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08/18/2003 Archived Entry: "The incredible shrinking vacation"


Vacations are being downsized by the same forces that brought us soaring work weeks: labor cutbacks, a sense of false urgency created by tech tools, fear and guilt. Managers use the climate of job insecurity to stall, cancel and abbreviate paid leave, while piling on guilt. The message, overt or implied, is that it would be a burden on the company to take all your vacation days or any. Employees get the hint: One out of five employees say they feel guilty taking their vacation, reports Expedia's survey. A new poll of 700 companies by ComPsych Corp., a Chicago-based employee assistance provider, found that 56 percent of workers would be postponing vacations until business improved.

The whole neurotic vacation system is based on guilt, on the notion that you are never worthy enough to take time off. The guilt works, because we are programmed to believe that only productivity and tasks have value in life, that free time is worthless, though it produces such trifles as family, friends, passions and actual living.

Can't agree with this article's contention that the fedgov should bully companies into giving employees more vacation time. But really, where are our lives going and why are we letting mere "necessity" take so much of them away from us?

Posted by Claire @ 02:03 PM CST

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