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View Poll Results: Do you use all of your vacation days each year?
Yes, I never leave vacation days on the table. 76 59.84%
No, my employer or I don't believe in vacations. 11 8.66%
I've FIRE'd, so everyday is a vacation. 40 31.50%
Voters: 127. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 08-07-2010, 01:52 PM   #41
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ziggy29 View Post
I know people working for state and local governments who are getting maybe 3 weeks a year after 10 years of service. I'm getting 5. One difference is the ability to accrue sick leave (and to have it paid out when you separate) which rarely exists in the private sector.
Under the current fed retirement system (FERS) you can accrue sick leave with no limit but it's lost when you retire.
(unless it's changed since I retired)

Under the previous system (CSRS) you weren't paid for sick leave but at retirement it was added to your time worked and would increase your pension by a bit.

I switch systems while employed and got the sick leave I had at that switch added to time worked.
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Old 08-07-2010, 05:31 PM   #42
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Originally Posted by ziggy29 View Post
I just wish that living in Texas, it were feasible to to take 3-4 weeks off in one chunk in (say) late July or early August and rent a vacation home in a place where it's a lot cooler like we did for a week in Ruidoso last year.nce without causing a disruption.
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Working as an attorney I used to think it is was nice that I was limited to a set amount of vacation. So if I wanted to take a total of, say, 4 weeks or 5 weeks off during the year...no problem.

But, I realized that this was misleading. In truth, I really received no vacation. Sure, I could take off and go somewhere on vacation. But, here's the thing. The amount of hours of work I was expected to bill didn't vary depending on whether I took vacation or not. And the expectation was really based upon the idea of working without taking vacation.
So true!

Lawyers in private practice are glorified piece workers.
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Old 08-08-2010, 09:32 AM   #43
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There should be no such thing as vacation time

Increase wages and let people take off whatever time they want without pay

If abused, your employer can stop approving the time off or let you go

For myself, often have plans come up on short notice, so take lots of three to five day breaks throughout the year. Other than moving across the country, can recall only once taking more than one week off in my entire time in the work force
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Old 08-08-2010, 11:07 AM   #44
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Well, after a few days of voting, it looks like this community uses more of their vacation then the US average of 57%. 87% members take their vacation and 13% do not.

I guess it's not too surprising, considering overall goal for most of us.

Not only do we want to FIRE, but we want to take as much time off - that is given to us - while working towards that goal. That seems like a healthly balance.
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Old 08-08-2010, 03:00 PM   #45
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I work for a megacorp and I try to use all my vacation time up each year. I think my megacorps vacation time is pretty good. I accrue 3.5 hours every 2 week so 91 hours a year. We can have up to I think 120 hours saved up but I have never hit that. We also get 3.5 hours every 2 week or 91 hours a year of sick time which we can use as vacation. We get 7 floating holiday days a year which do not roll over. We also get an extra day of vacation each year on our anniversery for each year we have been working here up to I think 10 years.

On top of all of that every 7 years we get a 2 month sabbatical we can take(can push it out up to 3 years or lose it).

I work a compressed work week scheduled of 3/12's followed by 4 days off then 4/12's with 3 days off so it is possible to take just 3 days off and have a week and a half off.

If we need to we can even sell our vacation or sick time, but not the floating holidays.
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Old 08-10-2010, 02:30 PM   #46
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I carried over the maximum allowed (8 weeks) then took every last drop of time off (including time off in lieu).
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Old 08-11-2010, 06:33 PM   #47
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Early in my career I didn't use all my vacation time. During my annual review my boss noted that he questioned my managerial abilities if I couldn't even schedule all my vacation days. Thirty years later and I haven't left a day on the table. The business and your career will survive if you take some time off. Plus your productivity,attitude and results will improve.
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Old 08-11-2010, 08:08 PM   #48
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ERD50
This poll would have been more 'fun' if it was divided into vacation for public versus private sector employees....
Some benefits are considerably more generous in the public sector, but I'm not sure vacation time is one of them.
Maybe (with one obvious exception), but I was wondering about if there would be a difference between how much was taken versus allowed.

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Old 08-17-2010, 02:33 PM   #49
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I take 100% of my vacation. DH does, too.
If I'm entitled and it's paid, I consider it earned.
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Old 08-17-2010, 03:18 PM   #50
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You aren't going to like this, so I'm pulling on the flameproof suit.

There.

Regular French employees get a minimum of 25 days vacation per year, plus 10 public holidays.

I get:
- 30 days vacation, basic
- 4 extra days for my ex-pat status (because when my employer was founded in 1949, it took 1 days each way to get to your vacation destination, twice a year)
- 8 extra days every 2 years for "home leave" - but that got simplified, so now it's another 4 days a year
- 10 public holidays. But wait, there's more! We're an international organisation, with people in several countries. Some of those have more than 10 public holidays. It would be wrong for them to have more than us, right? So we all get 16 public holidays a year. If there aren't enough local holidays, or if one falls on a weekend, we get the rest off between Christmas and New Year.

Still counting? That's 54 days, where the average American probably gets 10-12 discretionary vacation days plus 10 (?) holidays.

And the worse part? Per Katsmeow, for every day I take off other than general holidays, when I get back, there are 60 e-mails waiting for an answer. It takes me a day to recover from 3 days vacation, plus half a day to recover from that day.

