Vacation, All I Ever Wanted.

I finally made the smart cookie move. For years, I’ve watched others enjoy four and five-day weekends by strategically planning their vacation days around holidays. While people were off having beach days, I was grumbling behind a computer screen, cursing my inability to look ahead on a calendar.

Mistake no more! Back in June, I requested to have off August 31st. Not to just enjoy the sweltering heat, but to have an extended four-day weekend over Labor Day. When I was leaving work on Thursday evening, I bumped into an instructor in the hallway who felt the need to delay my escape by starting up a good old round of small talk. Luckily for him, despite it being Thursday, it was actually my Friday, so I was in the most pleasant mood possible. In the course of our discussion about the weather, students’ inability to clean up after themselves in the bathroom, and the typical bitch session I listen to, he stopped and asked: Are you going anywhere fun on your vacation?

I was, and still am, perplexed by his question. Vacation? When did vacation suddenly become defined as having an extended weekend? Americans working full-time average 2,000 hours a year at their job. When you look at it from this perspective, and take away the hours you will need for sleep, how is 64 hours out of work a vacation?!

In South Korea and Japan, they decreased work hours so people had more time for leisure and relaxation. In France, it’s unlawful to work over 35 hours per week. Australians say there are prime years to work (while you’re between the ages of 25 years old and 54 years old), and that work shouldn’t extend past roughly 28 hours per week. Where were the damn Australians to let me know this, when I started working at 14 years old? Huh?! And don’t even get me started on the Papua people who believe it is bad luck to work two days in a row.

It gets worse though. Hold on to your hats, my dears.

In Austria, workers have a minimum of 25 days of vacation, topped with 13 holidays. We’re only talking minimums here, folks.

Brazil enjoys a month off every year, tackling the hard job of beachcombing. Oh, and don’t forget the extra 11 holidays they suffer through.

Remember our friend, France? Mandatory minimum: 40 days between vacation and holidays.

Now here’s where it gets depressing, folks. Russia even gives out a minimum of 28 days. Freezing cold, ice-encompassed Russia.

With all these thoughts of vacation and time off in other countries, I can’t help but feel slightly jaded by celebrating 64 hours of freedom. If you count bathroom breaks and mandatory Lifetime movies, I suppose that number reduces to around 50 hours or so. But I will enjoy them… every last drop of every last minute.

And Tuesday morning, when I head back into work, rested and relaxed, I will silently begin my scheme to uproot my boyfriend, fur friends, and myself to Papua. Or at least France.

2 responses to “Vacation, All I Ever Wanted.

  1. Pingback: Appreciation. | The Siren's Tale

  2. Pingback: Faith. | The Siren's Tale

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