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Old 08-06-2017, 06:50 PM
Northern Piper Northern Piper is offline
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Is a 17 day vacation a lot in the US?

Just curious if all the chatter about the Trump vacation is because 17 days is a lot?

Or because people don't think he's worked enough to take 17 days off?
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Old 08-06-2017, 06:56 PM
Evan Drake Evan Drake is offline
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Aside: as a Briton I don't think 17 days is a lot, but it's worth pointing out the old chap has finished one half of his first year; so unless, refreshed by his break he resolutely declines any further playtime for the rest of the year sturdily devoting himself to the betterment of the world, it's not beyond possibility that if he elects the same for the next 6 months that will be 34 days funtime yearly.
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Old 08-06-2017, 06:59 PM
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I've never had more than a week at any job that even offered vacation. And it was never "vacation" rather it was "personal time off" which could be used as needed for appointments or such but it meant you didn't get a full week off unless you didn't use any of it.

And no, he hasn't done enough to deserve 17 days after only 6 months. Let's also mention the weekends he's taken almost every week since he was sworn in.

Sites that have the details.

http://www.nbcnews.com/politics/dona...erties-n753366

http://trumpgolfcount.com/displayoutings
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Old 08-06-2017, 07:04 PM
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Here's a chart of the average vacation and sick leave amounts for workers in the US.

I work for myself, so I don't really know, but growing up, my parents (both blue collar workers) got 15 days of vacation time per year after about 5-10 years on the job. So taking 17 days off in a row after being on a job for six months does strike me as excessive, but, who knows what people are pissed about.
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Old 08-06-2017, 07:04 PM
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It depends on the job. Teachers get off multiple months at a time, for instance. But the President, in some sense, can never go on vacation at all.
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Old 08-06-2017, 07:24 PM
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Originally Posted by Northern Piper View Post
Just curious if all the chatter about the Trump vacation is because 17 days is a lot?

Or because people don't think he's worked enough to take 17 days off?
It's also because he heavily, heavily(I mean, really heavily) criticized Obama for golf-trips and vacations, things he's doing a ton more of in his first 6-8 months.

I don't personally mind or care about President's vacations and golfing. It's a crazy hard job.

I mind more in the sense that once again, he was super critical of Obama and is now doing the same thing. Like the executive orders and so forth.
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Old 08-06-2017, 07:30 PM
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Originally Posted by running coach View Post
I've never had more than a week at any job that even offered vacation.
When I worked in corporate America (large, Silicon Valley company), I got 3 weeks vacation the first year. Since we're offering anecdotes.

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And no, he hasn't done enough to deserve 17 days after only 6 months.
That's an opinion, not a fact. But the OP did ask for opinions, so I guess yours is as good as mine. I'm OK with him taking 17 days "off". It's a working vacation, anyway. Also, it's 17 days total, so that counts weekends. It's basically 2 weeks off (plus a day).

Quote:
Let's also mention the weekends he's taken almost every week since he was sworn in.
Why would we mention weekends?

Last edited by John Mace; 08-06-2017 at 07:32 PM.
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Old 08-06-2017, 07:32 PM
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It's not that huge, though I rarely take that many days off in a row. Before our company moved to a "personal time off" scheme, I got 20 vacation days off per year (since then I still use that as a target, but the number isn't officially tracked). I could take two 16-day vacations per year if you count weekends; more if they align with other holidays. It's more the hypocrisy that's distasteful.
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Old 08-06-2017, 07:34 PM
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There's no mandated vacation in the U.S. Many people who make the least amount at taxing jobs get no paid vacation or sick leave. Even for well-paid educated professionals who earn paid leave, there's often social pressure to avoid taking long leaves. Two weeks is often considered the longest acceptable absence from a job, even if you are using earned leave.

I was once told upon joining a company that I was entitled to four weeks of paid vacation a year and I didn't need anyone's permission to schedule it, but I was warned that no one takes more than two weeks at once—and rarely more than one week—with the tag line, "If you can be absent from work for a whole month, then we don't really need you, do we?"
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Old 08-06-2017, 07:36 PM
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It is sort of a lot in the US. Many employers won't give you more than 10 days' vacation, or sometimes not even more than five, until you've worked maybe five years or more.
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Old 08-06-2017, 07:36 PM
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Originally Posted by Dr. Strangelove View Post
It's not that huge, though I rarely take that many days off in a row. Before our company moved to a "personal time off" scheme, I got 20 vacation days off per year (since then I still use that as a target, but the number isn't officially tracked). I could take two 16-day vacations per year if you count weekends; more if they align with other holidays. It's more the hypocrisy that's distasteful.
Yeah, it's mostly partisan sniping. I didn't hear complaints from Democrats when Obama took 15 days off. Hard to imagine that 2 days makes a difference. But yeah, he said he wouldn't take vacation as president when he campaigned. He's a hypocrite. But it's not like the sniping wouldn't be there without the hypocrisy.

