Author Topic: Work advice question - taking time off during deliverables  (Read 4383 times)

EconDiva

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Work advice question - taking time off during deliverables
« on: September 14, 2017, 08:55:20 AM »
So I was just hoping for some general advice and opinions here is all.

I get 18 total days off a year at my job (15 vacation + 3 floating holidays is basically usually 18 vacation days for me)

Anywho, I have 13 days left to take off by the end of this year and didn't want to travel in Nov or Dec.  Vacation policy is 'Use them or lose them'.  Can't cash them out.  I feel that I am very good about planning my time off as what I typically do is approach my boss and ask 'do you foresee anything big going on around this week of this month as I'd like to take off 4 days'.  I've asked as far as 3-6 months out to let my boss know I do try to plan my time around anything major we anticipate might be going on.

I told my boss about 5 weeks ago I plan to take off just under 2 weeks beginning of October.  I'd only been on one major project for this entire year.  This is the first time since I've been working here that things actually started to 'slow down' a little bit so that would be a good month.  The next day she asked if I would take on a second major project.  The project is behind and has a major deadline beginning of November.  I've been brought on to help that Team meet that deadline but things are such a HUGE mess let me tell you that although I'm doing all I can there is no way it will meet the deadline.  To be completely honest I don't see it happening this year at all.  Maybe more like Januaryish.

SO.  My question is:  Do I consider not taking my time off in October? 

I planned on booking travel this weekend.  I had already told my boss this before she requested I be put on an additional major project.  I feel an obligation to consider delaying, but feel it wouldn't make a difference.  I'm hoping others here work in a place that they can relate to why I'm asking--it's just a touchy thing when someone is off durinig a major deadline.  I'm working closely with someone who has been on the project for a while so they'd be covering for me.  I tend to over worry about these things as I work in an environment where those that work through vacations, cancel them due to deadlines and such are definitely looked at in a more positive light. 

Update Sep 21 2017:

My mom just hit me up for over $800 so I don't think I'll be going anywhere now.
« Last Edit: September 21, 2017, 08:11:46 AM by EconDiva »

ohmylookatthat

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Re: Work advice question - taking time off during deliverables
« Reply #1 on: September 14, 2017, 09:10:49 AM »
of course you should take your vacation, especially since you will lose it and they won't even cash you out. you care a lot more about the company than they care about you.  there will always be deadlines

EconDiva

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Re: Work advice question - taking time off during deliverables
« Reply #2 on: September 14, 2017, 09:19:24 AM »
of course you should take your vacation, especially since you will lose it and they won't even cash you out. you care a lot more about the company than they care about you.  there will always be deadlines

You're right.

I have colleagues all over the globe...in Europe they get more time off than us.  My first year with this company, my colleague in Europe put in for her vacation for the year (they get something like 7 weeks total).  My boss was clearly irritated and had made the comment to me that "people need to realize that just because they have xxx total weeks to take off does 'not' mean they should be taking all of it". 

Those words were burned in my mind ever since.  Although management will say 'yeah, sure of course...take your time!  Work/life balance! yada yada yada....I think they say it because they have to and at the end of the day they resent those that do.  I work hard to maintain a good reputation but yeah I do kinda worry that my timing is bad. 

JoJo

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Re: Work advice question - taking time off during deliverables
« Reply #3 on: September 14, 2017, 09:53:42 AM »
why don't you want to travel in November?  If you're planning an international trip that's one of the best & cheapest times to travel.

As for October, that's only a month away.  Best to ask for permission ASAP.  I always try to schedule my extended trips at least a couple months before I take them.

bacchi

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Re: Work advice question - taking time off during deliverables
« Reply #4 on: September 14, 2017, 10:48:21 AM »
Take the vacation.

Tell your manager that you'll be relaxed post-vacay and will be able to work even harder.

