Missing a family member’s wedding because of work is never ideal.
You run the risk of hurt feelings, not to mention feeling awful for missing such an important occasion for something decidedly less special.
But what do you do if your job simply refuses to let you go due to a simple lack of other employees who can cover for you?
Redditor missmargarite13 recently ran into this issue at work with her brother’s upcoming wedding, so she turned to the subReddit “Am I the A**hole” (AITA) to see if she’s in the wrong, asking:
“AITA for refusing to miss my brother’s wedding because my work can’t find coverage for those days?”
The original poster (OP) explained how she informed her work right after learning about her brother’s wedding news.
“My brother is getting married next week.”
“He got engaged in February and told me maybe a month ago that he is getting married on May 19 (he and my SIL aren’t into traditional big weddings). My brother lives in our hometown in the midwest, and I live in the southwest.”
“I told my work almost immediately about my brother’s wedding, and wrote it down on a piece of paper. I also was instructed to tell the lead float tech (it’s a pharmacy) so she could try and find a floater to cover me while I’m gone.”
But after sending a follow-up reminder about it, she was informed that there were no other employees available to cover.
“I sent a reminder last Friday to this lead float tech about the days I would be gone, and I didn’t get a reply until yesterday that she couldn’t find anyone, almost with the impression that I wasn’t ‘allowed’ to go to my brother’s wedding. I texted my boss immediately about this.”
“I get that they’re going to be short handed. I’ll mention here that the lead float tech is an astronomical b*tch, to the point where literally everyone who works with her hates her guts (except for the district manager, who she is besties with).”
“But I’ve also gotten the impression from the rest of the staff that I’m being selfish that I want to go home for a few days… to see my brother get married?”
Now the OP is conflicted about the potential fallout.
“Look, in 20 years, I won’t give a sh*t about this job (I’m in grad school to gain a teaching credential, so not my final destination in my career), but I will give a sh*t about having missed my brother’s wedding.”
“I don’t intend on missing it, and I think it’s rather ridiculous to ask someone to miss a close family member’s wedding because you’re short-handed on technicians, especially when I gave plenty of notice in regards to non-paid time off.”
Redditors weighed in on the situation by declaring:
- NTA – Not The A**hole
- YTA – You’re The A**hole
- NAH – No A**holes Here
- ESH – Everyone Sucks Here
Since the OP gave notice, most agreed that it’s her work’s responsibility to find a cover for her.
“Absolutely NTA. If they’re going to suffer that much from you being gone a day or two then they are heavily understaffed and it is on them.”—yabokugodx
“This. Thats the bottom line. If they cant do without you there for a couple of days, they need to look at staffing levels!”—petrolhead74
“NTA. You gave plenty notice, and sent a reminder. This is a big day for your brother and it’s important you go.”
“My brother passed a few years ago, and let me tell you I regret every event I missed due to working. That shift is not worth it. Go to the wedding.”—TheLoudCanadianGirl
“NTA. But you should document this.”
“Follow up with an email/text about how you gave a month notice on X date and why no one notified you that no one could cover your shift. *You* reached out with a reminder the week before and only now have you gotten a reply.”
“Ask her when was she planning to let you know and why she only responded 3 days before the flight. Point out the airplane tickets are already bought and nonrefundable, as people buy tickets at least weeks in advance.”
“Save her replies (and excuses) for when you have to escalate.”—murano84
“Employers love to think they can do what they want because the employee will do their bidding or no job. Guess that’s why so many places can’t find employees these days because people realize why should they kill themselves for someone who doesn’t care about them.”
“The consequence of you going might be you won’t have a job but if that’s the case then consider yourself lucky not to be trapped in a job that can’t give you a bit of time off.”
“Go enjoy the wedding.”—zadidoll
“NTA! No job is worth missing huge moments with family.”
“It’s a JOB. They’re the a**holes for even suggesting you can’t take off to be honest.”—lilfati
Some people thought the OP should threaten to quit as a power move.
“NTA but what does your contract say? One month notice is fine?”
“Honestly you wouldn’t be the a**hole imo anyway. This is your brother’s big day, so I’m glad you have this thought in your heart.”—Jazzur
“Why quit though? OP hasn’t gotten an answer from her boss, and it’s unclear what the relationship is between the lead and her management chain.”
“Also, many businesses are struggling to hire, let alone already trained employees.”
“So there’s two things –“
“1. Text or email the actual boss ‘As per discussion one month ago, confirming I will be out of town [blah]’;”
“2. If that generates pushback, text or email ‘Dear boss — We’re not discussing if I’m going to my brother’s wedding; we’re discussing if I still work here when I come back. Let me know by [date] if you want me to come in again, or if I can extend my time with family.'”—xasdfxx
“Point number 2 is such a power move. I am keeping this for the next time I have an argument in my shower.”—Heliovice69
“I’d wager it would work too.”
“Gives the bosses the realization that you aren’t as dependent on them as they are on you”—Ben_snpies
“Number two is the way to go. Look at the guidance of on request time off, however if you did it in the reasonable timeline, it’s not a question of ‘permission’.”
“You are a grown a** adult. You followed the guidelines of requesting time off. Just because your lead dragged her heels doesn’t make it your problem.”—capricorn40
They were all in agreement about one thing, however—the OP should definitely go to her brother’s wedding.
“NTA…I’d bet my right nut that Ms. Lead Float tech didn’t even try to cover for you.”
“A month is plenty of notice. If you can live with possible employment issues, you should feel no guilt about ditching work to see your brother get married.”—RoyallyOakie
“Go to your brother’s wedding.”
“So often workers are taught that if they miss one day of work, the whole planet will stop working and that just isn’t the case. They’ve known for a month that you were going to be gone.”
“Go and have fun. The worst is you lose your job and my guess is if you have the certificate for being a pharmacy tech, you can land another job within days and my guess is at a higher rate.”—reatherbequilting
“Family>Work. There are few, if any, exceptions.”—Kel4597
It sounds like the OP should go and enjoy herself, regardless of the potential consequences.
Jobs come and go, but family is forever.