Of course comparing the president to the average American worker is an odd thing to do. Nothing of any significance about the job is comparable to "the average American worker", starting with the pay.

Last edited by John Mace; 08-06-2017 at 07:38 PM.
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Old 08-06-2017, 07:50 PM
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But it's not like the sniping wouldn't be there without the hypocrisy.
Sure, but it wouldn't involve vacation days. A huge swath of Trump's criticism of Obama involved vacation, golfing, and so on. Not to mention claims that you shouldn't take vacations if you don't like your job. Of course, Trump is already claiming that his trip isn't a vacation at all.
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Old 08-06-2017, 07:51 PM
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Indeed the presidency is oft regarded as a 24/7/365 position.

A typical entry level professional position work schedule would be Monday through Friday 8-5, with weekends off. Public Holiday benefits vary a bit more but 7 to 10 public holidays off would be typical. And then vacation would likely start at 10 working days off per year, with an additional 5 days of vacation after a few years of service. Sick leave, bereavement leave, and such vary a bit but are often available in a professional position.

So one single 17 day vacation might be atypical for an entry level professional position, but easily attainable for a professional with a few years service so long as they schedule over a public holiday.
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Old 08-06-2017, 08:03 PM
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The issue of course is not just this one 17-day vacation, but also the massive amounts of total vacation and golfing time taken within just the first six months of office. This really is unprecedented in modern times, and we have plenty of jobs piling up, not to mention so many vacancies for which the administration has not even named nominees.
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Old 08-06-2017, 08:05 PM
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So one single 17 day vacation might be atypical for an entry level professional position...
I've heard that the presidency is not an entry level position, but I'm not sure the people saying that were talking about the same thing you are there.
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Old 08-06-2017, 08:07 PM
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The issue of course is not just this one 17-day vacation, but also the massive amounts of total vacation and golfing time taken within just the first six months of office.
Exactly how much was that? Please specify what was vacation and which golf outings were during normal working hours.

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This really is unprecedented in modern times
Do you have a cite for that?
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Old 08-06-2017, 08:29 PM
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Aside from all the political comments, it is very unusual for Americans to take 17 vacation days in a row. It certainly does happen, but if you surveyed 100 Americans if they have ever taken that much vacation time not around Christmas, I would think you're looking at certainly single digit responses for how many have ever taken that long a vacation during their careers.

I would also bet that a substantial majority of Americans don't take 17 vacation days during a year, like split up on different trips or whatever.

Last edited by Ravenman; 08-06-2017 at 08:29 PM.
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Old 08-06-2017, 08:42 PM
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I have never gotten more than two weeks per year, and it took 4 or 5 years at the company to earn that much. I work for myself now and can take as much time off as I can afford. 17 days is not excessive. I didn't vote for Trump.

Last edited by Desert Nomad; 08-06-2017 at 08:42 PM.
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Old 08-06-2017, 08:47 PM
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I'd maybe compare it to what is typical for large company CEOs. But I don't see any stats. My purely annecdotal IME is of them not taking much time off at all, but I don't know that many CEOs.
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Old 08-06-2017, 09:03 PM
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Interesting. We have a statutory entitlement to three weeks of after each year worked. After ten years with the same employer, it goes up to four weeks per year.
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Old 08-06-2017, 09:08 PM
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But it's not like the sniping wouldn't be there without the hypocrisy.
True for some people, no doubt. But I for one (and I know there are plenty like me) only care about the hypocrisy. I have no problem with him taking a 17-day vacation, per se. It's hard to imagine any job is more stressful than the US presidency, and of course it's going to follow along whenever and wherever he goes. The first real vacation any president gets is after they are out of office.

I just have a problem with how he constantly jabbed at Obama for golfing and taking vacation. And didn't Trump say he'd be "too busy to play golf"?