I'm a red panda

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Re: Work advice question - taking time off during deliverables
« Reply #5 on: September 14, 2017, 11:32:18 AM »
Can you take vacation if it isn't approved by the manager?

I'd push to take it, but I'd make sure it was approved before booking anything.

We start warning employees to get their vacation approved in July and make a plan to use it all.  There are still always people in December caught with haven't yet taking their vacation.

EconDiva

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Re: Work advice question - taking time off during deliverables
« Reply #6 on: September 14, 2017, 11:59:16 AM »
why don't you want to travel in November?  If you're planning an international trip that's one of the best & cheapest times to travel.

As for October, that's only a month away.  Best to ask for permission ASAP.  I always try to schedule my extended trips at least a couple months before I take them.

I traveled to Europe last December.  Where I'm going I don't want to wait until closer to the end of the year because it will be cooler. 

Also, the way things are going with this new project right now if they miss the deadline early November that month (and after) will be even busier.

I made my boss aware I'd be taking time off in early October back in August. 
« Last Edit: September 14, 2017, 12:04:09 PM by EconDiva »

EconDiva

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Re: Work advice question - taking time off during deliverables
« Reply #7 on: September 14, 2017, 12:09:30 PM »
Can you take vacation if it isn't approved by the manager?

I'd push to take it, but I'd make sure it was approved before booking anything.

We start warning employees to get their vacation approved in July and make a plan to use it all.  There are still always people in December caught with haven't yet taking their vacation.

I informed my boss of this plan in August and she agreed it would be okay.  I just didn't have dates yet. She stated the other Team I'm working on would have to work around it.  That's not to say the manager on my new project will be happy about, but I also told her on the very first day I started on the new project that I would be off in early October which my boss had already made aware of.

GuitarStv

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Re: Work advice question - taking time off during deliverables
« Reply #8 on: September 14, 2017, 12:11:03 PM »
Take the vacation, but the week before your vacation do everything you can to set up delegates and people to take over for you so that it's a smooth transition.  While this is good for the company, it's also good for you.  Much nicer to come back to work when people who aren't screaming and running around in circles or writhing on the floor in existential agony.

katscratch

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Re: Work advice question - taking time off during deliverables
« Reply #9 on: September 14, 2017, 12:19:38 PM »
In my job I'm solely responsible for one sector of our business. I have three coworkers at the same level as me with similar responsibilities but in their own specialized sector.

We cover each other when we're on vacation, so this means taking time and a little effort to ensure they have all the data needed to cover my sector with which they aren't familiar. There were growing pains when we first started doing this last November, but now it's become painless as we've worked through the little issues of things like "where was the phone number for xyz rep?".

Prep your colleagues for any tasks that need to be done while you're gone, make sure they have any contact info they might need, then take your vacation and don't you dare feel bad about it! Regardless of the company's culture or attitudes, you EARNED it.

MaggieDrsg

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Re: Work advice question - taking time off during deliverables
« Reply #10 on: September 14, 2017, 12:48:22 PM »
Do your coworkers even know you haven't booked travel at this point?  It sounds like they are expecting you'll be gone during the timeframe that you communicated.  Book it and send out updates reminding them you'll be gone and providing them the exact dates.

AccidentalMiser

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Re: Work advice question - taking time off during deliverables
« Reply #11 on: September 14, 2017, 02:32:06 PM »
Take the vacation, as others have said, unless:

1. The company will crash without you there.
OR
2. The project is so huge and life-changing that you'll regret missing one minute of it.
OR
3. You're the reason the project is messed up.

Since you've got someone to cover for you while you're gone, you advised your boss that you had travel plans before the assignment to this project that some else wrecked, then I'd say absolutely GO.

GuitarStv

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Re: Work advice question - taking time off during deliverables
« Reply #12 on: September 14, 2017, 02:43:15 PM »
Take the vacation, as others have said, unless:

1. The company will crash without you there.
OR
2. The project is so huge and life-changing that you'll regret missing one minute of it.
OR
3. You're the reason the project is messed up.

