Tuesday, September 8, 2015
Happy Labor Day!
Be prepared for sparse posting, as I will be treating myself to a two-week vacation from my paying gig, and might not have much time to post here. I've really only gone more than two weeks without posting when I went to Italy in 2008--otherwise, this little old blog has been chugging for almost eight years now. And I thought I didn't have any attention-span. One of my early posts refers to the oddness I experience when I try to not be at work--my head stays there for awhile. Beer helps. I'll try to sort out some kind of summer reading.
Speaking of vacations--Americans don't really take vacation time, even when they have plenty of it to take. We don't even get as many days per years as many Europeans do, and are still loath to enjoy them. We even feel guilty taking sick leave--which more of us need and which would probably be really healthy for us to have and take. President Obama took a step towards giving more people access to paid sick days recently.
But I understand the mentality behind not wanting to take the paid time--you don't want to have worked so hard to become "indispensable", to then give people a reason to see you as at least "temporarily dispensable", or they might get to looking at your absence as a habit they could grow fond of. Also, if you are working on a certain project, you kind of like to see it out all the way, without leaving it in anyone else's mitts. And finally, some of us just really like being at work. It's a social network, it's a habit, and the work itself might really be interesting.
But mostly it's about trying to be an Iron-man/woman and seem like an indefatigable team-player. Come high water, migraines, or the 24-hour plague.
I'm going to take my Labor Day post to remind people that lots of labor fights went on to get you any time to take at all--and they are meant for your self-care. But I definitely think more needs to be done to ensure that people have access to paid time when really needed for care of oneself, loved ones, or just really important errands. After all, the people who are least likely to have paid time, handle your food, your children's daycare, eldercare, and work with the public. Maybe it really is best these workers can keep at home when they have a case of awful with a chance of spreading it. Besides which, working through sickness or just overwork fatigue is a rotten thing. Time away is good and refreshing.
So let's celebrate Labor Day, by celebrating the times we just aren't at it.