Did This Employer Have the Right to Revoke Vacation Plans Due to Unexpected Staffing Changes?

By: Alex Trent | Published: Feb 26, 2024

Michael Sanz, who goes by @thoutsourcingexpert on Tiktok, recently started an online conversation after he uploaded an exchange between a boss and an employee. In the messages, the boss tries to cancel an employee’s planned leave in response to another employee suddenly quitting their position.

People online are arguing whether the boss was in the right to revoke the employee’s leave plans in response to business needs.

What Happened?

One employee, identified as Noel, had a conversation with their boss who was identified as Nick. Nick informed Noel how his fellow co-worker, Jenny, had quit the company and that desperate measures needed to take place.

A man yells into a telephone.

Source: Icons 8 Team/Unsplash

In the conversation, he explained to Noel how “all hands on deck” was going to be necessary. (via @thesourcingexpert on TikTok)


Family Vacation Canceled

What Nick was asking Noel seemed unreasonable. This trip had already been approved beforehand and canceling it is no easy task.

A blanket on a beach with food, sunglasses, a camera, and a book.

Source: S Well/Unsplash

The trip was meant to be a family vacation and destination wedding planned by Noel’s brother. Also, add to the fact that Noel hadn’t been on a vacation in nearly three years of working. (via Distractify)

Unreasonable Boss

Nick took it upon himself before ever reaching out to Noel to change the trip for him. In his text conversation, he tells Noel, “We can push back a few months.” (via @theoutsourcingexpert on Tiktok)

The initial text message sent from Nick to Noel.

Source: @theoutsourcingexpert/Tiktok

“I’ve advised HR it’s now changed for you. Appreciate your understanding,” he wrote. The “appreciate your understanding” line would probably make most people start to see red.

Sanz Calls Him a Tool

Reacting to Nick’s initial message in his TikTok video, Sanz calls out the unreasonable attitude on display. “This guy sounds like a tool. He’s automatically cancelling leave without any conversation,” he said. (via @theoutsourcingexpert on Tiktok)

Sanz calls the boss a tool

Source: @theoutsourcingexpert/Tiktok

Sanz takes Noel’s side, saying in the video’s description that, “As a boss, you can’t just cancel your teams leave, especially when it’s booked so far out.” 

Noel’s Courteous Response

While many people might fire back at their boss in anger, Noel preferred a courteous approach. He reasonably responded to his boss while throwing the “totally appreciate” line at him in a subtle jab.

Noel responds to his boss's message.

Source: @theoutsourcingexpert/Tiktok

“Sorry to hear. I totally appreciate How frustrating this would be to management,” Noel wrote. “But what do you mean you already told HR my leave has changed?” 


Wedding in Bali

Noel had quite the trip planned and wasn’t going to let it be canceled without a fight.

A wedding table set up in Bali.

Source: Artem Beliaikin/Unsplash

“Unfortunately, I can’t cancel my leave as it’s my brothers wedding in Bali, all flights are paid for and my kids are in the wedding party,” Noel wrote. “I did book this in 7 months ago, so cancelling isn’t an option.”


Generous Offer from Noel

Despite being subject to an unreasonable demand from his boss, Noel attempted to help find a compromise without losing his cool. One would hope that the boss would be able to swallow his pride and come to a fair solution that works for everyone.

A worker helping another worker with a project on a laptop.

Source: ohn Schnobrich/Unsplash

“I can help out more until I leave if that helps, but I can’t change my leave dates,” Noel wrote


But Wait, It Gets Worse

If you thought his boss was being unreasonable so far, you won’t believe the next thing he says. In a reply to Noel, Nick attempts his own “compromise” by telling him he needs to reduce his vacation from three weeks to just three days.

Nick responds to Noel with an unreasonable timeframe.

Source: @theoutsourcingexpert/Tiktok

“I’m going to have to ask you to reduce your leave then to fly in fly out and take 3 days over the weekend then instead of the 3 weeks. Not sure what you can do for 3 weeks in Bali haha,” he wrote


Noel Responds

Noel, in a solid move, puts his foot down at his boss’ request. Instead of caving to his time demands, he makes it clear he’s going on this trip and he won’t be shortening it one bit.

Noel responds to his Nick’s time reduction request.

Source: @theoutsourcingexpert/Tiktok

“Can’t you get a temp or 2? Who did you have to look after my portfolio while I was away? Hope it wasn’t Jenny,” Noel replied. “Either way, you have me until I leave, so I can help out till then.”


Noel Has Had Enough

After a curt response from his boss, Noel messaged Nick back, telling him he’s just going to take his leave early, starting right now.

Noel tells his boss he’s taking his vacation early.

Source: @theoutsourcingexpert/Tiktok

“I’m going to take my leave earlier and will start from today. While away I will think about if working with a company that doesn’t promote boundaries is a place I really want to work at. I am also sending this as an email to Aaron and HR as it’s totally unreasonable,” Noel wrote


Sanz on Tiktok

Michael Sanz is an expert on outsourcing and virtual assistants who regularly posts reactions and advice for people navigating the workplace. His tips are often for entrepreneurs, business owners, and managers who want to leverage virtual assistants or temp workers to their fullest.

Michale Sanz’ Tiktok profile

Source: @thoutsourcingexpert/Tiktok

His TikTok profile description says: “I help any business outsource tasks using virtual assistants.”