Since you've got someone to cover for you while you're gone, you advised your boss that you had travel plans before the assignment to this project that some else wrecked, then I'd say absolutely GO.

If 1. immediately renegotiate salary from a position of power.

Gone_Hiking

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Re: Work advice question - taking time off during deliverables
« Reply #13 on: September 14, 2017, 11:14:23 PM »
Does the team has a project manager, or someone in charge who understands the delay?  How will your absence affect other members of the team?  This is the key to getting vacation during busy times - ensure that you have coverage and that your back side is covered, should someone get an idea that the delay was your fault.

With all of this said, it's best to take the vacation, with the precautions described above.  Delaying, or worse, cancelling entirely, might look like you are putting in extra effort, but after the first instance of cancelled vacation the boss might get an idea that you will yield when pressured, and then no vacation for you.  Ever.   So stand your ground, ensure that you won't be missed, and have a wonderful vacation!

LeRainDrop

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Re: Work advice question - taking time off during deliverables
« Reply #14 on: September 16, 2017, 04:04:03 PM »
My first year with this company, my colleague in Europe put in for her vacation for the year (they get something like 7 weeks total).  My boss was clearly irritated and had made the comment to me that "people need to realize that just because they have xxx total weeks to take off does 'not' mean they should be taking all of it".  Those words were burned in my mind ever since.

That's a really shitty thing for your boss to say.  Your vacation time, PTO, whatever, is all part of your compensation package.  You are entitled to that time off.

On the other hand, I TOTALLY get where you are coming from.  For years I was in an office environment where there was a ton of pressure to take off as little time as possible, cut your vacations short, etc.  Some of the partners definitely had the attitude that your boss does, though in my case we had "unlimited" vacation time.  I didn't end up taking vacation at all a couple of those years, just maybe a day off every month or two (or three or four).  In retrospect, I really regret succumbing to that pressure.  I can never get that time back.  I resent sacrificing time and time again for people who ultimately didn't appreciate it (which isn't to say that none of the partners were appreciative, just that a couple were the worst).  If I could talk to the younger me, which I guess I'm substituting for you, I would say, "Take the vacation!"  There are always going to be competing demands, important deliverables, bosses wanting more and more of your time and support.  Obviously, be as conscientious as you can to complete whatever is possible before you leave, prepare clear contingency plans for who will cover for you and make sure they have what they need from you, and make sure they know how to get in touch with you if absolutely necessary.  But unless your boss denies those days off, I would take them in a heartbeat.

EconDiva

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Re: Work advice question - taking time off during deliverables
« Reply #15 on: September 21, 2017, 08:13:09 AM »
Update Sep 21 2017:

My mom just hit me up for over $800 so I don't think I have to worry about going anywhere now.

dcheesi

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Re: Work advice question - taking time off during deliverables
« Reply #16 on: September 21, 2017, 08:52:39 AM »
I agree with everyone else. It might be different if this was your current project, meaning that you had some pre-existing responsibility or even theoretical blame for its lateness. But this is a new project that you're being asked to help out with, and frankly said project team should be grateful for any amount of help they can get.

Your boss was aware of your plans before nominating you for this project, so it's just another time-block for the project team work around, just like any other pre-existing claim on your time during that period (business travel, other project schedules, etc.).

Even if you can't go anywhere expensive, you should still take some time and do something, even if it's just a stay-cation. If you're really not comfortable taking the full time in October, then at least take some time off then, and the rest in Nov/Dec (again, staying home is acceptable, it's all about recharging your energy/sanity). Or just take Fridays off for the duration, whatever works for you. Don't let that time go unused!
« Last Edit: September 21, 2017, 08:58:54 AM by dcheesi »

FLBiker

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Re: Work advice question - taking time off during deliverables
« Reply #17 on: September 21, 2017, 08:53:01 AM »
I'd still take the time off (even if you're just staying home).

