What the !@%# is wrong with us Americans anyway?
I caught myself reading this article from the Washington Post a week or so ago titled “Are you a Work Martyr?” and it caught my eye. I’ve never thought of myself as one, but apparently most Americans do. This Labor Day, with most people taking a well deserved day off, I have one question. Simply put, what the !@#% is wrong with us Americans?
Two weeks on average. That’s the average most full time employees (including us) get for vacation in the USA. But, most people don’t use it all. So why the heck not?
Turns out the reasons are as varied as the people who cough them up. According to a Project Time Off study in 2015, the top three stated reasons were fear of returning to a “mountain of work” (37 percent); a belief that “no one else can do the job” (30 percent); a decision that “I cannot financially afford a vacation” (30 percent).
Lets debunk these one at a time.
Returning to a mountain of work. So what? So perhaps you come back to a few more emails or projects to deal with. What, you don’t have ANYONE that can help you with your work for a few days twice a year? Yes you do… and even if you don’t. Who cares? If you have 10 days vacation, take 10 Fridays/Mondays off and get ten 4 day vacations throughout the year. And you get 10 excuses to rest and recharge throughout the year.
No one else can do the job. Congrats! You think you’re important. But a wise man once said that “graveyards are full with indispensable men.” As vain as we’d all like to be, someone can do your job for you. I’ve been through three jobs in my career before I got to the one that I’m at now, and since I’ve left, someone has filled my shoes and done my work. And guess what? All the vacations that we’ve taken? My managers have covered for me. So yes, someone can do what you do. It’s just a matter of finding him/her.
I cannot financially afford a vacation. Yes you can. Especially if you read this blog. Plan ahead! Flights even cross the atlantic are $300. Hotels can be had for $50 a night . Still too steep? Try a staycation! It doesn’t take anything to sit on your couch, pop some popcorn, and Netflix and chill (as the kids say these days). You probably have a ton of episodes of your favorite shows to catch up on anyway.
We just saw flights from Seattle-San Diego for $100 RT, Chicago to Dallas for $81 RT, Miami to Atlanta for $91 RT, and flights from Denver-New Orleans for $110 RT. Flight deals can be found. Rent a car for $20 a day, go drive to a national park. Your kid will love you for it!
You can do it. Trust me. Just try. It’ll be OK.