Can people change?
THE MIDDLE, starring Patricia Heaton

Call for Opinions: Time Off for Good Behavior

When you ask for time off from work, using your earned vacation time, do you tell your boss what the time off is for? I generally do not. Now that we have an automated system, I put nothing in the comments field. Before, when the boss had to actually sign a piece of paper, I would just leave it on his desk with no comment. It has been a long time since I have been in a position where I felt it was necessary to justify using my time off.

Recently, like a week before he got laid off, my husband was questioned by his boss about his time off because he was taking a half day one week and a day off the next week. One was to get a free flu shot at my office and the other was to get a fricking vasectomy. I helped him word his email reply to his boss so as to maximize the discomfort his boss would feel for having asked the question.

Do you have to tell your boss why you are taking time off?



Uh, no. We actually make fun of the people who tell you where and why they are taking time off. I don't even ask ahead of time, I just send my calendar notice to people.


Also, can we read the email to hubby's ex-bosses?

Peeved Michelle

Sorry, you can't read the email because we no longer have access to his work email since he got canned. However, even though I did want to use the word "BALLS," we swapped it out for "junk."

Jim Hart

As a boss myself, and having been an employee, you absolutely should not have to justify, provide explanation, nor detail reason for time off, as provided in your agreement to your boss.

That said: Your boss may have reason to need you during the period requested. He/she should be welcome to ask you to reschedule, and then he/she should provide justification as to why. Negotiation may require your divulging your reasons, to help your boss understand the value to you of this particular time off.

I have gone so far as to tell former bosses the reason I need time off is to sit on my a$$. I suppose that is why I'm no longer an employee, though... ;-P


I don't have to tell the bossman why I'm taking time off. Although since we're such a small department We usually know why each other is taking the time off because we talk about things like vacation.


We do have to ask ahead of time, but we don't have to give a reason (nor do I). Like KtP, we usually make fun of the people who feel the need to tell you what they are doing. I really don't care if you're going to the DMV to get your motorcycle license, Co-worker.


I'm sure that I would not have to justify using available vacation time if I wanted to keep it private. However, I usually am visiting family, going away, or going to the doctor, and I tend to mention it. My group is friendly and knows everyone's business anyhow, so my boss is likely to know the reason already/will find out.

Karla Kay

I think it varies greatly depending on what type of job you have. I have forever thought that there should be no differentiation between sick time, personal time, vacation time, bereavement time, etc. I think you should just have a certain number of personal days per year and you should be able to use them when you want without explanation. I'm always reasonable, I never ask for time off during a busy time or a big event where I'm needed. But I don't think you should have to explain the reason why you need time off. PM, I really wish we could have seen the vasectomy e-mail!

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