I am angry with one of my co-workers because she stole my vacation slot.
Q: I am angry with one of my co-workers because she stole my vacation slot. In our office, employees select vacation dates based on seniority. A calendar is circulated, and everyone marks off the days they want. I get first pick because I’ve been here for 18 years, and I always choose the last week in June.
A few weeks ago, “Stacy,” my co-worker, asked when I was planning to take vacation this year. I told her I hadn’t made up my mind, but that my husband seemed to prefer the end of June. When the sign-up sheet came around, we were told to pass it on within two days, but I kept it a little longer because my husband and I were still discussing our options.
Before I could make my selection, our supervisor took the sign-up sheet off my desk and gave it to Stacy, who chose the last week in June. I am hurt and upset that Stacy did this behind my back. Now she says she won’t take that week if it’s going to make me mad. Do you think I’m overreacting?
A: While your disappointment is understandable, I do believe you are blowing this out of proportion. Because of the July Fourth holiday, the end of June and beginning of July are extremely popular vacation dates. These weeks are in such demand that some companies rotate their availability.
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By failing to make your selection within the required time period, you created an opening for someone else to claim a highly desirable slot. When Stacy received the calendar, she had every right to pick any week that was available. Given your previous conversation, she could easily have assumed that you had other plans in mind.
Nevertheless, Stacy’s offer to retract her choice is a clear sign that repairing this relationship is more important to her than the vacation schedule. Therefore, the mature response on your part would be to thank her for her generous gesture, then have a nice, friendly chat about who needs this week the most.
Marie G. McIntyre is a workplace coach. Submit questions at yourofficecoach.com.