There's a fair amount of stuff that was supposed to eat away at the vacation time I've saved up over the last year or so. But I hadn't actually bothered to put it on a calendar until today. I was a surprised. All those little and big things really add up quickly.

The bottom line is that I have to cut some stuff out. And it sucks. The "problem" is partially because I'm expecting two sets of visitors this Summer: parents in June and my sister and brother-in-law in August. That's roughly a week each. And it's partially because I was hoping to participate in the annual BASA Wave Camp (late April in Minden, Nevada) as well as the annual AirSailing Cross Country Camp (late May and early June). Of course, there are some one-off things here and there too (like moving on Friday).

The real kicker is that I don't yet qualify to go to Cross Country Camp. But I was planning to gain the necessary experience during Wave Camp. But forced to choose between the two, I think that Cross Country Camp would be far more useful.


On a related note, I have to wonder if there are companies that let you "trade" part of your salary for extra vacation days? I know I'd be willing to give back 3% (or whatever the right value is) for an extra week off. It sounds like a good idea, but I've never heard of it being done anywhere. Yeah, there'd have to be limits, like maybe "no more than 2 weeks per year" but still. Given the choice, I bet many people would go for it.

Posted by jzawodn at March 03, 2004 12:42 PM

Reader Comments
# ac said:

i can't speak for yahoo!, but every company i have worked for has allowed employees to take unpaid time off within reasonable bounds.

on March 3, 2004 01:10 PM
# Jeremy Zawodny said:


I had always assumed that was for special circumstances (whatever they might be).

I'll have to find out what "reasonable bounds" are around here I guess.

on March 3, 2004 01:30 PM
# Tim said:

Every company has its own rules and quirks. Depends what kind of environment you work in.

on March 3, 2004 01:48 PM
# Travis said:

Yes, I've heard of the unpaid leave option and may even have it available to me, though I've not tried to exercise it and don't know what constitutes "reasonable." The decision is probably case-by-case and has to do with the indispensability of the employee's work and the personalities involved in the management chain.

What I really meant to comment on is that I just heard of a system from a friend who works in a small company where at the beginning of the year, you have the option to buy extra vacation. You have to decide how much up-front and the amount is taken from your paycheck automatically. This is actually significantly worse than unpaid leave because it costs money. But maybe it is better than no option at all. I suppose the company's logic is that excess vacation slows things down enough to cost the company money and the money paid for that excess could either directly compensate for that or be used to hire some redundancy to reduce the impact.

on March 3, 2004 01:54 PM
# Eric said:


Wouldn't paying for it from your page check be the same thing as taking it unpaid?

on March 3, 2004 02:11 PM
# Jeremy Zawodny said:

I was wondering the same thing.

Sadly, my search of our intranet has been fruitless. And it's not in the employee handbook. I guess I'll have to actually call (or e-mail) a human.

The lack of available information seems to imply that this is relatively uncommon. But who knows...

on March 3, 2004 02:13 PM
# kasia said:

Every company I've worked for allowed employees unpaid leave. Within reason, of course.

on March 3, 2004 03:24 PM
# chad said:

At previous places I've worked, you can take unpaid leave if you've used all your vacation time up, and I think that's what I heard from HR when I asked about it a couple years ago (at yahoo)...

Of course some companies let you borrow against future vacation time, eg let you go negative in your vacation hours.

on March 3, 2004 03:45 PM
# Ferg said:

The day I left Yahoo UK happened to be the day they increased standard vacation time for all employees to 25 days per year. That was seperate from the 12 or so public holidays per year.

The big difference European vacation time makes is that you have enough days available to take two or three days off just to do chores around the house, go shopping or just to get away from work if it's bugging you.

on March 3, 2004 05:21 PM
# philip said:

We get 15 days paid leave every 6 months. Alternately, we could choose to double our leave for half the amount. Leave is carried forward. After three years without taking more than a few days off, I now have over 3 months of paid leave or 6 months of half paid leave.

There's also unpaid leave.

on March 3, 2004 10:20 PM
# Onno said:

Dude, you're missing out. I get 52 days of vacation this year. Granted, my company is a wee bit extreme and that's including some days I didn't use up last year, but still. I can buy more days, too. Don't think my boss would be too happy with me doing that though, considering the amount of time I can already take off.

32 days of paid leave per year is pretty standard over here (Netherlands).

on March 4, 2004 01:42 AM
# Juan Miguel Venturello said:

I was going to say that: come live to Europe! :)

(vacation time is one of the things I miss the less from the US, of course)

on March 4, 2004 05:03 AM
# Mathias Herberts said:

Well in some old continent across the Atlantic ocean, work laws are nicer with poor workers. In France we get a minimum of 25 paid vacation days. And the recent law on the 35 hr work week has some companies offering up to (this is the case of mine) 57.5 days of yearly paid vacation.

I can only say again what Juan Miguel said, come live in Europe!

on March 4, 2004 05:12 AM
# Mark Mascolino said:

From my (limited) corporate experience, Procter & Gamble allows you to "purchase" a week, HP does not.

on March 4, 2004 07:35 AM
# Craig said:

I think getting paid less in exchange for more vacation time is called "Europe".

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