Monday, January 7, 2013

The Holidays Are Over

Yesterday, the sixth of January, was Epiphany, the traditional twelfth day of Christmas. It also marked the last day of my Christmas break. I have joyfully been away from the office since the 21st of December.

My place of employment shuts down between Christmas and New Year's every year. This is not time off on top of the normal Federal holidays celebrated throughout the year (of which there are ten). This is in lieu of four of those holidays.

For instance, we don't take the following Federal holidays off: Martin Luther King Day, Presidents' Day, Columbus Day and Veterans' Day. So in exchange for not taking four long weekends during the year, we get essentially an entire week off at Christmas.

I like that, in fact, I like that a lot.

While a long weekend is nice, an entire week off is nicer. So in addition to however many hours of "Paid Time Off" (PTO) one receives, we also get that week at Christmas. Unless, of course, the schedule of whatever project one happens to be on dictates otherwise. So, if your project is behind and Christmas is on the horizon, one can expect to hear the following as regards the Christmas Break:

"So Cratchit, I suppose you'll be wanting the entire day off?"
Some of my colleagues were needed to work over the Break. They did get two days at Christmas (the Monday and the Tuesday), I'm not sure what they got for New Year's. Probably the same. As they had to work the bulk of the Break, and I did not, (also I took an extra three days off using PTO, for a total of two entire weeks off) I did not press them as to their schedule over the Holidays. They looked mad enough already without me piling on.

But that's all over and done with, so today (Monday) is a "normal" work day. I had to get up early (which I hate) and shuffle off to work with all of the other corporate drones.

Oh the joy of it!

(In case you weren't sure - Yes, that last bit was sarcasm.)

Just ran across this over at the Daily Timewaster. Well worth a minute of your time!


  1. Hmmm, a whole week off in lieu of those holidays. Yeah, mostly. I usually attend the Veterans Day observance on the university so I'm kinda for that one, but I could do with taking 4 hours PTO instead. This year in particular I was asked to attend by the group of cadets that I'm mentoring. In uniform. So, tell the bride that I'll need to shave the beard off again long enough to put on a uniform for the occasion. I'm really glad that I did as I was the only Vet there in uniform.

    But I do like the week off at Christmas.

    Projects do that, run over and need to be attended to. More so towards the end and there's not much to be done about it. Except, of course, being on time with the milestones and deliverables. Which frequently is not really something you can affect when you're one of the ones at the end of the whip.

    While we have some holiday time during Christmas where I work, it's nothing like that. In my case, I just do it the old fashioned way. I hoard vacation time to spend at the end of the year.

    Be nicer if I didn't have to use so much.

    Just sayin'.


    1. So Marcus, would that be UVM? Based on some of your posts over at "Shots from the Hip", I gather you're in the Burlington area. (I do believe I've mentioned from time to time that I'm a native Vermonter, Springfield to be precise.)

      I usually try to keep a few days of PTO set aside in order to have myself two weeks off at Christmas. One week on the company dime, one week on my dime, as it were. The USAF sent me to college while I was on active duty, studying was my ONLY duty for three years. I got really used to having a month off every Christmas. When I returned to regular duty, I really missed that. But since I retired, I try to do the two week thing every year. I need it to regroup, refresh and re-focus, so to speak.

      So yes, it is nice not to have to hoard PTO for the end of the year. So I can use it for like, you know, actual vacations during the nicer months of the year.

    2. No, not UVM. NU, more or less. It would be somewhat nicer to be in the Greater Winooski Metropolitan Area ;), but I'm well away from that den of Progs and Leftards. Burlington is civilization, which we have to drive an hour to reach and which is nowhere near as satisfying as Fitchburg, MA when it comes to choice. West Leb is not better, just tax free and about 10 minutes closer.

      Yeah, while I hoard time for Christmas, I don't really have to take too much actual PTO, just three or four days. That leaves time to go to the Vineyard or visit the kids. And or my brother in SoCal. With time left to get sick as necessary. I do get the occasional bout of "powder fever", with my bosses blessing.


    3. NU, more or less. Heh. I spent my freshman year there. The only thing I learned in that year was that I had a LOT of growing up to do. When my Dad asked me why I did not want to go back for my sophomore year, my answer was "Dad, it's a waste of my time and your money." He understood, that with the attitude reflected in the first part of that statement, the sentiment expressed in the second part was all too true. Dad never did like to waste money.

      West Leb I was VERY familiar with back in the day. That was civilization for us as we couldn't bring ourselves to travel to the flatlands. (Which growing up meant any place that was not VT or NH. Talk about being provincial!)

  2. Sarge, Glad you had a long time off for Christmas and enjoyed the break. I officially retired in 1999, but then participated in a program at my college called "post retirement" which some of us said we always thought meant Death. :-) But what it meant in state gov. terms was that we could continue to work half time for four years even though we were already drawing our retirement pension. Not a bad deal. But all that's behind me now and I'm on a perpetual break, except for that ever expanding honey do list. BTW, that Timewaster link was right on the mark. Good stuff. Happy belated New Year.

    1. Thanks Dan. I'm glad you liked the Timewaster link.

      Happy New Year to you as well.

      I'm looking forward (someday) to being "retired retired". That is, retired military and retired from the current gig. Of course, that's based on the mortgage being paid off. Someday. I can dream can't I?

  3. I found it interesting that I always got veterans day off when I was on active duty... and technically not yet a veteran... but I worked EVERY single Veterans Day in my civilian career.

    EDS varied their approach to the holidays, depending on what the client on your account did. If you worked in a corporate support role (i.e., no direct client link) you got the usual Federal holidays, which meant Christmas and New Years Day. When I was in Dee-troit I was associated with GM, so I got the same sorta deal you got: the whole week off between Christmas and New Years. My last gig in the civilian world (post-EDS) gave me the two days, and that was it. That week off sure was nice... but I get more time off than I really need these days. ;-)

    1. Heh. Same here.

      Oddly enough, I had to dig this comment out of the spam bucket. First time that's happened here.

      I see that a lot over at The Home for Us All. I stop by on occasion just to dig valid comments out of the spam bucket. I've seen Kris in NE, Hogday and ORPO1 all in the spam bucket over there. Especially odd seeing as how they are also tagged as administrators on that blog. Just when you think you've got software figured out, it throws you a curve.


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