September 23, 2009
I have the day off today. What am I doing with it? Well, so far, not much. I've made a couple of galleries on Flickr, and am currently writing this blog entry but other than that, zilch. And that's okay. I might just stay in my jammies all day!
This year has been interesting as far as my vacation and personal days, because in the beginning of the year Gannett announced we would have two weeks of furloughs as well. So all in all I will have about six weeks of time off for 2009. I say, bring on the furloughs for 2010!!
That may seem like a lot but in the grand scheme of things the US is SO far behind other developed nations. For example, in Finland, the average is 30 paid vacation days and 14 national holidays. That's 44 days, or NINE WEEKS off per year. I would've thought Canada would have more than we do but they actually average about a week less.
Now, I was in the fortunate position financially of not having to worry about those 2 furlough weeks we had in the first half of the year. And let me tell you, I enjoyed every minute of them. The first week I took individual Wednesdays off (like today). It was luxurious! I would hang out downtown, spend the day with my Grammie in Green Bay, schedule hair/dentist/doctor appointments without having to rush around before or after work - it was wonderful! The second week was spent on a fabulous vacation to Denver. During furloughs we were forbidden to contact work in any way, so it was the perfect time to get away!
My whole life, even when I was much poorer than I am now, I've always favored time over money. Some people would view this as lazy and in this country, a strong work ethic is very important. It should be. When you're at work, you should work as hard as you can; you're getting paid to do so. The problem with that work ethic, however, is that it's becoming harder to separate our work from our LIFE. To me, work is not life and I don't see that changing. I hate having to think about work when I'm not there. I have many friends, though, who seem to think it's normal to be 'on call' 24-7. Their whole life revolves around work - their friends, their schedules, their entertainment, everything. That's too bad. What happens if that job isn't there next year? But I digress. Back to vacations.
If we had more vacation time, wouldn't we all be less stressed? And in turn, wouldn't we all be better workers? And wouldn't our home life be more rewarding? Wouldn't it be nice to have more time for personal enrichment instead of plunking ourselves in front of the TV because we're too exhausted to even think about doing anything else? Sorry to get on my high horse, but I think that a happy worker is a good worker. Corporations need to start showing their personnel (what few there are remaining) some love. Because when this recession is over, and there are more job opportunities, people are going to leave in droves for greener pastures. Time to stop thinking only about your shareholders, Giant Companies, and start sharing the wealth with the workers who got you where you are in the first place. Or, months or years down the road, that little start-up you laughed at will replace you and you'll be left with nothing.