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Americans and Vacations

Discussion in 'Political Discussion' started by PatriotsReign, May 19, 2012.

  1. PatriotsReign

    PatriotsReign Rookie

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    For whatever the reason, many Americans take pride in the fact they don't use all their vacation days. And we are the only developed nation that doesn't require paid vacation days by law.

    I have stated I'm pretty liberal when it comes to corp. America and I believe we should have a law requiring paid vacation leave.

    I've often over-heard people BRAG about how little vacation they take. I have to laugh to myself when I hear such idiocy because that's not something to be proud of...I personally find it shameful. I have that opinion because I feel work is not life and not the focus of our lives. If it is, then those people have issues...serious issues.

    Work is merely a means to an end so that we may enjoy our lives. I make sure I use all my vacation days. One big motivator for me is the fact my boss rarely takes vacation and likes us to work nights and weekends. For the first 2-3 years, I did that and I burnt out. So now I rarely work nights or weekends, but I try to be at my desk by 6-7am and work until about 6pm each day and that's enough...as a matter of fact, that's plenty.

    Many of my best childhood memories are when my parents took us on vacation each summer to New Hampshire. My father often took 2 weeks in a row...think many do that today? I look at vacation as something I've earned with blood & sweat...why would I give it back to my company? I think I would have to have poor self-esteem if I felt I didn't deserve to take the time off I've earned.

    I dunno....maybe some think, "I'll enjoy life after I retire"...my thought is, why wait until I'm in my mid-to-late 60's to enjoy life. Sometimes I even wonder if many Americans have forgotten how to enjoy life outside the workplace.

    Workaholism is as serious as any other addiction, yet few Americans see it that way. Any thoughts as to why this is?

    Unused vacation days: Why workers take a pass - May. 18, 2012

    Vacation? No thanks, boss

    "About 57% of working Americans had unused vacation time at the end of 2011, and most of them left an average of 11 days on the table - or nearly 70 percent of their allotted time off, according to a study performed by Harris Interactive for JetBlue."

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    Last edited: May 19, 2012
  2. Mrs.PatsFanInVa

    Mrs.PatsFanInVa PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    #11 Jersey

    Ha!! Timely little rant, PR. The Mr and I are just about out the door for a week in the Outer Banks in North Carolina. Same cottage on the beach that we've been renting for the last 4 years. Last year we took two weeks, this year just one - for now. Maybe we'll make it back again late summer, I don't know.

    Thing about vacations is, you have to be able to afford them - and alot of people can't. Two of my kids don't get any paid vacation - so it makes it a double whammy for them to go away. The cost of the trip plus the lost wages. The other son owns a busness and never feels like he can leave for any time - not because he can't afford it but because he's afraid to leave for any length of time.

    For us - it's sometimes hard to go away "just for us." There are families to visit - mine in Indiana, Illinois and Oregon and, up until this year, Mr.P's in Jersey. There's a feeling of guilt when you take a week or two to just goof off and you haven't seen your 87 year old mother or your grandchildren in 6 or 8 months. I'm sure alot of people use their "vacation time" to visit relatives - and that's not always a "vacation." It generally leaves you feeling like you need one.

    Growing up, the only place we ever went was to Ohio to visit my father's family. Twice a year, religiously. My mom says she took me on a vacation to Michigan once when I was 3 - but I don't remember. I'd never stayed in a motel or a hotel until I was in my 20s. Nor been on a plane, either, for that matter.

    I took my kids on a vacation three times in 30 years of having children in the house. My oldest son to Nashville once when he was 3 and the two other boys and my mother (shortly after my father died) to Wisconsin Dells twice when they were pre-teens. I could only afford it because my dad left me a few dollars and I wanted to do something "nice" for my mom and kids. Neither vacation lasted longer than Friday-Monday because, frankly, I couldn't afford to lose the work time. (We had paid vacation but we could also "sell" it back at the end of each year - that's what poor people do, they sell their vacation when and if they can.)

    So - it's not always just workaholics who don't take vacations - it's people who can't afford them and people with other obligations.

    That being said - we are outa here - there are dolphins to look for and sea gulls to feed!!
  3. Harry Boy

    Harry Boy Look Up, It's Amazing PatsFans.com Supporter

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    It must be a "mental disorder" anybody turning down vacation time belongs in an Insane Asylum.
  4. Nikolai

    Nikolai Football Atheist PatsFans.com Supporter

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    #54 Jersey

    I used to be one of those don't-take-a-vacation and work-through-lunch sort of people. The problem is that no one can go on like that forever. Productivity falls off, workers eventually get sloppy without a recharge, and all the "good will" such practices build up in the early going evaporate. I used up all of my rolled over vacation at once last summer, taking five weeks off. It was quite the recharge. When I came back, I took the world by storm and have gotten two substantial promotions since then.

