Tuesday, July 04, 2006

So if I don't work on the 4th, do the terrorists win?

Hi. I'm at work.

You see, at the large retail company I work for, we don't get holidays off. Ever. If we want to TAKE the day off in order to enjoy a holiday, then we're more than welcome to. However, that involves drawing on time from our "time off bucket," and the time in that bucket is also used for vacations, sick days, personal days, etc.

In theory, this is great, because it gives you the flexibility to take off (and get paid) for Arbor Day if that's what's important to you. However, in practice, it sucks. They are notoriously stingy with how much time off they put in your bucket, so you're fearful of taking off too much time in case--God forbid--you happen to get sick later or have some sort of emergency that would require you to be away from work.

Right now, I've got 69 hours in my time off bucket. That's like 8.5 days. And that's it. Period. And I've been at the company for nearly 7 years, so even if I don't get paid holidays off, it still seems like I should have at least 3 weeks of vacation built up, plus sick time, plus personal days. But no. I've got only 8.5 days. Total.

"But how do you get more hours in your bucket, Karla May?"

Well, you earn them in little, uneven increments by amassing "Service Hours" (or time with the company). For instance, when I passed my last service hour threshold (12,000 service hours), I got 69 hours dumped into my bucket (prior to that, my time off balance was zero). My next threshold is at 12,500 hours, at which time I'll get 8 hours dumped in the bucket. Yay. A whole day off. Hooray. You go through a couple of these cycles each year, ending up with a grand total of 19.25* days off in your bucket. So that's basically 2 weeks of vacation (10 days) then 9.25 other "days" that are intended to cover Christmas, New Year's, Thanksgiving, Memorial Day, 4th of July, etc. and any sickness or other time away from work you may need.

Sucks, no?

Oh well. Eat a hot dog and drink a cold one for me, okay?

Happy Fucking 4th.

*Unless you've been here less than 5 years. Then you only earn a total 15.5 days off in a year.


Karla said...

You've mentioned this before, to me. What surprises me is that where you work is such a holistic, "we care" kind of place, I just can't imagine why they have such a crappy policy? I mean, seriously?

When you are the big boss, do you get more time off?

Karla May said...

I KNOW!! I've always thought the same thing. And no, the time off amounts you get do not depend on your position, so they won't increase if I get the leadership job. They're based on tenure, and I don't start earning more at one threshold until I cross the 19,000 service hour mark--at roughly ten years of employment. And at that point, you start earning 24 paid days off a year (as opposed to the 19.25 I currenly earn annually). And yes, I should thank my lucky stars and stripes that I even GET paid time off, as there are many people in this world who do not. But still, it's patriotic to bitch a little. Glory, glory hallelujah!

Karla said...

Ok so this is the part where you are going to hate me: I just started a job and I get 5 weeks a year. Though I am honestly not sure if that includes sick time.....it does not include holidays.

Kinda makes you wanna move to Norway, don't it?

amamgets said...

Okay, that bites-- big time. I admit to feeling a big tinge of sadness when the blue laws were repealed. I still like the idea of stores actually CLOSING occasionally (!??!!!??). It drives me nuts that on any major holiday in America, you can get anything you need -- but I guess that's where we are, huh? No self-denial required. Anything we want available whenever we want it.

Susan said...

When do you hear about the leadership position? Enquiring minds want to know!

Bookhart said...

I feel your pain. I'm at negative 30 hours myself.

Daisy said...

WOW. I've seriously considered working where you work, but I couldn't do that. Where I am now - and have been for 10 years - I get somewhere between 29-32 days a year, PLUS holidays (like yesterday). We're retail, too, so I don't get to take extended time between Thanksgiving and Christmas, but I do get a few days here and there and when at work over the holidays, it's usually pretty slow and conducive to leaving early.

But, I can't blog from work. Big Brother and all that.