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(Quartz)   Unlimited vacation time is better in theory than in practice...says NO ONE   ( ) divider line
    More: Amusing, vacation time, MIT Sloan School of Management, holidays  
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2623 clicks; posted to Business » on 27 Aug 2013 at 3:07 PM (3 years ago)   |   Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»

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2013-08-28 12:02:29 PM  

Spadababababababa Spadina Bus: Things this HR guy doesn't understand:

If an employee has an important event coming up that they want to take a vacation day for, and has made it well known to everyone under the sun that he/she intents to attend come hell or high water, why would you ever deny that person vacation time? And why be so shocked and appalled when they inevitably call in sick?

This shiat ain't that complicated.

I quit a job at a retail store because they wouldn't let me take a day off for my friend's wedding. I asked 8 weeks in advance but they declined my request because it was inventory day. It didn't matter to them that I was a groomsman. I thought about calling in sick that day but decided to quit instead.
2013-08-28 12:03:40 PM  

Any Pie Left: I inherited some of my dad's work behaviors, such as stoically going to work come hell or high water or any sickness short of surgery.  Dad almost never took vacation days, and It rubbed off on me in that I never think to put in for them.  When my wife reminds me to, I'll burn up a few making 3 and 4-day weekends, usually wrapped around existing holiday time off.  I tried a real 2-week vacation this summer, and it didn't go as well as I had hoped. For one thing, it takes my head and body about 4 days just to get used to the idea that I can sleep in and have nowhere to go at any particular time.  About three days before the end of the 2 weeks, my mind starts thinking about the office and re-entering the stress and dropped projects that nobody picked up the slack on for me. Kind of like old people and "sunset syndrome", my head is already at the office  by Saturday of the last weekend.

In between those times, I'm in a mad dash of pre-planned activities, mostly "honey-do" projects that have piled up when my weekends weren't enough to finish or start them. Then too, the rest of the family regards a vacationing dad as a free resource for playing repair-man and taxi-driver.  Not that I mind, all the time; after all, it's a proud function of a dad to be there for his kids and for a husband to be available to his wife.  But they all seem to forget that dad might have an agenda of his own, little projects or jaunts and side-trips he thinks of on workdays, but can't carry out.

My conclusion is that 2 weeks is too short to appreciate and really absorb.  A month might be about right.  Or regularly-spaced 4-day weekends.  But a month won't fly at work u ...

You might as well have just taken a page out of my life with that writeup. I just took a two week "vacation". My wife and I are selling our current home and building a new one at the same time. Plus we had a baby lol. No sleep no rest and when I had free time, I was painting/remodeling my house for sale. I couldnt wait to get back to work. And work suuuuucks.

When I dont have all that going on and I take a week off I am thinking about work by wed and once that happens, VACATION OVER. Whats the f-ing point? Thats America baby!
2013-08-28 02:07:54 PM  
I can definitely see some pressure going on if you have "unlimited" vacation, because of course it doesn't really mean unlimited, but it's all very vague as to how much you could really get away with. So on top of the usual vacation worries about work, you've got the worry of "was a week too long? are they going to can me if I take more than a long weekend?"

Now, I wouldn't mind having more vacation time myself, but I think I'd rather be given an extra week than be told I could have 'unlimited'. Unless it meant I could just take off a couple hours early every day, cause hey, if the work gets done....
2013-08-28 04:51:35 PM  
Any Pie Left and BEER_ME_in_CT, those sound like my attitude, minus wives and babbys. My dad was self-employed in construction through my teen years. He'd have a couple down weeks between projects or when the weather made it impossible to work, so those were the only "vacation" he took, and even then, he was fixing things around the house or doing quotes, billing and errands for Mom to keep busy. We'd go to Maine on the summer weekends, but as Dad's business required, those weekends went away. It was only when I was graduating high school that we took our first real family vacation. (And when we got to the hotel, Dad noticed the sliding door stuck in the track, left the room to go get his silicone spray out of his truck, and only realized in the hotel parking lot that his truck was 2000 miles away.)

Now, I've been at the same company for 9 years (since I got out of college). I get three weeks a year of paid vacation. I just went to ask my controller's right-hand woman how much time I actually had on the books and she just laughed. I take a couple days off every February to judge a high-school business-ed competition, I took a couple days back in '07 and '08 during election season to work on a campaign, and I'll put in for a Friday or two to make a long weekend. But until my boss pretty much told me to take the last week of December off this past winter, I hadn't ever taken a full week of vacation.

Frankly, I don't really crave vacation time. I don't have kids, and my girlfriend is a teacher so she can only take certain weeks off. I work in logistics, and for us, summer and fall (when I'd probably want vacation time most) is our busy season. We're a team of three, and two of us are always reluctant to take time off because orders get screwed up when we're not here (and the ops manager doesn't have the attention span to do things according to our system). As my co-worker plans to go on vacation next week, he's already joking with the ops manager, "By taking a four-day week, that's one less day of your mistakes I have to fix."

So rather than take a few days off, forward a bunch of e-mails and phone calls back to the office, and then spend those days (a) wondering how that went and (b) wondering what went wrong, it's easier to just go to work.

My ops manager and the bossman were both asking me to take a week off this summer. But I held off because I'd rather give preference to the ops manager - he has two kids still at home, and can take advantage of the family time. By the time my girlfriend figured out her summer availability, I looked at the calendar and took a three-day weekend in August. I put in for a couple other days as half-days, and that felt like enough. I'd like to have taken more, but I figure, why sit around and worry about work when I can just go and not have to worry?

I'd actually love to just get the vacation pay instead of the vacation time (we don't get paid for time we don't take, but it's usually a non-issue, because who doesn't take their allotted vacation time?). For me, at 32, this is when I can get away with that. If I have kids someday, I'm sure I'll think a lot differently.
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