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At one of my former jobs, Jane, the office manager, announced that we would all have unlimited time off. I thought that that was a bad idea, but she hadn’t discussed her idea with me ahead of time, so I just kept my mouth shut.

I thought it was a bad idea, because I knew that the majority of employees were slackers who always tried to game the system, and people started taking much too much time off. Eventually, Jane caught on, and when Mary, the receptionist, took the day off, Jane made Linda stay late to answer the telephone. Jane said that it was because Linda had taken the day off the previous day, so she owed it to the company. This was not Linda’s idea of unlimited time off (she thought that she could take off however much time she wanted without having to worry about making it up), but she didn’t say anything.

One day, Jane asked me to stay late to answer the telephone because Mary was out. I refused, saying that I hadn’t taken off even one minute from work every since Jane had announced that we had unlimited time off. Jane found someone else to stay late.

Then came the day that Jane announced that the policy of unlimited time off was no more. (I still hadn’t taken off even one minute from work.) She said that people kept abusing the policy. (I could have told her ahead of time that that was going to happen, but again, she hadn’t discussed the matter with me.) She said that to prevent abuse, from now one, if we took even one day off from work, we would have to bring in a doctor’s note. I was annoyed that if I had to stay home with a cold, I would have to go to the doctor, especially since I hadn’t taken off even one minute from work under the unlimited time off policy. I left the company soon afterwards.

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