    I now encourage employees directly under my supervision to take vacations. Sometimes I think there is a fear of "being considered redundant" or having a pile of work to come back to when they return. Sometimes, it's up to the management to communicate the idea that a break is ok. That is, if they're forward thinking enough to see the benefits of resting and recharging.

    I plan to use every day of vacation this year, starting with two weeks in August and another two weeks at the end of the year.

    I second Mrs. P's notion of how visiting family leaves you wishing you could have a vacation. It's definitely an issue for us. Part of our end of the year vacation is a trip to go see family. At least August will be a chance to just get away. Of course, with kiddies, it's a little different.
  5. DarrylS

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    I used to be able to carry over something like 4 weeks of vacation, and at the end of every endpoint for that cycle.. would have exactly 4 weeks... viewed it as some type of safety net.

    OTOH never lost an hour of vacation, as calculated the year to used all of the time and still wind up with the maximum I could carry over..
  6. Drewski

    Drewski Rookie

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    No Jersey Selected

    PR - There are just too many people in our country who "Live to Work". It is an ingrained mentality people somehow over time have equalled to "work ethic".

    I am a "Work to Live" type. Not that I don't care about my work, I do. From 730am to whenever I leave for the day (usually 530-6pm) my employer gets my all, and I rarely take a lunch.

    In my previous two jobs, I worked at smaller vendor shops, where the hours, and the expectation was "we are a small shop and have to do more with less". 70 hour weeks were the norm.

    This is my first job in a corp setting (a bank). Banks are notorious for their workforces (back offices, not branches) working lax hours. When I get in at 730 each morning, Im usually the first one in the building by at least an hour. When I leave in the evening, I'm sorta in the middle.

    As for vacation days - I use all of them and don't really think twice about it. My employer gives me 22 days a year at my grade, and I have a week at the end of June coming (moving to new house) and the last two weeks of the year. Everything else is taken in one offs (Fridays before long weekends).

    America as a whole has a fear of vacations compared to the rest of the world (esp Europe). I think "we" fear we can't be who we are, a prosperous country we have all had a hand in shaping, if we use our vaca days.
  7. PatriotsReign

    PatriotsReign Rookie

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    Great post from someone who has been on both sides of the issue!

    I tend to make generalizations on topics and of course there are exceptions to everything. If one is not paid for vacations or they can't afford them, then that's sad, but understandable. Same goes for owners of businesses. However, it they are successful, in time, there still is no excuse for not taking a vacation.

    I've been researching this topic and every single study I've found says that employees who work a SOLID 40 hrs/week are far more productive and enthusiastic than those who work longer hours consistently. I've been working too much and my motivation has declined dramatically compared to times I just work a regular 40 hour week. I'm the type that works intensely on a project and I can stay focused and get it done faster than most of my peers. I have found that I need to have regular excercise and do something selfish & fun regularly to feel "good" about life. When I hide in my office and work like a nut, life starts to suck. And that's something I can control, so I will.

    My dept. recently "re-org'd" and we went from a staff of 5 to 3. We are going to replace the 2 we lost, but it's been 2 months of insanity and I've had enough. So I've decided that whatever I can get done Mon-Friday, that's all I'm going to do. No more working weekends! Like I wrote, my boss LOVES to us work weekends and I've gotten to the point I want to tell him to jump in a lake and go edit yourself!

    I took yesterday off to play golf with friends. At 5:30pm Thursday, my boss sent me an email asking for an update on 2 programs I have to learn. He purposefully sent me that email the night before I took a day off to make me feel guilty, so I will not respond to it. If he really wants to know, he can call me!
  8. chicowalker

    chicowalker Rookie

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    Totally agree with you about taking them, but why should companies be required to provide paid vacation?

    (The business I run does provide paid vacation to all employees, but that is by choice -- why should the government tell me I should have to pay people who aren't doing anything?)
  9. PatriotsReign

    PatriotsReign Rookie

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    So that no employee has to work 52 weeks/year because they "can't afford to take a week off". No one should unable to take at least 1 week of vacation/year.

    I don't want Americans or America to have work as the focus of their lives. Without being able to take a paid vacation, that would be tough to accomplish.

    During this recession, many companies are using the leverage they have to squeeze added hours from their employees and I believe that's wrong.
  10. chicowalker

    chicowalker Rookie

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    Why is that the companies' responsibility, though?

    I can't remember, maybe you're also one of the proponents here of a so-called living wage, but why is the company responsible for what the employee can or cannot afford?

    Why should the government force me to pay for an employee to go to the beach -- even if, as an owner, I can't afford a vacation myself? (and don't forget that at small companies, employees missing work can constitute a huge burden. it's part of doing business, obviously, but you want them to add yet another cost onto that?)

    if the government were to do this, could I legally require the employees not to do any work during their time off? (if they have 2 jobs, for example?) or should I be paying them to go do work for somebody else?