(Anyhow, he's just "tired of winning." After his break he'll be refreshed and we can all win some more. Oh boy.)
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Old 08-06-2017, 09:11 PM
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I would also bet that a substantial majority of Americans don't take 17 vacation days during a year, like split up on different trips or whatever.
I found some stats. A recent poll found 28% of Americans took less than 10 days of vacation. 41% took between 10 and 19 days. The average is 16.2 days per year. So I was off there, I think. But I would say that it is very rare to take one vacation during any year of that length.
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Old 08-06-2017, 09:21 PM
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Yeah, it's mostly partisan sniping. I didn't hear complaints from Democrats when Obama took 15 days off. Hard to imagine that 2 days makes a difference. But yeah, he said he wouldn't take vacation as president when he campaigned. He's a hypocrite. But it's not like the sniping wouldn't be there without the hypocrisy.
Partisan sniping would be if the Democrats had raised the issue of Presidential vacations being a sign of a bad President. But it was Trump who did that. This is a self-sniping.

Hypocrisy is the big issue here. Obama took vacations. But Obama never said that taking a vacation was a sign of being a bad President.

Trump did. So if Trump feels good Presidents shouldn't take vacations and he's not taking a vacation, he's conceding he's not a good President. He failing to meet the standards that he set for the job.
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Old 08-06-2017, 09:25 PM
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I found some stats. A recent poll found 28% of Americans took less than 10 days of vacation.
When I was in the Corporate world, we started off with 10 vacation days per year (two weeks). After five years, you got 15 days (three weeks). Where I work now, no vacation the first year, 10 days after that, and 15 days after 10 years.

I used to take less than 10 days per year, and let it accrue. They changed to a 'use or lose' policy, so I take my 10 days. I can't take vacation during the first half of the month, and my boss cringes if I ask for two weeks in a row. On January 1st, I'll get 15 days per year. I have little enough time to use the days I have.
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Old 08-06-2017, 09:39 PM
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Congress is in recess for the entire month of August, so 17 days seems positively workaholic for a President.
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Old 08-06-2017, 09:48 PM
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recess isn't vacation. They have to go back to their home states/districts and meet with their constituents and local government officials.
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Old 08-06-2017, 09:58 PM
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After dealing with the Cheeto-in-Chief for half a year, meeting with angry constituents about health care is a vacation.
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Old 08-06-2017, 10:32 PM
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I have to say that I find the idea of no days off in a year utterly alien and something like five not much better. This thread made me check our local law here in Finland and it mandates 2.5 paid days off per month of working, so 30 per year is the bare minimum. I get 42 days. Sick leave doesn't reduce your vacation days, either.
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Old 08-06-2017, 10:35 PM
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Interesting. We have a statutory entitlement to three weeks of after each year worked. After ten years with the same employer, it goes up to four weeks per year.
In the US, employers don't have to offer any leave. There's zero legal requirement. But they do offer it, because they would not be able to retain staff otherwise.

Same with sick leave. In Thailand, employers must by law offer 30 days of sick leave per year. But employers can ask for a doctor's certificate after three days in a row. But doctor's certificates are easy to obtain for just a few dollars.
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Old 08-06-2017, 10:51 PM
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As noted, Trump can never be truly off work. It follows him wherever he goes.

For a more common explanation, I get 5 weeks off work a year pooled between vacation, sick and personal days. I tend to use it all for vacation but that can cause problems. I got double pneumonia earlier this summer and had to spend my birthday in the emergency room. The doctors wanted to admit me but I don't have backup coverage and I would have had to burn through lots of money and vacation days. It worked out with outpatient treatment but it wasn't ideal. I am fine now.

Still, 5 weeks of maximized vacation is a lot. I go on vacation roughly every two months and I am a master of getting free travel to all sorts of places. The hardest thing is to transition from one to another because as soon as you get back from one, you have to plan for the next one. First world problems.
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Old 08-06-2017, 11:33 PM
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I've never had more than a week at any job that even offered vacation.
What kind of jobs are you working where you only get a week of vacation?
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Old 08-06-2017, 11:51 PM
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I mind more in the sense that once again, he was super critical of Obama and is now doing the same thing.
He even got specific about 17 day vacations in particular.

Last edited by Lord Feldon; 08-06-2017 at 11:54 PM.
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Old 08-07-2017, 12:13 AM
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I found some stats. A recent poll found 28% of Americans took less than 10 days of vacation. 41% took between 10 and 19 days. The average is 16.2 days per year. So I was off there, I think. But I would say that it is very rare to take one vacation during any year of that length.
Why would you say it's "very rare", and what is your definition of "very rare"? Remember that the infamous "17 days" includes weekends, which you don't get to count as "vacation time". So, please flesh out that argument for us.

