Texan Man Denied PTO Danced His Way Out the Door After Quitting His Job

By: Carissa | Published: Sep 18, 2023

A man from Texas posted a TikTok video in June of 2022 that has since gained thousands of views and sparked an interesting conversation about work-life balance and just how much people are willing to put up with for their jobs.

In the clip, TikTok user Damion Draper told the world that he was denied PTO by this employer, and therefore, decided to quit his job and dance his way out the door in celebration.

Who is Damion Draper?

Damion Draper lives in Texas and for the past seven years, has worked as a “Life coach for children, adolescents, & young adults.”

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Source: @DeeDraper23/TikTok

His TikTok videos often show his work with children, as well as life as a Texan man, showing his personal relationships as well as his love for God. But none of his clips got nearly as many views as the one displaying exactly how and why he quit his job.

Draper’s PTO Gets Denied Via Email

Using the name @DeeDraper23, Damion Draper’s now-famous clip started off with a photo of an email from his boss.

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Source: @DeeDraper23/TikTok

Although the text is small, viewers could see that Draper had obviously requested paid time off, and that the “request was denied.”

Draper: A Texan Man Through and Through

Draper then showed himself standing on what looks to be a doctors or clinicians chair. And told his followers that he did what any self-respecting “Texan” would do: He “quit and walked out like this.”

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Source: @DeeDraper23/TikTok

It’s fairly clear at this point in the clip that Draper is having quite a bit of fun making it, though the next scene proved just how glad he was to be quitting his job.

Draper Literally Dances Out the Door

With music playing, Damion Draper shows himself dancing down what looks to be the entry hallway to an office building.

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Source: @DeeDraper23/TikTok

And while many believe that the clip was made for entertainment rather than an actual depiction of what happened the day Damion quit his job, Draper claims this is exactly how it went down.

What Did Draper Have to Say About the Video?

Draper captioned the video explaining why he quit, “I quit my job today after 7 years because my business started making me more money than my job in less than a year so yea.”

Source: @DeeDraper23/TikTok

But he also added several positive and encouraging hashtags, such as #ontobetterthings #blackbusinessowner #newtaxbracket cheers to anyone who owns a business keep grinding #fulltimeentrepreneur #texas #yeababychallenge #yeababy.”

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Draper Worked at the Job he Quit for 7 Years

It’s important to note that Draper was a dedicated employee, working for the same company for seven years, before finally deciding he had had enough.

Source: @DeeDraper23/TikTok

Draper simply wanted a little vacation time, and it seems that when he was denied his requested paid time off (PTO), even though he had accumulated sufficient PTO hours to get a few days off.

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Helping Children in Need is Rewarding but Challenging

While all jobs come with their own set of challenges, it’s safe to say that Draper’s position is especially draining.

Source: @DeeDraper23/TikTok

Offering support to children and young people who are struggling in various aspects of their lives is not only emotionally exhausting, but it’s also an incredibly valuable and honorable profession.

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Undervaluing Those Who Care for Children is Sadly Standard Practice

Though unfortunately, as a society, the USA tends to undervalue its teachers, educators, and carers. People in these careers work long hours for little pay, and are infrequently allowed personal days or PTO.

Source: @DeeDraper23/TikTok

Though it’s clear from Draper’s TikTok videos that he greatly loves working with troubled youths, there’s no doubt that he felt undervalued and unappreciated for his work within the company he dedicated seven years of his life to.

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How Could Damion Afford to Quit His Job?

Although many people, especially those who work in challenging professions such as education, want to quit their jobs from time to time, most don’t have the opportunity to do so because they need the money the job provides.

Source: @DeeDraper23/TikTok

But Damion made it clear in his video’s caption that while he quit because he was denied PTO, he was able to do so because he was making more money through his own company than he was at his salaried job.

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Draper’s Successful Business

Damion Draper started his own small business just a few years ago, but it’s already quite successful.

