A life experience question is: what is the value of a day off ?
In my new job I am allowed to set my schedule such that I can take a day liberty (after I have worked enough extra hours to cover an entire day), and with that day of liberty, I can get the things done that I need to get done. At first when I got hired I didn’t understand why everyone seemed to think that this was such a wonderful thing, but I am starting to understand now the value of this day to get things done. Previously, if I worked extra hours, I wanted to get paid for them (in overtime), and rarely took time in lieu (as compensation).
As I mature I am starting to change my answer to this question. In my family, my father never took a days vacation (from what I can recall). I am not exactly sure why he never did, I can guess, but he never really told me why, and it wasn’t any of my business either. I know that my father was compensated for the days that he didn’t take off, so that might have been the reason, but again it is none of my business.
I suppose we always learn from our parents behaviors, and in my previous career, I rarely took days vacation, and my wife and I haven’t been on a vacation together (without kids) for 18 years or so. When I finally left my old job I was earning vacation at 5 weeks a year, and thanks to that, my severance package was actually 2 months longer, because of my vacation accrual. In my new job I only get 3 weeks a year, and I am now missing my extra days vacation, and it is not so I can get paid for them, I want to take those days off.
My wife asked a better question, is my liberty day, really a day off? I have worked the extra hours so that I can have the day off, so this is not vacation, in a strict definition. I still appreciate this day to get stuff done, but I do have to work to earn it.
Good reader, what is your opinion? Is it important to have lots of vacation so that you can take time off, or is it better to get paid out for the vacation (if that is possible)?