Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Only 38 Percent of Americans (plus one) Take All Their Vacation Days

CNN reports today that a majority of working Americans do not take all of the vacation that they're due.  The reasons vary: vacations tend to be expensive, in lean business environments folks are doing the work of two and don't want to get behind, in a tight job market most don't want to give their employer any excuse that the company can "make due" while the employee is out, etc. 

That may certainly apply to most Americans, and does to many of the peers with whom I work.  They wear their unused vacation like a badge of honor. 

Good for them. 

Personally, I'm using every day of my allocated vacation.  Every last day.  You see, vacation is pretty much the only way that I can see my family and friends. 

In the normal work environment here in Green Bay, basically all I do is work.  We have no family here, nor do we have any friends here.  There's work and my wife - that's it.  Clearly pathetic, but it is what it is.  So when I get a chance to get together with those whom I love, I'm taking it. 

And I understand my obligations - pre and post vacation I put in massive hours to accommodate the time away, and when I'm "on vacation" I'm definitely still working.  I'm fully connected to the office, taking emails and calls and cranking things out.  I have to do this as it is required for our business to continue to move forward, and because the deluge I'd encounter upon my return to the office would be nearly insurmountable.  

So I keep up, albeit without physically being in the office, and enjoy as much time as I can with the folks that mean the most to me.  In fact, I'm headed back to the cabin later this afternoon as soon as I can get out of work.  It is a 7 hour drive, but to be there, with my wife and friends, it is worth every minute.    

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