Worker ‘Quiet Quit’ After She Was Blocked From Taking Time Off Despite Having Unlimited PTO — ‘Some Things Are More Important Than Work’

She didn't feel appreciated for all her hard work.

unmotivated female worker sit at office desk with laptop DimaBerlin | Shutterstock

If there's one thing that will cause employees to feel a way about their employer, it's not being valued and appreciated as a human being outside of the job. More and more people are choosing to leave a toxic workplace rather than put up with a boss who doesn't respect them.

One of the more prominent ways that workers are doing that is by "quiet quitting," which is the case for a woman named Ryann Thompson, who posted to her LinkedIn page and admitted that she'd lost "motivation" for her job because of the way her boss dismissed an emergency that happened in her personal life.


Thompson 'quiet quit' after she was blocked from taking time off despite having unlimited PTO.

In Thompson's post, she explained her "why" for quiet quitting, which started after one of her friends was diagnosed with stage 4 terminal cancer. Thompson's boss was aware of the situation, and since the company offered unlimited time off, she assumed that it wouldn't be a problem if she used some of that time for herself and her mental well-being.

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"I’d been with the company for two years and had done an excellent job. I’d been promoted. I recently worked a weekend to represent our company at a conference. And I had absolutely zero abuse of PTO," she revealed. "My boss hadn’t checked my usage numbers before implying that I was overusing PTO. But I was able to prove, during our meeting, that I had not abused the 'unlimited' perk."

She attempted to remain objective and gave her boss the benefit of the doubt that he may be going through something in his personal life that was affecting the way he treated his employees. However, she quickly pointed out that she was also dealing with family issues and her friend's cancer diagnosis, which didn't give her an excuse to be rude to her boss and other co-workers.

woman working on laptop in an office TONL / Canva Pro


As it is, a staggering amount of American workers are already afraid to request and use their time off, whether it's unlimited or not. The Harris Poll surveyed 1,170 American employees over the age of 18 and found that employees not only struggle to ask for time off but often feel guilty when they do.

Workers, especially younger ones, are afraid to ask for time off: Half of employees said they get nervous asking to take time off. (This increases to 61% for millennials.) 

In fact, 76% said they wished their employer placed more emphasis on the value of taking time off. Similarly, in a 2023 Pew Research Center survey, about 49% say they’d worry about falling behind at work if they took more time off, while 43% of workers who don’t take all their time off say they’d feel bad about their co-workers taking on additional work.

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Thompson insisted that she lost her initiative to work for a boss who didn't appreciate the value she brought to the company.

During a meeting, Thompson attempted to call out her boss's "cold" reception of her time off request, especially since there was not a single piece of evidence that proved she'd abused her unlimited PTO. Instead of trying to understand Thompson's annoyance, he defended his stance, and it wasn't until she complained to the company's CFO that he ended up apologizing.

However, at that point, it was already too late. Thompson had all of the information that she needed, and despite working hard for the company, she began to wonder why she should have to sacrifice her mental well-being and personal life for the sake of a job that didn't care about her in the end

@simonsinek What are your thoughts about quiet quitting? #quietquitting #workculture ♬ original sound - Simon Sinek

In an instant, she'd lost all her motivation and pointed out that employees quit bosses, not companies. Her boss was the kind of person you had to actively fight with for incentives, even though he knew that you deserved it. He was the kind of boss who challenged Thompson's unlimited PTO for the two days she asked off to help out her friend with a terminal sickness.


"Getting laid off and starting my business was the beginning of a new life for me — one where I don’t have to ask permission to spend my limited time in life with the people I love. One where I don’t have to beg for a raise I know I deserve. And one where I don’t have to work with people I can’t respect."

According to a 2023 Gallup survey, 59% of the global workforce is considered to be "quiet quitters," which means that they are not fully engaged with their jobs and are only doing the minimum to meet their job requirements. This mostly consists of hard-working, high achievers who feel as if all of the time and effort they put into their jobs is being overlooked.

The only people who suffer from employees quiet quitting are execs, CEOs, and managers. You can't run a company or team of employees if they constantly feel as if all of the work they're doing is for nothing, and they rarely get back anything in return, whether that's a raise, promotion, or their deserved time off. 


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Nia Tipton is a Chicago-based entertainment, news, and lifestyle writer whose work delves into modern-day issues and experiences.