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Have you ever had unused vacation days?

Asked at Massachusetts Street on August 5, 2005

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Photo of Randy Brull

“Yes. When I was in the Navy, they promised me a month off each year, but there wasn’t any time when they would let me take it. I got to take about a month of vacation over three years.”

Photo of Carol Brull

“I very seldom used my vacation days. The only ones I took were after my grandchildren were born so that I could go spend time with them.”

Photo of Brian Daily

“No. I use them all for military service.”

Photo of Kay Forsyth

“No, not in my position. It’s kind of hard to have unused vacation days because they determine when you will be taking them.”

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wichita_reader 12 years, 10 months ago

I have some extra vacation days, but the wife and I have a trip planned for this fall, and one for late next spring, so we'll make a decent-sized dent.

I'm kind of curious though, why Mr. Daily uses his vacation days from protecting and serving my home town to serve our nation. I was under the impression that service members were granted time off from employment for military service under federal law, as well as temporary relief from financial obligations, if need be. I guess the time off from employment is probably not paid, though.

I'm not arguing that reservists/guardswomen should be paid by their employer for time they serve in the military, but am arguing that they shouldn't be forced to use vacation days to fulfill service requirements, if that's the case. Can anyone clear that up for me? Maybe one of you service or former service members, one of the bobs (can't remember which one)?, fangorn?, christyk?

It's pretty crummy when reservists or national guard members working one weekend a month and two weeks a year (at leat that's what the commercials say) have to double-dip and use their paid vacation days for military obligations in order to survive. That's about as bad as those greedy teachers who spread their 9.5 months salary over 12 months and still work part time in the summer to supplement their income. (I know, lame attempt at sarcastic humor, but anyone who thinks teachers are overpaid really needs to reconsider.)

Sorry to bring up the teaching pay topic again, but I've been silent on it for the last few days and felt the urge to put in my two cents. And it's almost 3:00 a.m. and I can't sleep.

Topic of the day everyone can agree on (or at least four of five American employees or former employees so far, including myself): Americans don't generally get enough vacation time, or if they do get the vacation time they're too dedicated to their jobs to use it for vacation.

Alternative question of the day: what was your best vacation destination?

For me, Isla Grande, Panama. Isla de Grande really isn't all that grand, but there were a couple of little cottages built into the hillside, as well as a quiet little town on the other side of the mountain. Very secluded and romantic.

With that, I apologize for the length and bid you goodnight, good day, and good weekend.

hottruckinmama 12 years, 10 months ago

wtf? for years all we've heard is how the american worker sucks compaired to workers in other countries now we find that we take less time time off then other countries! take that europe!

imagold 12 years, 10 months ago

I lost 20 hours of vacation one year because I was over my allowed-to-accrue total. Haven't let that happen again, even if it means staying at home looking at the four walls. Knowing I can't afford a real vacation keeps me from taking more time off than I have to. What's the point? On the flip side, it is nice to know the time is out there if an emergency arises.

rock_chalk_jayhawk 12 years, 10 months ago

Redneckgal where do you work? It sounds like where I work. We also went to a new payroll system and now have to accrue our vacation days.

raven 12 years, 10 months ago

This is my first job that allows vacation time. I plan, however, to make sure I take all of it that is available. None of it rolls over.

Redneckgal 12 years, 10 months ago

If I was to take a vacation I think I would go back to Santa Fe. I was there was once when I was a kid and it was great. Dad was a trucker and therefore I seen a lot of country when I was a kid. I think I liked the southwest the best. And I guess I'm a little strange but I just love western Kansas. There is something about those wide open spaces that I just love. Went to the east coast only once (New Jersey) and didn't like that not one bit.

wichita_reader 12 years, 10 months ago

Dang it Jayhawk226, you beat me. And I have nothing to blame but my own longwindedness.

italianprincess 12 years, 10 months ago

Good morning everyone and TGIF to all of you.

Since I own my own little buisness here at home I take two one week vacations a year and also take off eight vacation days per year. I take my vacations around my boy's school schedule each year. Spring break when they are off from school, and one week before school starts to get them ready. My vacation starts today after I get off of work.

I guess you could say its not really mine though since I'm running here and there.... ( physicals, dentist, school shopping, haircuts, etc ) for my kids. Most of you parents out there know the drill of getting your kids ready for school.