scantee

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Re: Work advice question - taking time off during deliverables
« Reply #18 on: September 21, 2017, 09:27:41 AM »
Econdiva, there is a common theme of powerlessness running through many of your posts on this forum. You're working 60 hours a week and at odd hours and there is nothing you can do about it. You have two weeks of vacation time that you need to take but your boss is making you feel bad about taking it and there is nothing you can do about it. Your mom needs $800 so now you can't go anywhere on vacation and there is nothing you can do about it. You in fact do have some degree of control over these things, but it seems you're hesitant to assert yourself and set boundaries. Why? Maybe that's is something for you to work on, possibly with a a therapist, if you feel like it would be a worthwhile goal and you want to take a guided approach with the help of a pro.

NoStacheOhio

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Re: Work advice question - taking time off during deliverables
« Reply #19 on: September 21, 2017, 09:35:41 AM »
Update Sep 21 2017:

My mom just hit me up for over $800 so I don't think I'll be going anywhere now.

Staycation!

EconDiva

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Re: Work advice question - taking time off during deliverables
« Reply #20 on: September 21, 2017, 09:40:48 AM »
Econdiva, there is a common theme of powerlessness running through many of your posts on this forum. You're working 60 hours a week and at odd hours and there is nothing you can do about it. You have two weeks of vacation time that you need to take but your boss is making you feel bad about taking it and there is nothing you can do about it. Your mom needs $800 so now you can't go anywhere on vacation and there is nothing you can do about it. You in fact do have some degree of control over these things, but it seems you're hesitant to assert yourself and set boundaries. Why? Maybe that's is something for you to work on, possibly with a a therapist, if you feel like it would be a worthwhile goal and you want to take a guided approach with the help of a pro.

I can see how you could come to this conclusion.

I don't agree with it though...I never said "there is nothing I can do about these things".

Many posts on a forum are asking for advice about how best to proceed in certain situations and that is how I see many of the things I have posted about--requesting guidance, input and advice on how best to proceed.  Now let me address the exact things you mentioned:

1. Working long hours - Did something about it.  Work from home now remotely in another state for more balance with quality of life.  I now block time off my calendar and if I have to do something during the day I do it. Just this week I typically send minutes out directly after my night teleconferences but I'm now on a second project so I'm not doing it-they will get the minutes the next day as I'm going to enjoy the rest of my night once I'm done with a 9 pm call if I've been working all day and evening.  One example of setting a boundary.

2. Vacation - Yeah I do experience guilt about taking almost 2/3 of vacation off in the middle of an important project.  But I'm not the only one who has experienced working in such an environment where it is indeed frowned upon to do such a thing.  Never said I would 'not' or 'could not' do anything about this. I simply gave details of the 'reasoning' why I was even posting about feeling bad about it and wanted insight from others as to what they would do.  Which brings me to point 3:

3. Mother hitting me up and now I can't take vacation-I don't know what else to tell you about this other than this is a forum about frugality so a vacation (for me, specifically meaning traveling out of the country) IS indeed out of the question no matter how I put it when you get hit up for close to $1000 the same week you completed a move.  It is what is.  What can I do about it?  I can say no but I won't...I already made that decision and the consequence for me will be no travel out of the country.  It's more of a rant that I get hit up for the money than anything (yeah I'm just being a bit of a complainypants because now my plans will change...if I still take the time off I can't go on what *I* would consider a vacation to where *I* want so now the issue is do I even bother taking the time off...)

Again, I could see how you could come to such conclusions but I'm by no means a powerless woman.  I realize I have choices and decisions and I recognize the impact of those on the issues that I post for advice about...I don't think it's any different than what many others do here.  (I do have a therapist by the way...but I am pro therapy and find it a useful resource for most.)

EconDiva

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Re: Work advice question - taking time off during deliverables
« Reply #21 on: September 21, 2017, 09:46:06 AM »
Update Sep 21 2017:

My mom just hit me up for over $800 so I don't think I'll be going anywhere now.

