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Old 06-13-2019, 08:31 AM
 
Location: DFW
549 posts, read 153,080 times
Reputation: 869

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My employer gives 10 days vacation and 5 days sick leave. This was presented at interview. I assumed "no problem- 3 weeks vacation/time off should be fine"

Come to find out, the expectation is that the sick days are sick days period. I never get sick. I tried to negotiate the sick days, even asking if I could give 2 to get 1 vacation back, always no. Every idea I come up with is shot down.

I lamented to my friends/family who said "call in sick, problem solved". The thing is lying makes me sssoo uncomfortable and anxious. I feel like he just KNOWS. I also feel like (crazy I know) karma will get me and I will actually get sick/hurt/whatever because I lied.

Further, the culture here is to just never take time off.

It is June and I am already almost out of time. My daughter is flying in for her 21st birthday next week, and I already plan to call in sick that day so I can spend her very important birthday with her, and I am a nervous wreck about it. I will also need to call in sick on a Monday around my wedding anniversary so my hubby and I can have a weekend getaway for that.

I have been here just over 2 years, but being a small company, there is no yearly review, no yearly salary changes, not really any discussion and interaction of any kind. I figured when I first found out about the time off thing a couple of years ago, I would negotiate that in my review, but lo and behold, it's not a "thing" around here.

What would you do??
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Old 06-13-2019, 09:03 AM
 
Location: HoCo, MD
4,339 posts, read 7,982,576 times
Reputation: 4756
Look at your employee manual and see how strictly they define "sick leave". If they don't have a strict sense, then you can likely use it for anything health related - and it doesn't have to be you. Caring for a sick family member, accompanying someone to the doctor, etc.

Also - who's expectation is this? Your manager or HR? If it's HR, your manager may not really care. It's just something they have to abide by as well. Of course, if the expectation was presented to you by your manager, then you'll need to be more careful.

Finally - with regards to salary changes/reviews, etc. It really comes down to how much you like being there. In the grand scheme of things, how much of a factor is the vacation policy? If it is affecting your motivation/happiness there, then look around for other opportunities. If nothing else, this will give you a better idea of what's out there. It may also give you additional options to base your decision on what to do next. Let's say you get a few offers and are willing to walk away - now you can probably demand a review or demand a salary increase. You just need to really be willing to walk.

Just also keep in mind that not everyone responds to these demands the same. Some completely understand and can separate business decisions from personal feelings. While others will take this very personally. So doing this may alter the working relationship between you and your manager. But bottom line, you need to do what's best for you.
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Old 06-13-2019, 09:10 AM
 
9,778 posts, read 16,962,550 times
Reputation: 18389
I would manage my vacation time better so I can take off for those things. I have never worked anyplace where sick days were extra vacation days. Why do you need to miss a day of work to be with your daughter all day on her 21st birthday? She's a grown woman. Have a nice evening out when you get off work.
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Old 06-13-2019, 09:58 AM
 
4,068 posts, read 2,933,728 times
Reputation: 7016
You will get sick. Everyone does. And when you do you'll be glad to not have to trudge into work with a high fever, diarrhea and/or strep throat because you burned sick days earlier in the year.
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Old 06-13-2019, 10:12 AM
 
Location: DFW
549 posts, read 153,080 times
Reputation: 869
Quote:
Originally Posted by macroy View Post
Look at your employee manual and see how strictly they define "sick leave". If they don't have a strict sense, then you can likely use it for anything health related - and it doesn't have to be you. Caring for a sick family member, accompanying someone to the doctor, etc.

Also - who's expectation is this? Your manager or HR? If it's HR, your manager may not really care. It's just something they have to abide by as well. Of course, if the expectation was presented to you by your manager, then you'll need to be more careful.

Finally - with regards to salary changes/reviews, etc. It really comes down to how much you like being there. In the grand scheme of things, how much of a factor is the vacation policy? If it is affecting your motivation/happiness there, then look around for other opportunities. If nothing else, this will give you a better idea of what's out there. It may also give you additional options to base your decision on what to do next. Let's say you get a few offers and are willing to walk away - now you can probably demand a review or demand a salary increase. You just need to really be willing to walk.

Just also keep in mind that not everyone responds to these demands the same. Some completely understand and can separate business decisions from personal feelings. While others will take this very personally. So doing this may alter the working relationship between you and your manager. But bottom line, you need to do what's best for you.
Manager? HR? Employee handbook? You're so cute! This company is one owner, his wife, 2 sons, DIL, and 2 other ladies who have worked for him for 20 years.

I really would like to look around, and actually a job popped into my email the other day which has a philosophy exactly like mine: if the work is done and done well, we don't care how many hours you work nor where you work from. Perfect. However, I have learned the hard way that grass is not always greener, and now my resume is a mess. I need to sit tight until at least 3 years, then think some more about it.