Last edited by John Mace; 08-07-2017 at 12:17 AM.
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Old 08-07-2017, 12:37 AM
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Interesting. We have a statutory entitlement to three weeks of after each year worked. After ten years with the same employer, it goes up to four weeks per year.
Japanese law dictates ten days for the first year, then one more day per year up until 20 days. Japan also has more holidays per year than the US. A typical company will have 20 to 23 holidays per year, plus the time off.

I haven't read anything negative concerning Trump's vacation which wasn't centered around his attacks on Obama for taking time off and for golfing.

Last edited by TokyoBayer; 08-07-2017 at 12:40 AM.
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Old 08-07-2017, 01:25 AM
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I work in a white-collar job; I've had at least 3 weeks of vacation (i.e., 15 vacation days) since I reached 5 years of service in my first job; in every job I've had since then, if 3 weeks of vacation (at least) weren't part of the initial job offer, I've negotiated to get them.

I currently work at a job where we don't have a formal vacation / PTO policy (which is a new development); before that new policy started last year, I was at 4 weeks of vacation (but, then, I'm also at a Director level, with 28 years of work experience).

That said, in 28 years, I've only taken 2 straight weeks of vacation (which would add up to 17-ish days, including weekends) four times: once for my honeymoon, and two of the other three times were when we took vacations to Europe. It's more common for me to take a week or so at a time, several times over the course of the year.

Last edited by kenobi 65; 08-07-2017 at 01:26 AM.
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Old 08-07-2017, 01:29 AM
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I haven't read anything negative concerning Trump's vacation which wasn't centered around his attacks on Obama for taking time off and for golfing.
Likewise here. Criticism of Trump in this regard is pretty much always about his hypocrisy on the topic.
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Old 08-07-2017, 03:39 AM
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I strongly suspect that he'll spend a lot of the "vacation" in meetings on business deals, schmoozing up political allies (just because you're playing golf doesn't mean you aren't working), and reviewing and approving military operations.

I doubt it's going to be much more restful than sitting in the White House.

No TVs on the golf course. One could almost wish that he simply decided to lead the country while staying on the course.

Last edited by Sage Rat; 08-07-2017 at 03:40 AM.
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Old 08-07-2017, 03:41 AM
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Likewise here. Criticism of Trump in this regard is pretty much always about his hypocrisy on the topic.
Some is also about whether he's using the presidency to promote his private businesses. Quite a lot of Mar-a-Lago members seemed to have access to him earlier this year, and the membership fee doubled in January. And just this weekend he dropped in on a wedding at the golf club in New Jersey. That's not inherently problematic, but brochures for weddings at this club have explicitly advertised the possibility that he would stop by if he was in residence.

Last edited by Lord Feldon; 08-07-2017 at 03:44 AM.
  #39  
Old 08-07-2017, 05:29 AM
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Why would you say it's "very rare", and what is your definition of "very rare"? Remember that the infamous "17 days" includes weekends, which you don't get to count as "vacation time". So, please flesh out that argument for us.
I think I have been clear that it is my opinion that an American taking two and a half weeks off of work at one time is very rare. I can't find any statistics on it. How common do you think it is?
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Old 08-07-2017, 07:15 AM
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I don't know about "very rare", but it's my impression that a couple weeks off at a time is the maximum for the majority of people (I think I've taken more vacation time than that just once).

The "chatter" about Trump's vacation stems largely from 1) generalized anti-Trump sentiment, 2) the time-honored practice of slamming Presidents one doesn't like for sloughing off on vacation, and 3) Trump's record thus far for regular leisure excursions that exceed what past Presidents have done, and for which taxpayers foot a sizable bill.
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Old 08-07-2017, 07:22 AM
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I think I have been clear that it is my opinion that an American taking two and a half weeks off of work at one time is very rare. I can't find any statistics on it. How common do you think it is?
It depends on the field. In my office it's fairly common for people to take a two week vacation in the summer, or even longer if they're going back to India to visit family.
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Old 08-07-2017, 08:25 AM
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Why would we mention weekends?
Because it's a 24/7 job?

In his defense (which I'm reluctant to provide), he is available at all times. There's never a time when the President can't be reached, if necessary.
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Old 08-07-2017, 08:44 AM
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I think I have been clear that it is my opinion that an American taking two and a half weeks off of work at one time is very rare. I can't find any statistics on it. How common do you think it is?
There is a certain culture in some white color jobs in the US that "vacations are for wimps", and there are lots of people (in my experience) who have such high opinions of themselves that they think the just CAN'T take that much time off all at once. But it depends on the field. Of course these days, one rarely ever gets away completely. Most of us have email and text available even on vacation.