Staycation!

Yeah I think I will be revisiting the time off thing because now there is no real push to get to Europe by early next month before it starts to cool off too much for me.  And less time would be needed as well.

When I travel twice a year I usually travel a bit far so I actually don't have experience doing staycations...are you saying stay in/very close to where I live?  I'm not certain what I'd do outside of the things I normally do.  Side note:  I'm one of those people who don't like to be home when I take off.  When I take vacation I pretty much *always* go somewhere.  I can't remember ever taking time off to stay home as I can't think of things I'd be doing at home that I wouldn't already be experiencing on a normal weekend for instance. 

I have had a friend or two go an hour away for a 'staycation' to this popular spa...I'm not a spa person like that but I can perhaps get creative about what to do now.  I think I have more time now to figure it out.

EconDiva

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Re: Work advice question - taking time off during deliverables
« Reply #22 on: September 21, 2017, 09:48:34 AM »
Take the vacation, but the week before your vacation do everything you can to set up delegates and people to take over for you so that it's a smooth transition.  While this is good for the company, it's also good for you.  Much nicer to come back to work when people who aren't screaming and running around in circles or writhing on the floor in existential agony.


I laughed out loud at the thought of people screaming and running around in circles or writhing on the floor. 

Luckily right now since I work from home even if that happened I wouldn't have to witness it in person lol.

EconDiva

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Re: Work advice question - taking time off during deliverables
« Reply #23 on: September 21, 2017, 09:49:30 AM »
Can you take vacation if it isn't approved by the manager?

I'd push to take it, but I'd make sure it was approved before booking anything.

We start warning employees to get their vacation approved in July and make a plan to use it all.  There are still always people in December caught with haven't yet taking their vacation.

They ask for our vacation time for the entire year by the end of January.  It just wasn't realistic for me to be able to do that this year though.

NoStacheOhio

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Re: Work advice question - taking time off during deliverables
« Reply #24 on: September 21, 2017, 09:51:24 AM »
Yeah I think I will be revisiting the time off thing because now there is no real push to get to Europe by early next month before it starts to cool off too much for me.  And less time would be needed as well.

When I travel twice a year I usually travel a bit far so I actually don't have experience doing staycations...are you saying stay in/very close to where I live?  I'm not certain what I'd do outside of the things I normally do.  Side note:  I'm one of those people who don't like to be home when I take off.  When I take vacation I pretty much *always* go somewhere.  I can't remember ever taking time off to stay home as I can't think of things I'd be doing at home that I wouldn't already be experiencing on a normal weekend for instance. 

I have had a friend or two go an hour away for a 'staycation' to this popular spa...I'm not a spa person like that but I can perhaps get creative about what to do now.  I think I have more time now to figure it out.

I took a week off during the RNC last year (no way I was driving downtown in that mess). We painted a bathroom. It wasn't super relaxing, but I'm glad we did it.

Goldielocks

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Re: Work advice question - taking time off during deliverables
« Reply #25 on: September 21, 2017, 10:24:35 AM »
A differing voice:

Don't take the vacation unless you can find someone to wholly cover your role well, and you are not the project leader. (caveat... if you prebooked and will lose money or it is a one time vacation like a family reunion, etc.)

Instead,   ask to be paid out for it.  (if $800 is an issue for you, this could be a nice perk)... OR ask to have it moved into next year.   If you combine it with a spring vacation week next year, you now have the option for a long-distance travel, wil less cost because you don't need to move very fast on your vacation (same amount of tourist sightseeing and travel, spread out over 3 weeks instead of 10 days).

Why risk your role / perception at work  on a high pressure project  in order to take a vacation that you can defer?

Obviously you need to take all your vacations (or be partially paid out, your choice), but taking a longer vacation in March could be awesome, especially if you are the "golden gal" at the office for bringing in a major project success.

