View Full Version : Not enough vacation time? How do you deal?

08-27-2008, 08:07 PM
Does your employer grant a mere 10 vacation days?

I'd like to talk with people about how they get around their jobs limited vacation time. Do you take unpaid vacation? Do you call in sick when you're not? Do you schedule longer vacations when you know you'll be
transitioning between jobs?

Please email me at amandamccorq [at]gmail [dot] com


08-27-2008, 08:39 PM
I haven't taken a full vacation week in about a decade. The way my present job is set up is I've got one of those PTO accounts, so I only get .06something of paid time off for every week that I work which amounts to about 15 days off, which is all my vacation and sick and mental health time lumped together for the year. I can opt to buy up to a full week of extra PTO time every year, but I don't usually do that.

The way I handle it that works well is that I have at least 1 self-made 3-4 day weekend every month, so I get lots of little breaks regularly instead of one massive lump of time that just seems like a lot of work on both ends and I can't relax during anyway. Having that coming up just a week or three away makes the daily grind a LOT easier to get through without cracking. Combined with a nice three-day holiday weekend (like Memorial Day or Labor Day), and it's a great mini vacation without a great deal of PTO used.

It works for me.

Phil DeBlanque
08-27-2008, 10:42 PM
What's this "vacation" thingamagig you're talking about?

Slightly OT, brazilian writer Joćo Ubaldo Ribeiro once said (I guess he quoted from someone else, I am not sure) "A writer is someone who wrote today".

08-28-2008, 05:14 AM
Well, at a previous job it got to the point where I went to the doctor, talked to him about the stress symptoms I was having, and he wrote me a prescription for a week's vacation soon.

Did I mention I really like my doctor?

Clair Dickson
08-28-2008, 05:27 AM
Oh my word-- how I would love paid time off. I used to get it in retail, but since I got a job as an alternative high school teacher, any hour I'm not working, I don't get paid. I drag my carcass there no matter what. I'd rather be sick and at work (teaching or otherwise, sorry kids/parents!) where I get paid, than at home not getting paid.

The rest of the time I'm not teaching, I work one or more of my three other jobs. I'm happy if I can just work a five day week instead of a seven day one.

08-28-2008, 08:29 PM
Thanks for the feedback guys! I'm finding that most people don't even have 10 days...the horror!

09-01-2008, 11:00 PM
A paid vacation? I've never had one of those. Ever, in my life. I've mostly worked at theme parks, where every time I took a day off (sick, vacation, holiday, mental health, whatever), I got a point against my attendance record. If I was more than seven minutes late, it was a half point. Too many points meant no transfers, no promotions, no raises. Even more points meant fired.

But jobs like that are remarkably flexible in scheduling. So I got around it by getting coworkers to take shifts and asking to be scheduled such that my two days off one week bumped up against my two days off the next. I could sometimes get a full week (unpaid, of course) doing it that way.

Now that I'm a full-time writer I gave myself a vacation last week. An entire week on a Caribbean cruise, with only 30 minutes of work in an internet cafe in St. Maarten...wow, that was nice. But again, no work equals no pay, so on next week's trip to Vegas, I'll be working my butt off!

10 days paid vacation? Wow, where do I have to work to get that?!?!

09-02-2008, 03:12 AM
Call in sick? That's particularly amusing. I haven't had paid sick leave in nearly fifteen years.

I get three weeks of 'personal leave'. But of course you never actually get three weeks. You start at zero and accrue leave with each pay cycle. I've taken a week of vacation once in 17 years. While they say you have three weeks you really don't after getting sick a few times, staying home with sick kids a few times, fixing the house a few times, visiting the inlaws over Christmas and Thanksgiving (you generally get Xmas DAY and T'give DAY). When all's said and done, you wind up with about three or four days you can use for yourself - which means taking the family somewhere then working your ass off to make everyone happy. That's the biggest reason I hate this kind of work and write, write, write so someday I hope to have more flexibility.

There really is nothing you can do about it. Once you have a family and expenses, there is no getting around it. It is indentured servitude. Your only recourse is to live very frugally so you can take LWOP (leave without pay) or perhaps a leave of absence. But those are both frowned on because your generous company pays your insurance out of money they take from your salary before you ever see it. And if you aren't charging time, they aren't billing the customer, so they won't pay your insurance. So I spend a lot of time comtemplating suicide.

You know what really makes you want to blow your brains out? Work for months to get a day off like today (Labor Day) then you've got an f'ing cold so just sit around all day.

Just to let you know, I have a Masters Degree in Aerospace Engineering so we're not talking McDonald's or something like that. I have one of the good jobs and I worked my butt off to get it. Yeah, the workers pretty much get fucked in a capitalist country, just like in a socialist country, but in those countries you have to wait in line for it, too. The horror? The real horror is when you hate your job...