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Old 04-05-2012, 03:25 PM
 
Location: Austin, TX
303 posts, read 372,804 times
Reputation: 162
Unlimited vacation time sounds a little bit like a trap to me. Take what one person subjectively thinks is "too much", and you might be out of a job. You might actually end up taking less time than if you had a set # of days, because you want to show what a "team player" you are.

I know folk who never take vacation time. I know others who take every second possible. But it's all within the same allowed # of days off, so it's ok.
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Old 04-05-2012, 03:56 PM
 
Location: Volcano
11,598 posts, read 9,284,591 times
Reputation: 9115
Quote:
Originally Posted by JERiv View Post
Unlimited vacation time sounds a little bit like a trap to me.
Not if you work in a truly results oriented organization. It's worked as well as it has for IBM because they are organized around the results produced, rather than the random but often irrelevant assessments of job performance so many other companies go by.

I remember a story told in a corporate ad IBM ran years ago (that I hope I can do justice to), in which a visitor to an IBM office commented about someone sitting semi-reclined, with their feet on their desk, staring at the wall. Seems they had seen the same person in the same pose during his previous visit to the office.

"What does that person do?"

"He thinks. That's his job. He thinks about things."

"What? That's preposterous. How do you know if he's doing his job?"

"Well, the last thing he thought about saves us two million dollars a year, every year."




I will say, though, that it is a policy that requires employees to have a certain degree of maturity and commitment to what they are doing.
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Old 04-05-2012, 06:43 PM
 
105 posts, read 158,849 times
Reputation: 48
Quote:
Originally Posted by crashoran View Post
They did tell me I could take unpaid days, but that kind of defeats the purpose of taking a vacation..
I calculated that paying for 52 work weeks instead of 50 (i.e. having 2 weeks of unpaid vacation instead of paid) would mean 4% increase in your salary, which is a $2000-4000 increase for the salary range $50-100K. This is not much. Ask for a salary increase up to $5000, and make sure it's true you can take an unpaid vacation. But even if you don't get an increase, count that they offer you less money by the amount paid for 2 weeks. How does making 4% less per year defeat the purpose of taking time off?

Having worked as a consultant (and looks like will be taking this path again), PTO is highly overrated. Taking more money home and having unpaid vacations whenever you want is better.
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Old 04-05-2012, 07:54 PM
 
Location: Austin, TX
3,473 posts, read 2,518,337 times
Reputation: 1576
Quote:
Originally Posted by JERiv View Post
Unlimited vacation time sounds a little bit like a trap to me. Take what one person subjectively thinks is "too much", and you might be out of a job. You might actually end up taking less time than if you had a set # of days, because you want to show what a "team player" you are.

I know folk who never take vacation time. I know others who take every second possible. But it's all within the same allowed # of days off, so it's ok.
At most white collar established professional companies, many people have been there 20 or more years and have oogles of vacation time and rarely use it. When they inevitably get laid off, those corporations have to pay up big time for that.

Unlimited vacation solves that. Those that don't take a lot of vacation don't cause a liability to a company. Also, companies with this policy can use the policy to either show that a work life balance is important or at least this creates an incentive for over worked employees to plan at least some vacation. If they plan none they get none but most sensible employees would realize they were getting the shaft if they never took vacation.

I'll give an example of a friend of mine. He worked in HP and had their cap of vacation when he was laid off, I think it was like 3 months or so. He rarely used the vacation he had. Now he is in the same company as mine, we both have the unlimited vacation and guess what, he is now taking regular vacations.

It is very important that an employee doesn't abuse this however.
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Old 04-06-2012, 06:46 AM
 
Location: Austin, TX
8,627 posts, read 17,409,801 times
Reputation: 3460
Quote:
At most white collar established professional companies, many people have been there 20 or more years and have oogles of vacation time and rarely use it. When they inevitably get laid off, those corporations have to pay up big time for that.
Almost all have gone to 'carry-over' caps.