----------
In canada, (and US, I think) employers can tell employees when and how they can take vacation.   If work shuts down for 3 weeks at the end of January, and that is everyone's vacation time, then that is when I take vacation, and there is no choice about it.   Rescinding approval at the last moment is not called for because employees will leave.  Rescinding approval and not allowing vacation within the year is not allowed either, but they could tell you to take the last two weeks of December or pay you out if you opt for the pay out..


lbmustache

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Re: Work advice question - taking time off during deliverables
« Reply #26 on: September 21, 2017, 10:48:02 AM »
I'm not seeing the issue.

Your company does not roll over vacation days, or pay them out.

You don't have the money to travel. Which is fine.

Use your vacation days and spend a couple of relaxing days at home.

How important is work that you can't be gone for a few days... "gone" doesn't mean you have to be in Europe or Asia. I'd just enjoy those days at home rather than being at work or thinking about work.

dcheesi

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Re: Work advice question - taking time off during deliverables
« Reply #27 on: September 21, 2017, 11:14:19 AM »
I do get the issue if you're working from home full time. Many of the benefits of a "staycation" involve being able to do things you can't normally do during the week, due to being at the office/shop/worksite most of the day. If you're already used to being at home, and having flexible hours to do whatever chores/errands/pastimes you want in between bouts of active work, then it becomes harder make time off at home feel different/special.

It becomes more of an exercise in sitting around in the same place where you would normally be working, trying to find ways to fill the time that don't involve 1) working, or 2) thinking about the guilt you feel about not working.

moof

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Re: Work advice question - taking time off during deliverables
« Reply #28 on: September 21, 2017, 11:18:46 AM »
I gave 5 months notice for a 1 week vacation once.  My boss got all pissy pants 2 weeks before and told me it was within his power to rescind my vacation (he was a real d-bag in many ways).  I held my ground and we both got rather pissed off, but he backed down (probably realizing I was about to go Turet's on him).  If I had F-U money at the time I would have thrown my badge at his face in that meeting.

The whole things left me quite pissed off and I was out of there about 8 months later for this, and other related reasons.

Take the vacation.  If you catch any grief you should polish up your resume and find somewhere better.  Negotiate for 4-5 weeks of vacation at the new place, often this is easier for HR to accommodate than a higher salary than they offered.

I've previously worked at a place with only 3 week vacation that had to be used up 100% by the end of the fiscal year (end of September), which resulted in a couple years of a large scale flu outbreak.  It was one of the stupidest policies I had ever seen.  Bear in mind that this is a policy driven by a high up bean counter who wants to minimize monetary liabilities on the books just to make the books look artificially slightly better for Wall Street, at your personal detriment and to the detriment of ongoing projects.  Respond in-kind.
« Last Edit: September 21, 2017, 11:26:35 AM by moof »

EconDiva

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Re: Work advice question - taking time off during deliverables
« Reply #29 on: September 21, 2017, 12:11:28 PM »
I do get the issue if you're working from home full time. Many of the benefits of a "staycation" involve being able to do things you can't normally do during the week, due to being at the office/shop/worksite most of the day. If you're already used to being at home, and having flexible hours to do whatever chores/errands/pastimes you want in between bouts of active work, then it becomes harder make time off at home feel different/special.

It becomes more of an exercise in sitting around in the same place where you would normally be working, trying to find ways to fill the time that don't involve 1) working, or 2) thinking about the guilt you feel about not working.

^This...this is pretty much how I feel.

SpendyMcSpend

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Re: Work advice question - taking time off during deliverables
« Reply #30 on: September 21, 2017, 09:19:24 PM »
It makes me sad to see questions like this.  It's people that dont take vacations that make it difficult for the rest of employees.