    Final thought, on the leverage point: aren't you opposed to public sector unions? unions help give employees leverage, for better and worse. Yet when you (as the public) are the employer you would deny them one of their bargaining capabilities at the same time that you try to put more burdens in place on other employers. Why?
  11. IllegalContact

    IllegalContact On the Roster

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    agree with chico here


    first, paid vacation is part of a benefits package that companies offer.

    second, companies pay for unused vacation time when someone leaves a company.

    third, vacation time gets carried over for many companies.

    in general, I think a vaction time is silly....if you want to take a vacation, take a vacation

    by PR's logic, I get to laugh at all the stupid people in the world who have jobs that actually make them show up every day
  12. Real World

    Real World Moderator Staff Member

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    If you take a job with a company that doesn't offer paid vacation time, then you should save accordingly if you hope to take one. I think it'd be nice to have paid vacations for everyone, but to mandate them isn't something I'd support. Some companies simply can't afford to offer them. They can't afford to pay people to not work.
  13. Ilikehappyppl

    Ilikehappyppl Rookie

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    That's pretty funny.....Then why can all these other country's companies afford it then?

    Most on that list have higher tax rates to boot, so why can they afford it but we can't afford it here in the USA?

    Every company should offer some paid vacation, after all its the workers that make the products or sell them, why shouldn't they have paid vacation? Its the right thing to do....

    The government shouldn't have to make a law for companies to do this, they should do it on their own already, its just like min wage, you shouldn't have to make laws to tell people to do the right thing......

    So I don't know what's worse, the fact that companies are always trying to rip off their workers, or the fact that we have to make laws to protect people so that companies do the right thing......
    Last edited: May 21, 2012
  14. PatsWSB47

    PatsWSB47 Rookie

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    #12 Jersey

    What if your company is barely making it in a bad economy? Maybe some kind a profit sharing plan would be the most fair. The thing is employee burn out can cause unproductively, so time off is important. Whether a company can afford to pay it all the time is another story.
  15. Real World

    Real World Moderator Staff Member

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    Have you been paying attention to what's going on in "all these other countries"? By the quality of your posts, I wouldn't expect so.

    Tell you what, when you start, own, or operate your own company, you go right ahead and provide all the "paid fors" you want. Just don't go complaining about how expensive rebuilding your stone wall is, cuz the owner of the masonry company has to provide all his employees with 2, 4, or 6 weeks paid vacation. Don't complain when your landscaper ups his bill cuz he not only has to pay his labor to stay home a few weeks a year, when his revenues are seasonal. Most semi-intelligent people with a grains worth of real world experience already know that the majority of employers do provide paid vacations. Likely on top of holidays, sick days, personal days, etc. A job isn't a right. If you don't like your sack of **** employer, or your dead end job, better yourself and find a new one. ;)
  16. Ilikehappyppl

    Ilikehappyppl Rookie

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    That's pretty funny, so Germany is in bad shape? Last time I checked they were doing just fine.....I guess they don't count do they RW???

    Damn even china is doing paid vacation, I guess they are in bad shape too uh? Do they not count either???

    Playing the worlds smallest violin for you and others......:singing: BTW they said the same thing about slavery and min wage when they happened, "Oh there is no way we can make it, will go bankrupt!" BULL****!!!!

    Excuse are like *******s, everyone has one, what's yours?;)
  17. Drewski

    Drewski Rookie

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    No Jersey Selected

    Maybe I missed the point of PR's thread. Was this topic about how Americans should take their vacation days they have or that the government should mandate companies to provide them?

    If it is the former, then yes, as I said, people should take the time off they are provided as a benefit of employment. Time away from your job is good for the soul and in my opinion keeps you more productive while you are working.

    If it is the latter, I just don't see how you could (or should) force a private business owner to offer paid vacation. Vacation isn't a right, like a safe workplace, free from dangers and abuse. If you don't like your employers vaca policy, do what I did....get a new job.

    No biggie.

    D
  18. PatsWSB47

    PatsWSB47 Rookie

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    #12 Jersey

    How old are you? I get the impression you're pretty young and think you're entitled to whatever comforts you think an employer should give you. Great jobs with benefits aren't just out there for everyone in today's economy and you certainly can't assume if a company doesn't offer great packages it's because they're just greedy employers. Am I wrong?
    Last edited: May 21, 2012
  19. PatsFanInVa

    PatsFanInVa PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    Actually on one right now. I forget, who approves & who is envious?
  20. Ilikehappyppl

    Ilikehappyppl Rookie

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    My age has nothing to do with this thread,


    So I ask again, if Germany and China can offer paid days off why can't the USA?

    Edit: I find it funny, when someone disagrees with some of you, you resort to attacking them, instead of answering their question......I wonder why??? lmfao This thread has nothing to do with me, my age or my background. It doesn't matter if i'm young or old, if I have started a bizz or not.

    This is what's wrong with these forums, you attack the posters instead of debating them....
    Last edited: May 21, 2012

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