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Old 03-17-2012, 09:51 AM
 
8,317 posts, read 25,095,377 times
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Most businesses and government agencies are going away from allowing employees to accrue vacation much beyond their annual vacation allotment. That accrued time essentially amounts to a potential liability to the employer (if an employee leaves the employer, the employer must pay for the accrued time). So, more and more employers have a "use it or lost it" policy that requires employees to use accrued vacation time beyond, say, what would be accrued in a year.

Most American employers have this funny little notion that, if they are going to pay you, you're supposed to work for it.
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Old 03-17-2012, 12:23 PM
 
Location: Bend, OR
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jazzlover View Post

Most American employers have this funny little notion that, if they are going to pay you, you're supposed to work for it.
And, yet, we wonder what is wrong with this country! No wonder so many Americans are dissatisfied with their life and their jobs. We don't value their hard work, dedication, and loyalty anymore. It's sad...
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Old 03-17-2012, 04:37 PM
 
Location: Everywhere and Nowhere
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Many Americans, particularly salaried employees of large companies, get a couple of additional weeks worth of holidays and personal/floating holidays on top of 2-4 weeks of vacation. My company pegs the average work year at about 1,750 hours when we're estimating FTEs. Not sure how that stacks up against SA or the EU.
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Old 03-17-2012, 04:44 PM
 
Location: Foot of the Rockies
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IME, generally two weeks vacation, plus holidays, personal days, sick days, etc. is the basic leave package for a new hire. Some workplaces lump it all together as PTO, that is, Paid Time Off. Oftentimes the vacation pay increases fairly quickly to 3-4 wks/year.
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Old 03-17-2012, 10:17 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by delta07 View Post
And, yet, we wonder what is wrong with this country! No wonder so many Americans are dissatisfied with their life and their jobs. We don't value their hard work, dedication, and loyalty anymore. It's sad...
I know, it's a rough gig turning up on flex time at 7 AM at Whizzo Computers in the DTC, working till 11 AM, taking lunch for an hour and then walking out the door at 3 PM. And don't forget all those days off for federal holidays like Labor Day, sick days when you have the sniffleys, paid vacation days, etc.

Imagine in contrast working in China doing 12 hour days, 6 days a week, week after week and living in a dormitory and maybe getting to visit your family once a year.

And Americans are dissatisfied? Sounds to me instead like they are lazy bums by comparison, over stimulated to death by cable tv, xbox and the internet, overfed with microwaved food and welded to the couch, while in the meantime the national debt exploded by $229 Billion in February 2012 alone.

Americans right now are spoiled by comparison with nearly all those that have ever walked the earth. We have the greatest sum of personal conveniences, housing, cars, medical care, food, etc ever seen by any society in human history and people are dissatisfied? Tell me what I am missing here?

I've never expected an employer to pay me for days I am not productive. I don't know why people do.

If an employer does so, I assume they adjust my pay to compensate for that anyways.

Probably 99.99999% of the people who have ever walked the earth went through their lives without paid for vacation.

My employer in Colorado started me off with 2 weeks paid vacation and one week sick pay, increasing at a 1.5 day rate every year until you maxed out. That was nice of the them but I never asked or expected it. I often took unpaid days.

These days I work as an independent contractor and get paid a daily rate or an hourly rate when I work, which is fine by me.

Also there are a lot of companies that close for federal holidays as well, which plenty of people don't seem to complain about.
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Old 03-18-2012, 09:12 AM
 
Location: Wherabouts Unknown!
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wanneroo wrote:
Americans right now are spoiled by comparison with nearly all those that have ever walked the earth. We have the greatest sum of personal conveniences, housing, cars, medical care, food, etc ever seen by any society in human history and people are dissatisfied?

For generations now we have been living lifestyles with a strong material orientation, lived mostly in houses and buildings that separate us from nature. What we are missing is a sense of conncetedness with our Mother Earth and the natural rhythm of the seasons, sunrises and sunsets, the lunar cyle, the night time sky, etc. I venture that 99% of those reading this post have not the faintest idea of the current phase of the moon for example, nor the faintest idea of when the next full moon will ocurr. But even the most innumerate among us can quickly calculate the date of our next paycheck.
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Old 03-18-2012, 10:21 AM
 
Location: SE Portland, OR
1,167 posts, read 2,141,866 times
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wow this thread has gotten weird!

I'll chime in. When I worked at Colorado State University we had a very generous time off plan. I think we got something like 5 weeks off a year, plus holidays. We also got 10 hours of "sick" time a month, which could only really be used for actually being sick, or going to the doctor. Sick time could not be cashed out when you left the university like vacation time could. Vacation hours rolled over, but only for 1.5 years, so you had to spend it every year (which I liked).

I'm shocked there are places that will only give you one week a year. That's kind of ridiculous. I mean, that would be eaten up by one trip to see your family over Christmas.
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Old 03-18-2012, 11:15 AM
 
Location: Wherabouts Unknown!
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davemess10 wrote:
I'm shocked there are places that will only give you one week a year. That's kind of ridiculous. I mean, that would be eaten up by one trip to see your family over Christmas.
The same is true for 2 weeks as well, when one family lives 2000 miles to the east, one family lives 500 southwest in Arizona, and an offspring lives in Hawaii. 2 weeks gets eaten up just visiting family, with no time left over for an extended vacation in our Colorado playground.
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Old 03-18-2012, 11:58 AM
 
Location: Foot of the Rockies
84,960 posts, read 98,795,031 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by davemess10 View Post
wow this thread has gotten weird!

I'll chime in. When I worked at Colorado State University we had a very generous time off plan. I think we got something like 5 weeks off a year, plus holidays. We also got 10 hours of "sick" time a month, which could only really be used for actually being sick, or going to the doctor. Sick time could not be cashed out when you left the university like vacation time could. Vacation hours rolled over, but only for 1.5 years, so you had to spend it every year (which I liked).

I'm shocked there are places that will only give you one week a year. That's kind of ridiculous. I mean, that would be eaten up by one trip to see your family over Christmas.
I've never worked anywhere, in Colorado or anywhere else, that only gave 1 wk. vacation.
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Old 03-18-2012, 12:20 PM
 
Location: Bend, OR
3,296 posts, read 8,197,447 times
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Wanaroo, I get your point, I truly do! I actually agree with you on most of your points. I too believe we are an overstimulated society. My point is that we don't value our time off and the need for a true holiday as other first world countries do. I understand your need to compare with third world countries and put in in perspective. I'm not complaining. However, in keeping with the OP's question of how American's ever take a vacation, I don't think it's relevant to compare our society to China and say to stop complaining.

My whole point is that compared with other first world countries, our priorities as a society are off. We don't value time off the way other countries do. That is all. I also think your comparison of the jerk at Whizzo Computers is a bit off. Sure there are people out there like that, but I don't think that's a good representation of the working class in America.

I basically work for myself now. So vacation time is my own. No pay. I don't have a sick bank. I have to just take the time off, no pay. If it weren't for my husband's vacation time, we'd never be able to get away.
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