Source: @DeeDraper23/TikTok

The company, Rejuvenated Life Coaching, offers life coaching to children, adolescents, and young adults, just as Draper was doing at the company he quit, but now, he can do what he loves as his own boss.

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Damion Has Always Believed in Valuing Yourself

Although Damion’s choice to leave his job behind certainly seemed abrupt, the life coach has always believed in valuing yourself and ensuring that you get paid fairly and respected for what you can offer.

Source: @DeeDraper23/TikTok

Almost a year before Draper decided to walk out that door, he posted a TIkTok with the caption, “Life is full of choices, just be damn sure you know your worth & add tax!!! … #breakingthecycle #respect”

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What Does the World Have to Say About Draper’s Video?

Damion Draper’s video and professional life has become not only a headline in the news, but also received hundreds of direct comments on the social media platform.

Source: @DeeDraper23/TikTok

And the vast majority of people who commented agreed with Daper’s choice to quit due to the denied PTO with comments such as “PTO stands prepare for others. Cause. I. Ain’t. Coming,” and “People putting themselves first in 2022!” Though one TikTok user wrote that he didn’t actually believe Draper quit his job.

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Draper Shows the World Just How Serious He Was

Draper’s next post was a direct response to the comment, in which he told the doubters he absolutely did quit and showed his resignation letter to prove it.

Source: @DeeDraper23/TikTok

Damion captioned the post, “Reply to @bkckboe.ls3 not only did i quit I told them F you in the most professional way 😂😂😂 🤷🏿‍♂️ #iquit #knowyourworth #addtax #blackbusinessowner #lifecoach #texas #imreallylikethis #knowledgeispower #haveavoice.”

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More Conversation Sparked After Draper’s Resignation Letter is Published

After that post, Draper got even more support for not only his choice to quit, but for how honest and direct his resignation letter was.

Source: @DeeDraper23/TikTok

One TikTok user @Jo even said, “saving this to quit my job.” And another quoted Draper’s letter and said “ ‘I have learned that my words [hold] no merit in this organization’ YEEESH I now that one hit em.”

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Damion’s Words Resonate With Many

When Damion Draper shared his resignation letter with the world, they saw that he told his company, “After seven years of employment with the organization, I have felt undervalued, belittled, discriminated against, and not respected as a clinician.”

Source: @DeeDraper23/TikTok

He also stated that while he had “many things” to say to his previous employers, Draper wouldn’t waste his time because he knew that his opinions “”hold no merit in [the] organization.” And he’s certainly not the only person to feel this way.

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Many Argue that Employee Expectations Are Too High

While the emotional comments vary as to exactly which aspect of Draper’s post resonates with them, there is one common theme throughout them all: Employees are tired of the unrealistic expectations employers set.

Source: Lifestylememory on Freepik

Although the employee employer work relationship may not have technically changed drastically in recent years, the employee acceptance of the system seems to be mutating.

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Younger Generations Are Sick of Being Overworked

According to several articles and studies, the younger generations, such as Millenials and Gen-Zs, are unimpressed with the expectations set for them at work.

Source: EveryPixel

Whether that means being underpaid, undervalued, overworked, or a combination of all three, it seems that workplace expectations may need to be adjusted in the near future if companies want to keep their younger employees happy.

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People Want a Better Work Life Balance

It’s not that the younger employees are lazy, they simply don’t want to live to work. Essentially, they want a bit more work-life balance, i.e. time throughout their week to actually enjoy life with their loved ones, as well as for their own hobbies and interests.

Source: Image by Freepik

And it seems more and more people are deciding to take matters into their own hands and prioritize their own wellbeing over attempting to meet their employers’ every demand.

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Doesn’t Everyone Deserve a Vacation?

Truthfully, even those employees who are extremely dedicated and aren’t actively complaining about a work life balance even want a vacation every once in a while.

Source: Paula Bronstein/Getty Images

American workers already receive far less paid time off than their peers across the Atlantic in Europe. So it’s extra frustrating when employers deny PTO and well-deserved vacation days, as they did to Damion Draper.