I do get some down time from my job, and to sleep in each morning feels great. I also get paid for my time off which is wonderful and I don't lose any money. I guess you could say being your own boss has its advantages.

TGIF to all of again and have a fantastic day..........its FRIDAY!!!!!!!!!

enochville 12 years, 10 months ago

I've never had a job where I get vacation days.

Tammy Copp-Barta 12 years, 10 months ago

Our vacation and sick leave go into one pot. So if you're sick it comes from that pot. Not really what you call a vacation. So .. with 2 kids I use the "vacation" time up pretty regularly with appointments and sickness. Don't remember the last time I went on a REAL vacation .. I think I was 13 ... well .. at least I have a "pot" to draw from .. and don't have to take leave without pay!

neopolss 12 years, 10 months ago

I've known that Americans take less time off than any other country for a long time. Since being in Europe. No wonder they have less homicidal behavior there - it's more relaxed. Afternood tea time is great, yearly holiday, and lots of time off. Even the work schedule is built to be lenient. Family time had a larger importance too.

rock_chalk_jayhawk 12 years, 10 months ago

Thanks for the info, redneckgal. I work at a large company in Lawrence.

As for vacation, my husband and I went to Colorado in July and had a great time. We went jeeping over some mountain trails and then to the 4 Corners area. We were going to ride the Narrow Gauge Railroad from Durango to Silverton, but ran out of time.

rock_chalk_jayhawk 12 years, 10 months ago

TOB -- we were in Lake City, a small town near Gunnison. I drove the Alpine Loop in the jeep and it was an adreline (sp) rush. After leaving Lake City, we went through Creede, South Fork, over Wolf Creek Pass, through Pagosa Springs onto Durango.

trinity 12 years, 10 months ago

i am a spoiled rotten state employee-i have vacation time a'plenty, but alas, no money to make the most of it! thanks, student loans which seem to take on a life of their own and grow, and grow, and grow...ah but i'm a jay, jay jay jay jayhawk alum so who cares?¿? alot can be said for vacationing at home-in ottawa-i think.

rock_chalk_jayhawk 12 years, 10 months ago

Unused vacation days? What are those? I never have a hard time using up my vacation days!

Redneckgal 12 years, 10 months ago

Last year was a bad year in our office. We got a new boss and were in transistion because of that. We switched to a new a payroll system and that was somewhat of a mess. One of the gals was dealing with a lot of personal issues and needed a lot of time off. Thus I ended up giving back 53 hours (more than half) to the company last year. All that makes you is tired cranky and burnt out. This year I intend to use every bit even if it means I have to sit at home and stare at the 4 walls.

Jayhawk226 12 years, 10 months ago

Another great question could also have been:

In addition to unused vacation days, how many employees feel pressured to work on weekends? If you do, how many people are actually compensated for that additional worktime?

I have never been to Europe, but I have been told there are many countries that things just shut down on the weekends so everybody can actually spend time with their families.

Amazing concept. 3-4 weeks off from the stresses of their jobs AND have 2 guaranteed days each week they can spend non-stop with their family and loved ones. Oh my...maybe we could learn something, as small as it may be, from the continent across the Atlantic pond.

And...they can spend all that free time with/without their family and loved ones at nude beaches.

(Is it too late to still study abroad?)

Jayhawk226 12 years, 10 months ago


Sorry to hear about your accidental discovery of the nude park in the middle of the city. Such a tragic event I'm sure!

As for TOB...your own little nude park in the backyard, interesting concept. Bringing new meaning to grilling brats and sausage on the grill--careful though!

trinity 12 years, 10 months ago

Jayhawk226 said-As for TOB...your own little nude park in the backyard, interesting concept. Bringing new meaning to grilling brats and sausage on the grill--careful though!

laffin' here-i don't care who ya are, THAT was funny!

craigers 12 years, 10 months ago

I have never had time taking PTO. However, I usually take it a day here, a day there. It is too bad I can't call in sick when I want to go play golf in the morning. Oh well, I guess that whole ethics thing comes into play there. I don't think I have ever taken a solid week off from work, besides when I went on my honeymoon three years ago. That was pretty nice. Maybe I should take a week off again sometime. Have a great Friday everybody.

Redneckgal 12 years, 10 months ago

Tee Hee sorry imagold guess we have the same idea about staring at those for walls!