I try to take all of them, but DW can't always come along, and she is consuming days on regular visits to her aging parents. So I'm accumulating days. I have a 3 month final notice period, so my aim is to FIRE with 38 days in the bank from last year, 20 or so from this year (you can't carry days past August), thus saying "I'm leaving in 3 months, but don't expect to see me as from tomorrow".
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Old 08-17-2010, 03:24 PM   #51
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Regular French employees get a minimum of 25 days vacation per year, plus 10 public holidays.
Indeed, the French are much more civilized than we Western barbarians...
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Old 08-17-2010, 03:28 PM   #52
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You aren't going to like this, so I'm pulling on the flameproof suit.

There.

Regular French employees get a minimum of 25 days vacation per year, plus 10 public holidays.

I get:
- 30 days vacation, basic
- 4 extra days for my ex-pat status (because when my employer was founded in 1949, it took 1 days each way to get to your vacation destination, twice a year)
- 8 extra days every 2 years for "home leave" - but that got simplified, so now it's another 4 days a year
- 10 public holidays. But wait, there's more! We're an international organisation, with people in several countries. Some of those have more than 10 public holidays. It would be wrong for them to have more than us, right? So we all get 16 public holidays a year. If there aren't enough local holidays, or if one falls on a weekend, we get the rest off between Christmas and New Year.

Still counting? That's 54 days, where the average American probably gets 10-12 discretionary vacation days plus 10 (?) holidays.

And the worse part? Per Katsmeow, for every day I take off other than general holidays, when I get back, there are 60 e-mails waiting for an answer. It takes me a day to recover from 3 days vacation, plus half a day to recover from that day.

I try to take all of them, but DW can't always come along, and she is consuming days on regular visits to her aging parents. So I'm accumulating days. I have a 3 month final notice period, so my aim is to FIRE with 38 days in the bank from last year, 20 or so from this year (you can't carry days past August), thus saying "I'm leaving in 3 months, but don't expect to see me as from tomorrow".
Wow, I lived for 30 years in the Soviet Union and 20+ years in the US and I never had anything even close to these figures.
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Old 08-17-2010, 03:28 PM   #53
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BigNick, I'm going to try not to hate you now. Dang!
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Old 08-17-2010, 03:34 PM   #54
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Old 08-17-2010, 03:38 PM   #55
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I take it all. Right now I get 2 weeks a year but we can accrue up to double our yearly rate. Another year and I'll be getting 3 weeks a year. I have some banked from my early years and I use those for mental health days.
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Old 08-17-2010, 04:38 PM   #56
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Actually, all those days pose a real problem when trying to get a project organised.

Not only does the probability that some member of a 6-person project team will be on vacation in any give week rapidly approach one, but we also have an opposite effect, where if people also have "regular duties", they may not be able to go on vacation at the same time as their buddy. So some people have trouble taking all of their entitlement.

A few years ago it was suggested that we just close the place down for the first three weeks of August. It goes as quiet as the grave then anyway, and we've save big on A/C etc. But it got vetoed by a few senior people whose kids have left home and so want to take vacation outside the main season, when the weather in the nicer resorts is a little less hot and the prices are lower.
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Old 08-20-2010, 12:00 PM   #57
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Well, after a few days of voting, it looks like this community uses more of their vacation then the US average of 57%. 87% members take their vacation and 13% do not.

I guess it's not too surprising, considering overall goal for most of us.

Not only do we want to FIRE, but we want to take as much time off - that is given to us - while working towards that goal. That seems like a healthly balance.
My thoughts exactly. I wonder if folks that aren't as oriented as most of us towards an early retirement take as much vacation as the poll indicates? 55-8 in favor of taking it all when I voted.

I used to take all mine. I got 21 days plus 10 holidays and 15 days of sick leave. I saved up vacation time and took it. Never had more than about three weeks saved up. I figured life was short, why not enjoy it.

As for the public vs private, I worked with a lot of private sector folks int he engineering community. I realize every industry is different, but they got pretty much what we got. They also got paid much better than we did with similar benefits. The big difference was the pension. They were on their own and many commented they would never get to retire.

On the lighter side, for a while I worked a 4-10 schedule. It was great. I traveled a lot and I worked a lot of 10 plus hour days anyway, most of it sitting on a Southwest flight. Having the extra day off was fantastic. One less day of commuting, a day to golf or fish in relative peace and quiet and another day to decompress from work. A friend in the private sector got out his calculator and began asking about my vacation and sick leave benefits, holidays, etc. He calculated I worked less than 180 DAYS a year and proclaimed me a part time employee. It was a running joke for years.
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Old 08-20-2010, 12:16 PM   #58
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In the past few days, DW received a letter from HR saying she absolutely needed to use up her vacation days before the end of the year. HR reminded her (quite sternly I might add) that the company was proud to offer paid vacations days to their employees and that a rested employee was healthier and more productive. So she went ahead and scheduled a 2-week break. They came back and said it wasn't a good time for it... Typical.
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Old 08-20-2010, 01:20 PM   #59
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Typical, indeed.

Tell her to ensure that everything is well-documented, so that she has some hope of being able to carry over her entitlement to 2011 if necessary.
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Old 08-20-2010, 01:51 PM   #60
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I use about 200% of my annual vacation. I had 4 weeks vacation, plus 2 weeks sick pay at my old job. I used it all up and took another 6 weeks off unpaid. Still not enough.
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