Afraid to ask for time off

So I have a one on one staff meeting with my boss in 4 hours and I was gonna bring up using my PTO.

I’ve been wanting to get laser hair removal for years now but the problem with this is consistency. When u start treatment, you have a follow up appointment every month. Not many places are open on weekends and I also wanted to pick a place with good reviews. I picked a place that I think might be good and had a consultation months ago. At the time I was a temp in this company. I wasn’t sure if I could get time off so I never followed through on it.

So this is what my pitch is going to be in our staff meeting. I don’t mind telling my boss it’s for laser hair removal if it helps my case:

“Hopefully this is not over sharing. I’ve been wanting to do laser hair removal for my body but the problem is that you have to come in once a month while you’re actively being treated. so instead of taking my PTO in a big chunk like one or two weeks, I wanted to know if I could take time off once a month. I feel like that’s better than taking one to two weeks in a big chunk because then if I come back I’m only behind on one or two days worth of work”

Or if it’s better to be vague then I had this planned:

With COVID I don’t have any vacations or anything exciting planned for this year where I would need to take time off so I wanted to know if you would approve me taking one day off per month instead so this way, when I come back, I only have to catch up on one or two days of work and not a whole weeks worth at a time

Idk, I’m not doing anything wrong and maybe I’m making a big deal in my head but yeah. Idk how to tell her. Not really experienced in this topic. Haven’t had PTO in my life until this job

I think I’m a good employee, I always get my work done and communicate my status. It shouldn’t be this difficult for me but idk why I get anxious. I should just be able to ask


Hi Stuck,

I totally understand where you’re coming from. For most of my working life I’ve had managers that worked me into the ground and would guilt trip me for calling in sick or using time off (as a result I didn’t take vacation for probably a decade and would always just cash out my PTO).

My current job is the 1st job where I get a decent amount of PTO and my manager encourages us to take it since my job can be stressful and they encourage decompression days. It’s still weird for me to use my PTO because of how I’ve been conditioned in the past, but here is what I would do -

If you have an understanding boss, I would suggest not worrying about going into detail and just ask if you can take a day off here and there rather than taking a week off at a time. I imagine overall this would be ideal for your work since, like you said, you will miss less work in chunks.

If your boss is not so understanding, it may require you to go into some detail regarding why you want time off the way you do, but honestly if a company offers you PTO, you are entitled to take it for whatever reason you want to, taking into consideration only available staff/timing as opposed to why you want to take it because at the end of the day, you earned it, it shouldn’t matter if you just want to sit on the couch and veg out or go volunteer at a soup kitchen.

If you’re like me, you’re probably overthinking it and it will take time to worth through that, but it does get easier. Good luck.


Thank you, I just feel so dumb for feeling guilty about this to a point where I didn’t even wanna open the app to see what others had said.

I know people wouldn’t make fun of me but idk I had fears where people would read it and be like “really??” Like it so little that I thought people were just gonna say I was making a big deal out of nothing


No way, haha. We are all here to support you and not only that, you might find that people here have more in common with you than you initially thought. No need to feel bad.


I will echo this. I will say tho that you are not required to give an explanation as to why you want to take earned time off. I don’t think there are any laws saying you have to take it all at once either. When I worked, I remember asking for a day off here and there and using my PTO for it. All you have to do is ask for the days you want off, that’s it. Why you want the time is none of their business. Making sure you’re position is covered is also their responsibility as well, if you are approved.


From: Micro

Hey friend. How did the conversation go with your boss? Were they understanding regarding your situation and request?

It is completely fine to reach out about things that are objectively stressful to you. Anxiety, fears, self-doubt can litterally apply to anything. It’s never shameful or to be dismissed - it just happens to be part of our reality sometimes. How you feel has to be respected, always, and you will never find any mockery around here. Thank you for your trust on that matter.

I’d love to hear some updates since you’ve posted about this situation. Who knows, maybe there are some good things to reflect on, and some closure too?

You are brave for trying and sharing your voice, regardless of the outcomes. You’re loved. <3

I still struggle to ask for time off because it’s frequent. Laser hair removal isn’t the only treatment I’m going through at the moment. At this point I’m trying to prioritize treatment and space them out so I don’t feel like I’m constantly out of the office and not getting any work done. At the moment, for laser hair removal, I am working all day and leaving a half hour early.

Idk, it’s going to take me some time to figure out how I can take time off without feeling guilty. My boss says it’s fine and to just remind her the day before my appointments


I’m glad your boss has been understanding, honestly you don’t have to disclose everything and I believe they would still respect your need for your own time.
As great as it is you’re such a hard worker, you don’t need to feel guilty or give reason for making space for yourself.
By the sounds of it I think your employer would highly appreciate your work ethic and the fact that you are willing to make up times.
I hope it starts feeling a bit easier for you to be able to look after yourself and not feel held back by guilt.


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