Jayhawk226 12 years, 10 months ago

A perk of being a teacher is the summer vacation we are granted.

It's just a shame when one of those summer days was rainy, I woke up before 10am, only had 2 beers, I sucked at Jeopardy, Oprah was a repeat, the Cubs lost and the Sox won.

That is definitely the epitome of an unused vacation day to me. Blah!

tell_it_like_it_is 12 years, 10 months ago

Vacation in this W economy? Hell I couldn't afford the gas even if I could afford the time away.

grilled_cheese 12 years, 10 months ago

God bless my 9/80 schedule!

I get every other Friday off. Last friday, I went to the beach and three Fridays ago, I went shopping and rode scooters.

But, in two weeks, it's 'hello' school and 'bye-bye' big-girl job. Pursuing my master's degree equals no money to pay for a vacation during any school granted holidays, nor do I get a completely free weekend either. Research waits for no Saturday frolicking or Sunday hangover.

Redneckgal 12 years, 10 months ago

rock chalk I work in Ottawa. Actually our office enters payroll so we all had to learn the new system and than double enter between the old system and the new for awhile to make sure things were going to go okay.

ladysilk 12 years, 10 months ago

I have not been on vacation since I was a kid. I have a government job so I have to build up vacation time. I usually end up using it for kid's doctor appts or dentist appts. Even if I had enough time built up to take a decent vacation there is no way I could afford to go anywhere. No wonder I have chronic migraines, back problems, sleep issues, and fatigue.

Jayhawk226 12 years, 10 months ago


Well, would I have to bring my own beer?!!?


trinity 12 years, 10 months ago

TOB just be careful not to grill your johnsonville!

David Ryan 12 years, 10 months ago

Hi Folks.

Let's do remember the Terms of Use and try to keep this conversation from drifting into areas that necessitate the removal of many comments.

Again, this is an all-ages site, so please keep that in mind, as well as the general idea of staying on topic. For a list of other topic areas, should you not want to comment on this topic:

Thanks a million!

raven 12 years, 10 months ago

TOB: Is that the vacation all state jobs offer, or just KU? To get 4 wks do you have to be there for a certain amount of yrs? I may consider looking for a state job....

Redneckgal 12 years, 10 months ago

Is he the poor guy that gets to read all of this stuff all day?

Jayhawk226 12 years, 10 months ago

is davidryan joking or an actual representive of LJW?

ms_canada 12 years, 10 months ago

When I graduated from my nurses training, I came straight to Edmonton from Van. BC and was intending to take a month off, but got a job immediately and so got no vacation that year at all. Then the following spring I took 3 weeks and travelled with my parents to their home states of Iowa (Dad) and Minnesota (mom) Also called in to some long lost cousins of Dad in Columbus, Nebraska. It was fun, but I would never work 2 strenuous years without a holiday again. I was stressed. BTW - the opening nite of the folk fest was awesome, a Reggae type group called Alpha Blondy from Ivory Coast really blew me away. Also Loreena McKennitt, Canadian gal, does anyone out there know her music. It is very different, sort of celtic, sort of mid-eastern. She plays harp and violin and has the most incredible voice. I just love her. Tonite there is a group called Shooglenifty from Scotland and Danu from Ireland and since I love celtic, I will be in 7th heaven especially since my kids will all be with me. ciao.

Carmenilla 12 years, 10 months ago

Ms_canada, my mama and I love Lorena McKennitt! I was thinking aboot (;-) you yesterday enjoying the lovely weather and listening to good music. And now I find out you get to hear one of my favorite artists! Lorena is like someone from a different era or century. Very good stuff. But now I'm jealous. I'm beginning to think you Canadians have it made up there. Its too bad I hate the cold. I just love to sweat for some reason!

I am self-employed and in school so my vacation is always tenuous. My hubby gets a about 21-22 days depending on where some holidays fall. He often uses them to go on tour with his band. Sadly, we can't always afford "real" vacations. And I hate flying now because I ALWAYS get "randomly" selected to be searched at every darn stop. I'm sure it has nothing to do with my ethnic ambiguity and Middle-Eastern name (I am, in fact, NOT Middle-Eastern)...snickers sarcastically. Yah, flying ain't so fun anymore for me.

