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The last paid holiday

Today is the last paid holiday of my career.

Though it's true that Americans don't take much time off compared to, say, Europeans, I'm still very cognizant of the generous plan my public sector place of employment has given me all these years; how many days they've paid me not to be at work.

From the very outset, when I was a just a wee Word Processing Clerk I (anyone remember those?), they gave me ten days of vacation, twelve of sick leave, and three personal days per year.

The vacation-day count has gone up along with the workload, so that when I turn in my badge next week, they're going to pay me for all the vacation I haven't actually managed to take for the last several years. That drop in the retirement bucket will make an audible splash, I can tell you.

As to sick leave...well, I learned an important lesson in my early days. A woman I worked with was singled out for praise because she had never taken a single sick day in, I forget, something like three years. Her reward? A free day off. It was obvious to me that she could have skipped the praise and had twelve paid days off in each of those years.

(Also, praising someone for the "virtue" of naturally good health is, at the very least, annoying.)

In short, I've never been afraid to "call in well" when I needed a mental health day. I'm pretty sure that's why a) I never climbed higher in the organization and b) the benefits of retiring at the first possible moment outweigh the big pay cut I'm about to take.

Besides, they don't buy back your unused sick leave. I'd've been dumb not to use it.

Back to work tomorrow for a few more days of toil in the fields of the System.

Crossposted from Dreamwidth, where there are comment count unavailable comments.

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