took a half day and went home and mulled things over. With age comes wisdom and I know not to make decisions when I am that angry.
Next day I go in and ask a leave statement from our HR department that has a counter of all our leave and, more important, overtime.
Target: massive accrued hours.
I had around 700 hours overtime standing (accrued over the years) and 220 hours leave. So I put in 5 weeks leave, 1 week, 1 overtime, 5 weeks leave, 1 week overtime and so on till I landed in the first week of January.
Then I put in the remaining overtime and landed in the end of February. Next to that I sent in my resignation and 3 months notice which I planned exactly on the last day of my leave.
And what do you know, like rats from a burrowed hole, the management appears.
Almost like…this could have been EASILY AVOIDED.
Not half an hour later my BigBoss and Department Head are at my desk asking me what gives.
I told them that since Department Head had told me I couldn’t transfer the leave I would be taking it this year, and since the agreement to move my leave was broken I felt I didn’t have another choice but to look for other work where agreements in fact where honored.
I asked them what rule of the workers manual regarding leave I had broken and if any, could they point it out?
After that talk I went home and the waiting game began.
This is what knowing your value in a workplace looks like.
Standing your ground and waiting.
BigBoss called me next morning on my work cell asking me to come in. Sorry no. I’m on leave. Happy to make a pot of coffee if you want to drop by.
So he drops by. Things get talked about. Seems his Department Head wasn’t entirely upfront with him (altho he wasn’t innocent either) and he wants to make things right.
Things were indeed made right.
And props to BigBoss for actually understanding a hard, loyal employee’s value.
My 6 months leave stayed in place and he offered to match the offers I would get from other firms to keep me onboard, within reason.
All in all now I still work for the same firm with a 15% wage increase. I don’t do overtime anymore. Neither does my laptop come home with and my work phone stays at work too.
I still do my job to the best of my abilities but at the end of the day, if my hours are done I go home. The building can be on fire, if my clock is out i am out the door. Now me leave gets planned around my preference too. No more shifting around other peoples leaves.
And they all lived happily ever after.
How easy it is for some to abuse power, huh?
Let’s see what folks had to say.
This top comment says what most of us were thinking.
One Redditor wanted just a bit more…oomph.
OP followed up in a comment to give just that slight bit extra understanding.
Never was anything great achieved without danger.
If you liked this post, check out this story about an employee who got revenge on a co-worker who kept grading their work suspiciously low.