My dad worked at IBM for years and built up a huge amount of vacation time (they later did put caps in), so they worked out a deal where every day of vacation you took, you lost two days of vacation, but got paid cash. I don't remember if it was optional or not, but you essentially got paid a bonus to take a vacation.
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Old 04-09-2012, 10:56 AM
 
106 posts, read 125,655 times
Reputation: 88
I can't STAND when people say they have never taken time off in their lives, when their work is basically a godsend. It's all relative. If you aren't on a constant 9-10 hour grind, every single day, with not even enough time to make a short phone call, or enough time/freedom to eat away from your desk, then you don't know what it's like.

With that said, I don't mind unpaid time off. My boss has set a minimum of 45-50 hours each week for me, so I feel like even unpaid time is going to be very very difficult to come by.
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Old 04-09-2012, 12:20 PM
 
248 posts, read 254,406 times
Reputation: 84
Quote:
Originally Posted by crashoran View Post
I can't STAND when people say they have never taken time off in their lives, when their work is basically a godsend. It's all relative. If you aren't on a constant 9-10 hour grind, every single day, with not even enough time to make a short phone call, or enough time/freedom to eat away from your desk, then you don't know what it's like.

With that said, I don't mind unpaid time off. My boss has set a minimum of 45-50 hours each week for me, so I feel like even unpaid time is going to be very very difficult to come by.
What industry do you work in? By law you get a 30 min break every 4 hrs and 2 15 min breaks as well per day. Pretty sure having a job is better than not..but the choice is yours obviously. Although I'm sure there are 50 other people who would gladly take your job. You must be feeling quite entitled..
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Old 04-09-2012, 12:41 PM
 
106 posts, read 125,655 times
Reputation: 88
Quote:
Originally Posted by drshdw View Post
What industry do you work in? By law you get a 30 min break every 4 hrs and 2 15 min breaks as well per day. Pretty sure having a job is better than not..but the choice is yours obviously. Although I'm sure there are 50 other people who would gladly take your job. You must be feeling quite entitled..
Why the personal attack?
We were never told about the 2 additional breaks.
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Old 04-09-2012, 07:35 PM
 
Location: Austin, TX
3,473 posts, read 2,518,337 times
Reputation: 1576
The simple truth is us Americans are overworked when compared to our European counterparts. The good news is some companies are now bucking the trend with the unlimited vacations, but they tend to be limited to hard to get into high tech companies.

If you never take a vacation day, just remember that vacation days are basically stress relief days and you can save on future medical bills just by taking a vacation. A vacation is an investment in your health. You can think of it that way if you're someone that just works with no play.

For the others that like vacation, you already know the joy that vacations bring but I guess some people need a lesson in R&R. There was a guy at work that was basically a workaholic and he got ulcers and other problems. The doctor basically told him to take it easier, take more vacations, relax, etc... Now he takes around 2 months of vacation a year and has a whole different outlook. He's like mr. laid back man and guess what, his ulcers went away. Also, he finally got that promotion he had been aiming for his whole life because they said that he seemed like he was now able to take on the challenges and his performance improved. You mean that by taking vacation you may actually improve your work performance? Amazing how that works, huh?
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Old 04-10-2012, 12:45 AM
 
Location: Avery Ranch, Austin, TX
5,238 posts, read 6,107,964 times
Reputation: 1947
Did anyone mention the management school 'policy' that requires an employee to be 'gone' for some period of time(commonly a one or two-week vacation)? That would allow upper management(directly upper, that is) to review the goings-on of the workplace when 'Joe' wasn't there. Good, bad, department can't even function, aberrations in records, etc. that would occur when an employee is not around? The notion suggests that it is better to know what 'might' happen if 'Joe' were to die, retire, be kidnapped AND to make sure that particular employee wasn't manipulating 'anything' on a daily basis...anything that might be discovered in his absence, that is.

My management courses WERE over three decades ago...my apologies if the concept is outdated.
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