Holidays Ain’t What They Used To Be

The productive part of my summer holiday usually doesn’t start until I’ve disgusted myself with how unproductive I am. Unfortunately the company I work for has complicated that.

For reasons too complicated to go into (bureaucratic rock pissing) I no longer have my summers to myself. In the old days, once school was finished and a few days of overflow were completed, I was set free for a several weeks. Luckily, I was still paid because the school where I work wanted all teachers well rested and continued to pay the company I work for even though we weren’t actually working. I would use this time to spend three or four weeks back in the USA.

Then, a few years ago, the company I work for decided that they were totally the boss of me and that if I wanted to get paid in the summers the way I had been paid for 12 years, I would have to start “working” during the summer and on any day I wasn’t actually assigned to the school. This “work” amounted to producing some kind of lesson (officially over six hours of work) and sending it in via email. Mission accomplished.

If I don’t want to have to do any busy work, or want to go back to the USA or want to have an actual vacation, I have to use paid holidays. (This, I suspect, is part of what this nonsense is all about: when teachers leave, they can get compensation for their unused holidays.)

I should also point out that up to ten days of unused leave carries over to the next year. Any more than that drops off. This means I have 30 days of paid holidays per year. The paid holidays are complicated by the company being able to assign up to 10 days. (Note: they do this based on a Clintonian meaning of “is” is interpretation of the law.)

In the past, because I got summers off, I would just let ten days be lost and start over with a fresh 30 days. Now, though, I’ve started to use 10 of those days to save me from having to do busy work.

That said, all the busy work does is give me the illusion of being productive. I still sit with lots of half-finished projects mocking me from their “project piles”. Eventually, I get tired of staring back at them and start doing something about finishing them. If it’s a writing project, for example, I take the radical step of actually writing it.

But first I have to do my busy work. it doesn’t take much energy. It just drains the spirit a bit and lets me ignore the project piles a while longer.

4 thoughts on “Holidays Ain’t What They Used To Be

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