I sit here every day, on CD, shopping, etc, because I have completed all my work (right now I am caught up until August!) But I can't spend time with my daughter who lives 1000 miles away when she comes to town??? Ugh!
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Old 06-13-2019, 10:29 AM
 
Location: DFW
549 posts, read 153,080 times
Reputation: 869
Quote:
Originally Posted by joe from dayton View Post
I would manage my vacation time better so I can take off for those things. I have never worked anyplace where sick days were extra vacation days. Why do you need to miss a day of work to be with your daughter all day on her 21st birthday? She's a grown woman. Have a nice evening out when you get off work.
I have never worked anyplace (in the professional world, maybe back in college or something though) that did not have more than enough time off. Most places these days have PTO, and no cause or answers needed as to why you are taking off. Why do we need designated sick days? Wouldn't it be more beneficial in such a small office to know who was going to be here and who wasn't?

Since you asked, here is my time off situation, this year, for example:

One day in Jan for a colonoscopy- hopefully this counts as a sick day, but who the hell knows?

One day in March for visiting my dad over a weekend. Since it is an 8 hr drive to see my elderly father, that was a travel day on each end, and only ONE day to actually spend time with him. He was crushed

Two more days in March surrounding the weekend so I could help my daughter move. I wouldn't ordinarily do that, but she was moving a far distance and over snowy treacherous mountains, and is too young to even rent an appropriate vehicle.

One day, July 5, in order to take a 4 day weekend, July 3-7 to see 5 colleges across the sate of California. I will be totally exhausted because I have to cram it all in, plus pay 3 times the price that it should be because holiday weekend, and all of this because of my lack of time off!

4 days for girls trip my group paid for last year, so I will lose all $$ if I back out, plus I don't want to.

We are now up to either 8 or 9 of 10 days off, depending on that first one. That means, no seeing my dad any more (who knows how much longer I have with him), only one day for my anniversary, and no time off at holiday time (which is super slow in my industry and I will be just sitting here). Since it also means not seeing my daughter again for any significant time, YES, I am calling in sick for her birthday. Last year I hardly saw her on her visit to Texas, and she was crushed. I also called in sick in April in order to take my youngest to get her drivers license (an all day event where I live).

I really don't see what more I can do to plan. I could leave the girls trip early, which is still an option, but there again, like the college trip, I would be paying 3x more money than I need to in order to leave early.
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Old 06-13-2019, 10:34 AM
 
6,875 posts, read 7,267,992 times
Reputation: 9785
No one said you can't spend time with our daughter....but if you don't have the "vacation" days to do it, it needs to be after you get off from work. Is she only in town for one day? Even so, if you can't take the day off, then you can't get it off.

As for your anniversary, you don't HAVE to call out so you can get away. Leave Friday after work, and come back Sunday night or go go straight work on Monday morning from the weekend.

You say you've been there 2 years, so you knew how much vacation time you had for this year. For whatever reasons you took time off knowing you might want an anniversary trip.....and that your daughter might come home for such an "important" birthday.

You need to better manage your available vacation time. OR sometimes at some points in our lives we're just going through a busy period. And we have to decide which events are most important. Sometimes you just don't have enough vacation time to attend ALL the events you might want to.

DO people call out sick when they're not? Sure. Is it right? No.

Last edited by selhars; 06-13-2019 at 10:42 AM..
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Old 06-13-2019, 11:09 AM
 
Location: Denver CO
21,153 posts, read 11,754,604 times
Reputation: 32132
Not to be too unsympathetic, but you shouldn't have assumed that 5 days of sick time meant 5 additional vacation days. The whole point of employers giving sick time separately is to keep sick people from coming into work and getting other people sick. Using those days up for vacation, and then having to work if you get sick because you have no time left is really selfish.

I do think 2 weeks is not enough days off, but I think you need to keep trying to negotiate for me. Do the "2 other ladies who have worked for him for 20 years" really still only get 10 days per year and that's all they take?

As for job hopping, if you've been there for 2 years, I would not hesitate to pursue another opportunity if something good comes along, including better benefits. That's a long enough time period to show consistency to a potential employer.
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Old 06-13-2019, 11:29 AM
 
1,853 posts, read 713,275 times
Reputation: 3960
"The culture here is just to never take time off"

After reading this, it seems that your company is not vacation friendly. You could damage your credibility if you keep on trying to finagle some sort of deal with vacation time. I couldn't help but wince when I read about your attempts. I think that your company wants people who are willing to work hard and contribute rather than be concerned about when they are going to be taking vacations and watching the clock to see when it is time to go home. I worked for companies like that and most people were only interested in working hard and not taking vacations. If you brought up vacations you would be considered a vacation hound who was only interested in pleasure and not working hard. I don't mean to be harsh and perhaps your company isn't as bad as I think, but perhaps you should find a better job that has an acceptable work/life attitude where you could spend enough personal time with your family without guilt and without angering your boss.
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Old 06-13-2019, 11:32 AM
 
3,960 posts, read 1,688,304 times
Reputation: 8040
If you want more leave, you need to find one with more leave. Many jobs have PTO, but a lot don’t start out with much leave regardless unless you are in a government/public sector position. Do you start to accrue more leave after you’ve been there longer? Is there a requirement that you have to use a WHOLE day for every trip? I know in my case, I will often take a partial day. I usually work early (come in between 6:30-7:30), so if I leave at noon or 12:30 I already have 4.5-6 hours finished and only need to take a couple of hours instead of a full day. I can easily plan a later flight as well to avoid taking time off.
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