[LMB] OT: foreign vs. domestic vacations and media

Alex Haropulos aharo at erols.com
Mon Jun 28 15:06:54 BST 2010

On 6/27/2010 3:21 PM, Judy R. Johnson wrote:
> As for the vacations, WHO had European notions of vacation time, and 
> it was lovely!  So was Flexitime, in stark contrast to Swiss policy of 
> discouraging working mothers by deliberately not synchronizing office 
> and school hours.  Really niggardly personnel standards in N. America, 
> too, methinks (Puritan work-ethic holdover, perhaps?  And Geneva 
> originated Calvanism...hmmm).  Notice that European governments are 
> now talking about raising the retirement age -- 60 was controversially 
> enforced in the UN Agencies -- as discarding an unaffordable luxury.

Even if you can take unpaid leave in the US, it is not often wise to do 
so.  Every time I have taken 3 or more weeks of vacation, I have come 
back to multiple forest fires and civil unrest raging in the office.  
Unless you are an interchangeable member of a state or corporate 
bureaucracy, you are usually assigned tasks that are unique to you and 
your area of expertise, and these cannot be handed off without severe 

Americans take fewer vacations and work longer hours than many in other 
countries do. We do this because this will enable us to pay the 
mortgages on nice homes, save for retirement, and send our children to 
good schools. We are not incurious, as the tens of thousands of hobbyist 
and tour groups indicate. We are just kind of busy.

Alex H

More information about the Lois-Bujold mailing list