GoConfidently

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Re: Work advice question - taking time off during deliverables
« Reply #31 on: September 21, 2017, 09:50:34 PM »
You have 13 days and about 12 weeks left to use up vacation. If you don't have the money to go on vacation and don't want to take a big chunk of time, why not take several half week chunks, or lots of 3 day weekends? Get some projects done around the house. Do your annual check ups with doctor/dentist. Relax. Volunteer. Do holiday shopping early. Catch a baseball game on a week night. Go explore a state park. Deep clean your car. Prep for and host a backyard barbecue. Organize closets and make the goodwill trip for donations. Spruce up the landscaping and lay new mulch. Work on a hobby. Read a book. Go to the movies/a concert/dancing/comedy show. Spend the day with your mom. Sleep late and have a lazy day. That should be at least 13. Anything is better than losing those days.

ETA - I see your comment above about working from home. It's not really about productivity. It's about taking a mental break and not trying to "fit in" those things around work, but being in the moment and just getting some fun or necessary things done.
« Last Edit: September 21, 2017, 09:53:04 PM by GoConfidently »

Dicey

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Re: Work advice question - taking time off during deliverables
« Reply #32 on: September 23, 2017, 06:27:22 AM »
OP, where do you live? My old company was based in GA and had a "use it or lose it" rule. When they tried to force it on me, I called legal and pointed out that I lived in CA, where such antics were forbidden. The rule in CA is roll over or pay, IIRC. At first, they only relaxed the rules for those of us in CA, but when we spread the word, people in other places demanded the same and the company had to drop the stupid "use it or lose it" shtick.

On a related note: CA also puts the onus of keeping track of vacation time used and accrued on the employer, not the employee. When a dear colleague was forced out after 30+ years, he used both of these facts to demand back pay for all the years of vacation pay he lost due to their silly and illegal policy. Of course, they had no records of all the time that was forfeited, so he ended up with a nice settlement on top of their measly-ass severance. Good for him! It was a clear-cut case of age discrimination, but he was the kind of guy who would have otherwise worked forever. He liked what he did and was damn good at it. He was FI and didn't want to deal with a discrimination lawsuit, so he just chose to accept the forced separation. I'm happy to report he has adjusted to retirement beautifully. Of course he now wishes he'd gotten out earlier...

Tl; Dr: Check to make sure their policy is legal in your state.

mozar

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Re: Work advice question - taking time off during deliverables
« Reply #33 on: September 23, 2017, 07:10:49 AM »
She's in Georgia.  Her job is in Illinois.

OP, I think I've said this before but consider figuring out how much your willing to give your mom on a yearly basis and divide it by 12 and give her a monthly amount. That way you don't get surprise bills from her.
I know it's a sensitive topic but you changed your plans because your mother wanted something from you. That's a textbook definition of letting someone else control your life decisions. 
If you don't want internet strangers commenting on your mother don't bring it up.
This forum is different from other forums because we know that life isn't about money. It's about being in control of your life. It may chafe sometimes but I hope you consider everything that is being said here.
I've gotten a lot of comments myself here that cut to the bone and after lashing out and being mad, I realized they were right. I'm not saying everyone is right, just to give it some time and think about it.

BTDretire

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Re: Work advice question - taking time off during deliverables
« Reply #34 on: September 23, 2017, 04:18:43 PM »
Even if you can't take the time off now, you might try a negotiation.
Tell them, "I know we are very busy and this is a bad time for me to take my scheduled vacation. The problem is if I don't use it I lose it. If we could work out either paying me for the time or giving me these extra days next year I could cancel my plans so we can get the work done.
 You can suggest one or both, depending on what you want.

SnackDog

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Re: Work advice question - taking time off during deliverables
« Reply #35 on: September 23, 2017, 04:43:40 PM »
End of the year, esp Oct/Nov is a terrible time to be away from work with major projects finishing.  I would defer until late Dec or early Jan.  Tell your boss you will formally mark vacation in Dec but actually take in early Jan.  If the projects succeed, you will be a hero.  You probably can't make that happen if you are not there.