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Should Employers Be Able to Deny PTO?

Of the many conversations Damion Draper’s TikTok video started, another important debate is whether or not employers should actually be able to deny PTO if the employee has accumulated the necessary hours to take time off.

Source: iStockPhoto

Across the country, employers can and do deny PTO on a regular basis. Though many employees feel that this system is unjust as they not only deserve vacation time, but have also earned the right to decide when they want to take it.

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The Need for Money Leaves Employers in Power

Of course, most people who are disappointed by their lack of work life balance, lack of vacations, or overbearing employers can’t actually do anything to change their situation.

Source: Chung Sung-Jun/Getty Images

Everyone in society needs money to survive, from groceries to rent, mortgages, utilities, car payments, and insurance, the list of outgoing payments can feel never ending. Therefore, most people simply cannot leave their jobs no matter how miserable they are.

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Is Working for Yourself the Only Way to Get What You Want?

Damion Draper was able to quit his job after being denied PTO because he had started his own business and was making enough money from it to pay his bills, and many people have been doing the same.

Source: Freepik

Being your own boss may just be the only way to ensure that you get time off when you want it, but that doesn’t mean starting your own business doesn’t come with some serious risks.

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Pros and Cons of Going Out on Your Own

Building a company is grueling work, and it’s often extremely expensive. Many entrepreneurs can’t even afford to pay themselves for several years as the company is getting on its feet.

Source: Freepik

And when it comes to vacation time, in theory, you can control when and where you go, though as the boss, you are almost always needed. So you might be on the beach, but you’ll certainly be glued to your phone answering questions. And that’s if you even have enough money to hire staff.

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Draper Seems Proud of His Choice

Although  it seemed to have worked out for Damion Draper, as well as millions of other people around the world.

Source: @DeeDraper23/TikTok

And because of how disappointed most people, especially Americans, are with the insufficient salaries and high expectations of working for corporate companies, many are choosing to take that risk and strike out on their own.

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How the Pandemic Has Affected the Workplace

While attempting to understand the new feelings toward workplace expectations, it’s crucial to understand how the global Coronavirus pandemic has at least partially affected both employers and employees.

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Because remote working was the norm for many Americans for almost two years, people have become accustomed to the freedom that it allowed. While some people took that time to work from more beautiful locals, many others simply enjoyed being able to prepare healthy meals at home, fit in a work out, go for a walk, or spend more quality time with their families throughout the work week.

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Why Work Seems Worse After the Pandemic

Now that many offices are going back to “normal,” i.e., requiring employees to be in-office during office hours. Going back and being asked to work with little to no free time in their lives feels much worse than it did before the pandemic.

Source: Richard Pohle/WPA Pool/Getty Images

Many people are also frustrated because not only do they have less time to call their own, they also now know that they absolutely can work successfully from home, without decreasing their efficiency.

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Will the American Workplace Change in the Near Future?

When it comes to remote work versus in office requirements, there are actually several studies that support both options. Whether or not workers in some companies will continue to be able to work from home or not is still up in the air.

Source: Miguel Pereira/Getty Images

But more importantly, many people are wondering if a much larger change should be made in regards to how Americans work.

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Draper Took that Vacation that Made Him Quit His Job

In the end, Damion Draper took that vacation he planned for, as there was no one to tell him he couldn’t.

Source: @DeeDreaper23/TikTok

His videos have provoked several debates and very important questions regarding how people work, who they work for, and what kind of work life balance they need to be happy and fulfilled. But on a lighter note, many people are simply happy to see Draper enjoying his well-deserved time off.

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Damion Draper’s Story is Not Unique

More and more people are leaving their 9-5s behind every year in order to become entrepreneurs, or even to simply look for a job in a different field that allows for more time to actually live their lives.

Source: Freepik

While the future is always uncertain, it wouldn’t be wildly surprising if real changes were coming to the way Americans work.

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