Monday, July 10, 2006

fueling the fire for many arguements

Jason and I regularly fight over my vacation time. Or as he sees it, my lack of vacation time.

Jason feels that employees should be allowed to take vacation time whenever they feel it's needed. Note I said take, not ask for vacation time, because asking should not be necessary, one should be able to approach their boss and say "Hey Bob, I'm going to be gone on the third Friday in November" and the only acceptable answer from Boss Bob is "Whatever you say Jimbo!" complete with a smile full of sparkly white teeth and a wink of the eye.

My theory on vacation time runs a little more conservation than his. I feel I should be able to approach Boss Bob and ask if I may have the third Friday in November off, and if Boss Bob says no, we're too busy that day, then I should see about rescheduling my trip. Now if Boss Bob says no for some reason that makes no sense, I might plead my case, but if it's an honest reason why I can't go (i.e. There are only two people in my office and we are really busy that darn third Friday of November) then I'm really sorry, but I can't go.

I think our views on vacation time come from working in two very different worlds. Jason's being the tech world and mine being the nonprofit and retail world. In the tech world the employees are put on gold-leafed pedestals and presented with sweaters made out of unicorn hair. My world looks at its employees and sees people that can be replaced pretty easily and probably for less money than the current person is making. I'm a dime a dozen, Jason is scarcer than pictures of Suri Cruise (you know, Tom Cruise's kid? I don't really think she exists)

I can understand why Jason thinks having to ask for vacation time is crazy. Tech companies have spolied him, seeing as they are one of the few industries that fully embrace the idea that happy employees produce better. If taking vacation whenever makes employees happy, then that's how tech companies are going to roll.

Am I upset by that I have to request vacation time? No, it makes sense to me. I work in a small office. If everyone took vacation whenever they wanted we could get really screwed. I have a good work ethic and wouldn't take vacation during a busy time but you can't guarantee that every employee will, and this is why it's important to have to make a request.

Anyway, as I mentioned this is a constant arguement in our household. I don't think I'm wrong and Jason doesn't think he's wrong. This fight will never end. At least not until I retire.


  1. Let me start off by saying that unicorn hair itches.

    Another thing that you have to consider is that engineers and programmers usually have schedules measured in weeks, not days, and they don't have to be in the office on a day to day basis to deal with customers or answer phones. As long as the product, be it software or some new gadget, gets finished on time the bosses don't much care when you're in the office. Some companies of course have more leeway than others. I can pretty much take a few days off whenever I want, but if I wanted to take two weeks off, I'd have to clear it with my manager and make sure someone else was around to handle my work while I was gone.

  2. yeah, that was kind of a point I forgot to mention.

    Jason can bring a laptop and pretty much work anywhere he goes, assuming he can find internet access. I can't really process donations from a beach in Barbados; my day to day functions require me to be in the office. Jason's day to day functions require him to have a laptop. And, of course, his unicorn hair sweater.

  3. Oh how I long to be in Jason's world. He would never survive in my job. I tried to call in sick once and this is the reply I got, "Well I understand that you're sick, but we really need you here so just get up and come on in."

    And the latest, we have just finished pretty much a 90+ hour week. No pre-4th of July week-end, no 4th of July. Just work, work, work. I went to bed this past Friday night and slept until 7:45 p.m. on Saturday. Sort of like the Nyquill episode.

    And vacation....yes I have one coming up but I had to tell the boss I needed a heart transplant. His response: Do you really need a week for that.

    Jason is soooo lucky.

  4. God, I'm defending Jason. Let the poor man enjoy his perks. We all face the encroaching outsourcing to India and China. He's just trying to enjoy his time before he has to work for curry and twenty rupees an hour.

  5. Oscar, I don't mind that Jason gets perks. I just mind that he expects everyone, in every job, to get the same perks. That's where I think he's wrong. It would be nice, but not realistic.

  6. Monkeys are selfish! ...and wreckless