But we do go to Winfield for the Bluegrass Festival every year. That is our little week of family fun. My hubby likes it because he can play his little heart out 24/7. I get to catch up with old friends and my kid gets to be an unwashed dirtball for a week. She loves to camp!!!

Americans definately need to take more vacation time or be given more. Stress is a big killer in this country. We put so much focus on work that we forget to enjoy life. We only get one go-round I figure we should try and enjoy it as much as possible.

tell_it_like_it_is 12 years, 10 months ago

Anybody else having trouble getting on today? I thought maybe they "pulled the plug" on us.

Linda Aikins 12 years, 10 months ago

TOB - after they tour Greensburg, they need to swing down to Medicine Lodge and across west on 160 highway. Pretty country! No big wells, but Ashland is the home of Wes Santee.

consumer1 - did you drive your truck today? I think I know you. Ray Stevens did a song about you, right? The Streak?

Ben_Meover 12 years, 10 months ago

Did somebody say....."pull the plug"??

Oh, I know all about "pulling the plug", let me tell ya!

Ann_Plowme 12 years, 10 months ago

Don't go there, Ben!!

Please, for the love of God, don't even go there!

I mean, don't even THINK about going there, Ben!

I mean it!

Redneckgal 12 years, 10 months ago

Oh good lord your right e_m! Now that took some thinkin'

Carmenilla 12 years, 10 months ago

Yah someone is suffering from Multiple Personality Disorder. I think they are one and the same, Ann and Ben!

ms_canada 12 years, 10 months ago

Carmenilla - I am so very pleased to hear that someone down your way knows and likes our dear Loreen McK. This was her first concert in 7 years so we felt real privileged. She has been to the far east researching for her next CD. She has a cottage on the west coast of County Clare, Ireland also which she repairs to every once in a while. Well, I am off for another gruelling day climbing the hills. ciao. babes!

Ceallach 12 years, 10 months ago

Vacation time - my hours roll over annually (to a max of 240). I make sure they do not go past that number. Usually it is not a problem but I do keep notice of the number. I accrue more vacation hours than sick so the vac time serves as a nice safety net in case of an unexpected illness or surgery.

Best vacation? My best US vacation was in and around Ouray CO, we then travelled through Silverton to Durange and on to Albuquerque NM for the hot air baloon festival held there in the Fall. Best non US vacation was in Alicante, Spain, spring break, many moons ago -- would still love to go back.

Jayhawk226 12 years, 10 months ago

Loreena's "The Mummers' Dance"....that's the only one I know I think

ms_canada 12 years, 10 months ago

J226 - right on - she played that last nite and sang her rendition of Alfred Lord Tennyson's poen "The Lady Of Shallot". all 11 minutes of it. She has also set to music The Highwayman by Alfred Noyes. It is also very good listening.

David Ryan 12 years, 10 months ago

Hi Folks:

Story from Editor & Publisher:

And, people only get banned for consistently violating the terms of agreement.

Jayhawk226 12 years, 10 months ago

This Big Brother David Ryan kinda creeps me out...

...just pops outta nowhere, as though he can only post when the boss outta town. Or maybe today is the last day of the summer internship and finally decided to get in on the action.

I wonder if David had any unused vacation days during his tenure at the LJW. (Had to stay on topic as to not violate the terms of agreement)

Linda Aikins 12 years, 10 months ago

Nope I guess I don't know you. But if your run in the park was impressive, maybe I want to! The Streak was a silly song by Ray Stevens: Oh yes, they call him the streak Fastest thing on two feet He's just as proud as he can be Of his anatomy He's gonna give us a peek Oh yes, they call him the streak He likes to show off his physique If there's an audience to be found He'll be streakin' around Invitin' public critique

beatrice 12 years, 10 months ago

Wow. I just got back from a vacation, and this board has taken a strange twist. Take a look at all of the comments left by davidryan. I don't mean just today's comments but his comment history. Warnings from LJW, and a spattering of personal comments. That is too weird and freaky. I'm with you, Jayhawk226, on this Big Brother business.

My two cents worth on Big Brother DavidR: if you are going to be the lifeguard around here, making sure none of us go all Hot-Carl in front of the kids playing in the shallow end, fine -- just don't come swimming with the rest of us. If you are paid to be the LJW thought police, then stick to doing just that. But please don't take the time to share your personal views and opinions -- EVER.

Yom_f: glad to see you were able to come back, despite the davidryans of the world.

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