Yesterday, I wrote about how Greg failed miserably in his new career in sales.  And, it’s okay.  It was a learning experience, if anything, and now we know for sure that Greg doesn’t want to move into a career in sales.  So, since he left his new job last week, he’s been looking around to see what else is out there.  And unfortunately, there are some crazy employers out there with some whacked out expectations for their workers.

First of all, there are quite a lot of available jobs out there that offer reasonable pay and benefits.  Of course, no job is perfect.  Some careers require that you work on weekends or evenings.  Others offer less-than-stellar pay or feature other inconveniences that make them less than attractive.  But still, there really are plenty of normal jobs that offer normal pay, hours, and benefits.

Then there are jobs that just plain suck. 

Example #1

Greg: “Here’s a job that might be available.  It looks good aside from the fact that they don’t offer any vacation.”

Me: “No Vacation?  WTF?  What is this?  Industrial China?”

Greg: “Ummmmm……”

Me:  “I mean, seriously.   That’s not even humane!  No vacation?  NONE???!!??!!”

Greg: *hides under desk*

Me:  “What are they going to ask next?  Maybe you could just sleep there too!  Hell, you could share a bunk with another co-worker and just trade in and out to sleep every twelve hours.  What an amazing deal for our family!!!!!!!!!”

Greg:……….

Can you tell that this made me angry?  I mean, those who know me best know to steer the conversation away from these three hot topics:

  • the for-profit healthcare industry in the U.S.
  • the lack of government-mandated paid maternity leave or time off
  • the fact that employers in the U.S. aren’t required to offer ANY vacation to their employees

And, it’s pretty much common knowledge that the U.S. is trailing behind all industrialized countries in these matters.  According to this Huffington Post article, 23 percent of workers in the U.S. are offered ZERO paid vacation days per year.  Zero!  Furthermore, out of the majority of advanced economies in the world (including European countries, Australia, Japan, Canada, and New Zealand), the U.S. remains the only one that doesn’t have any sort of policy mandating vacation for its workers.

You Can’t Own Me

Listen, the chance of Greg taking a job that offers no vacation is absolutely zero.  I would rather be poor and live under a bridge then have my husband be a modern day wage -lave, working 52 weeks out of the year for an employer that is obviously out of touch with reality.  We are human beings….people.  We have family and friends…. hobbies and dreams.  And although Greg might get a regular job, there’s no chance in hell that we’re willing to give up our whole life just so that we can make more money.

Also, why do we, as citizens of humanity, accept this?  Why do we allow for-profit businesses to treat us as if we aren’t supposed to have personal interests or our own time to pursue those interests?  When are we going to stop giving the majority of our lives to our jobs while trying to create a real life out of the scraps of time we have left?

They can take that job and shove it.  Why?

Because no one can own me.

How much vacation do you get at work?  Do you wish you had more?  How much vacation do you think is reasonable?