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Single Woman Refuses To 'Find It In Her Heart' To Cancel Her Vacation So A Co-Worker Can Take Her Kids To Disney World

Photo: Alexander Suhorucov / Pexels
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Most of us want to do what we can to help a co-worker out, but there are some requests that cross a line. When it comes to the way child-free people are treated at work, it often seems like people with kids are favored in the workplace.

One woman named Evie has absolutely had it with the often inequitable demands placed on child-free professionals, and when she stood up for herself, her boss responded in a pretty shocking way.

A woman's boss retaliated when she refused to cancel her vacation so her co-worker could take her kids to Disney World.

It was so close to Evie's departure date for her vacation that she'd already packed her bags, when her boss sat her down for a manipulative conversation about her co-worker's Christmas plans.

   

   

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Evie, a child-free woman, had gotten her vacation approved months in advance. Granted, she was fairly new at her job. But since she'd relocated to work there, it was deeply important to her that she be with her family and friends for Christmas. "I was homesick," Evie said.

Everything was worked out and approved several months in advance. But that didn't seem to matter to one co-worker, Karen, nor her boss. Evie said that she and Karen "had gotten along perfectly fine" throughout her tenure at the office. That all changed once Karen decided that she, too, wanted to take time off for Christmas.

Obviously, Evie made the request first so Karen was out of luck, right? Not exactly. Like many workplaces, people with kids were favored at Evie's job. And since Karen's plans involved her two kids, things instantly got dramatic.

The child-free woman's boss asked her to 'find it in her heart' to cancel her vacation.

"It's the week before the break," Evie said, "and I am so excited." Everything was all set to go, with Evie noting, "my family's expecting me, I have friends who are expecting me, I'm expecting me."

That's the point at which her boss, Bob, called her into his office. "He's like, 'Hey, Evie, listen, I know you were planning to take off for vacation, but I talked to Karen, and she decided that she really wants to take her kids to Disney World over the break... I was just really hoping that you could find it in your heart to let her take your week so she can spend some time with her children.'"

Evie was shocked, but added that since Bob also has kids, "he was, like, totally on her side about it."

Understandably, Evie was having none of it. "I was like, you know what, Bob? I've searched my heart, and it turns out that there is nothing in my heart that's going to make me willing to give her my week," she said jokingly.

Single Woman Refuses To Cancel Her Vacation So A Co-worker Can Take Their Kids To Disney WorldPhoto: Yan Krukau / Pexels

RELATED: Childfree Employees Are Tired Of Having To Always Cover For Co-Workers With Kids

Evie's boss forced her to tell her co-worker that she was the reason she couldn't go to Disney World.

When Evie asked Bob if Karen had made advance plans for her Disney World trip, he told her, "'No, she literally talked to me about it this morning.'" Given that it was "48 hours before the break's supposed to start," this made Evie even less willing to cancel her plans.

Even given the circumstances, Bob was so disappointed in her when she told him no that he retaliated. "He was like, 'Okay, well, you're going to have to go out there, and you're going to have to tell Karen that she can't take her kids to Disney World. You're going to have to tell her.'"

Which is, of course, wildly inappropriate — that's literally a manager's job! And, unfortunately for Bob, he picked the wrong employee to try to play passive-aggressive games with.

Karen, Evie's co-worker, then tried to manipulate her by bursting into tears.

"I was like, okay," Evie said. "I walked right out of his office, walked right up to her desk, and I was like, listen, Karen, I just talked to Bob... I'm sorry... I'm sure you can take your kids to Disney World at another time."

It went over about as well as you'd probably expect. "She got so mad, you guys. Like, the entitlement was unreal," Evie said before describing a diatribe Karen launched about how she needs "to spend time with my children" and how Evie couldn't possibly understand. "They need to see their mother," Karen told her.

Evie tried to reason with her, telling her, "I hear you... I haven't seen my family in a year. Like, you live with your kids. You see them every day." But instead of understanding, Karen burst into tears. "You have no idea what it's like to have children," she kept saying.

But it didn't work. Evie joked, "You know what, Karen? That's probably true. But I am about to experience this vacation. See you in a week."

Single Woman Refuses To Cancel Her Vacation So A Co-worker Can Take Their Kids To Disney WorldPhoto: Edmond Dantès / Pexels

RELATED: Boss Tries To Cancel An Employee's Approved PTO Because They Need 'All Hands On Deck' After A Co-Worker Resigns

Just like in Evie's case, people with children are frequently favored in the workplace.

Not only was Evie's boss, Bob, at fault here for forcing Evie to deliver the "bad news" directly to Karen, but the fact that he put pressure on Evie to, essentially, rescind her pre-approved vacation time is evidence of a larger problem: Should people with children get special treatment, particularly in the workplace?

People seem a bit divided on the issue, with some commenters weighing in. "I’m a mom and this is messed up. Just because someone doesn’t have kids does NOT mean they are not entitled to time off," one woman said.

Another woman perfectly summed up the situation by pointing out that family means different things to different people, and just because someone is child-free, that doesn't negate their family ties: "Family does NOT equal children. It can mean parents, brothers, aunts, uncles... We want to spend time with OUR families even if we don’t have kids."

Unfortunately, according to a 2022 study from ResumeLab, 72% of respondents said they had noticed that child-free workers were treated unfairly because they didn't have children. Additionally, 74% of respondents believed that, overall, people with children are treated better in the workplace.

The study also found that child-free co-workers have, at least once, been denied time off (63%), were given a bigger workload (70%), and had to work overtime (69%). Keep in mind that 8 out of 10 people in the study were parents themselves.

   

   

But researchers delved further into employees who take time off, both who have kids and those who don't. A larger percentage of respondents — 85%! — said that people who have children have priority when taking days off or planning vacations.

Finally, the study had some interesting findings on how much pressure is put on child-free individuals. Seventy-two percent of respondents admitted that employees with kids should have the right to take more days off than child-free individuals, 77% said child-related reasons for being unavailable to work were more valid, and 86% believed that parents take priority when it comes to having flexible work policies.

It goes without saying that just because a person has children, that doesn't mean child-free individuals shouldn't be given the same treatment. After all, they, too, have their own lives to live, and they shouldn't be passed over just because of their lifestyle choices.

RELATED: Mom Feeling Excluded By Childfree Friends Demands They Make More Accommodations For Her​

John Sundholm is a news and entertainment writer who covers pop culture, social justice and human interest topics.