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Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Taking one for the company

Did I say on St. Patrick's Day? I meant after.

Heh. Heh.

It was an interesting "vacation", I must say. I didn't go anywhere, just did things around the house that needed to get done. I had to take the days off, or my employer was going to take them from me. It's funny how that works: "Oh, hey, you get so many days off, but they have an expiry date." Gee, thanks.

Y'know, they've outlawed that practice with gift cards and gift certificates.

From the company's perspective, though, I can understand where they're coming from. (Ooops -- I ended that with a preposition. Good thing it's conversational, otherwise I'd've had to say, "I can understand from where they're coming." Wow, does that sound awkward?) Aside from trying to prevent burnout by insisting that people take vacations, using the only leverage they legally have (use it or lose it), it could also suck big-time if an employee banked up a couple of months of vacation days, and then said, "Hey, I'm going to cycle around Australia -- see you in September!" Not only is there potential for impact in the company's bottom line, but there's also the long-term extra load for the errant employee's coworkers, who have to pick up the slack for an extended period. (I'm sure the snarky, "wish you were here" postcards wouldn't help either.)

Wait, what? Who cares about the company's bottom line? You should, that's who. It really doesn't matter how big you think your company is, the only good company to work for is a successful company. Anything else is like working as a deck-hand on the Titanic (or the SS-92, for those of you who remember their campfire songs). Go ahead. Ask any Bear Stearns employees how they're feeling right now. (Oh yeah, and be sure to ask the ones who still have vacation days left how smart they feel about having hoarded them.)

In any case, I used my vacation days, rather than lost them. (Darn that past tense inconsistency for stealing my rhyme!) I don't think taking those days off did anything to reduce my proximity to the burnout threshold, but at least I know my coworkers will be happier, and I'll still have a job next week. Really, I was doing it for my company!

...As opposed to being stubborn about not giving up what is rightfully mine, even though I had no good use for it. Of course. It had nothing to do with that. And I'm really a Vulcan: green blood, pointy ears, expressive eyebrows and all.



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