Imagine working countless hours of overtime including weekends only to have your boss shame you for taking off. Furthermore, it was a surprise trip for the employee’s birthday and it involved a personal family relationship that was clearly very important to this Redditor. Apparently, despite all that extra work and the personal nature of this trip, none of it mattered to OP’s employer.
No one’s boss can expect so much from their employees and then refuse to hold their end of a bargain. That bargain would be the employee’s contract, which in this case, grants a specified amount of paid time off. OP had not used all of those days and was therefore entitled to taking off, even if it was last minute. Getting your PTO denied really should not be allowed unless there are serious extenuating circumstances. Hopefully, OP took off anyway, especially considering how necessary she is to the company. They cannot afford to lose her!
For more stories like this, check out this post about an employee’s parking mess!