As for how rare it is to take 2 weeks of, I don't know. But seeing as how this is GD, I'd try to look up some stats before I weighed in. In your Pit thread you said you couldn't take 2 1/2 weeks off for vacation. Is that because you don't get that much vacation (including paid holidays), are unable to because your boss won't let you, or what? I've taken vacations that long before. Not every year, but I never felt I couldn't do so if I wanted to.

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Because it's a 24/7 job?
But here's the thing. If we're going to claim it's a 24/7 job, then we're going to have to be careful about what we call a "vacation" since the president travels with a staff and has access to everything he needs to do his job during this time. We will never know exactly how much time he spends working, especially since Trump is a notorious night owl. I don't think it makes sense to count every day away from the WW as a vacation.

Last edited by John Mace; 08-07-2017 at 08:47 AM.
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Old 08-07-2017, 08:46 AM
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Because it's a 24/7 job?

In his defense (which I'm reluctant to provide), he is available at all times. There's never a time when the President can't be reached, if necessary.
Therefore he doesn't need to run off to one of his clubs every weekend.
There's the cost of not only flying AF1 and other planes, there's all the loading and unloading of the attending airplanes, vehicles, personnel. There's the disruption to the destination's streets, traffic and businesses.
Cost of lodging the Secret service at his club(the government is paying Trump to house his security and others).

If he really needs to golf, there's 3 courses at Andrews. It's secure and all he needs is a short helicopter flight to get there.
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Old 08-07-2017, 09:10 AM
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Originally Posted by John Mace View Post
As for how rare it is to take 2 weeks of, I don't know. But seeing as how this is GD, I'd try to look up some stats before I weighed in.
Nobody seems to be able to find a cite for whether a single 17 day vacation is a lot, or not a lot, in the US. I offered my opinion, which I think was pretty clearly labelled as an opinion and not a fact. I understand you have an opinion that it is either not a lot or that there is no way to know the answer, but which I cannot tell. If you think it isn't a lot, that's fine, agree to disagree. But I'm starting a poll in IMHO.
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Old 08-07-2017, 09:12 AM
doreen doreen is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by John Mace View Post
There is a certain culture in some white color jobs in the US that "vacations are for wimps", and there are lots of people (in my experience) who have such high opinions of themselves that they think the just CAN'T take that much time off all at once. But it depends on the field. Of course these days, one rarely ever gets away completely. Most of us have email and text available even on vacation.
I'm not sure about most of us having email and text available on vacation. Sure, I do and you do but that leaves a whole lot of people out. Not just the janitors and retail and food service people, but lots of people who don't need to be available 24/7, like accountants. I noticed ( not just here) that people really do live in bubbles and almost don't see the many jobs that operate differently than theirs.

Quote:
As for how rare it is to take 2 weeks of, I don't know. But seeing as how this is GD, I'd try to look up some stats before I weighed in. In your Pit thread you said you couldn't take 2 1/2 weeks off for vacation. Is that because you don't get that much vacation (including paid holidays), are unable to because your boss won't let you, or what? I've taken vacations that long before. Not every year, but I never felt I couldn't do so if I wanted to.
This https://www.bls.gov/opub/btn/volume-...t-20-years.htm has numbers from 2012, but if the average worker with 5 years service in a company has 14 days vacation and one with 10 years has 17, few of them are going to take a single two week vacation in a year. Sure, someone might do it for a special event like a honeymoon or a once in a life-time trip, but most who have three weeks of vacation don't take two weeks in a lump and leave only five days for the entire rest of the year. Seventeen days makes two consecutive weeks a bit more likely, but how many people spend ten years at the same employer nowadays?
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Old 08-07-2017, 09:25 AM
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Back to the OP, just as an anecdote, I am in the IT business, so white-collar job with good benefits. I had been in my career for about 14 years before I took a vacation that was longer than a week. That was my honeymoon. After that I realized how important it is that you completely disconnect from your job at least once a year, and since then I have taken at least one two-week vacation every year. I think there are other fields where time off is more frowned upon, especially where you have to bill hours to clients.

The only people I know who take vacations longer than two weeks are people from other countries who save their vacation all year to take three weeks or so to go back to visit their families. Some of these places take more than 24 hours to get to. I am a senior manager now and we always grant these requests given plenty of advance planning and having backups in place.
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Old 08-07-2017, 09:32 AM
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2015 interview with The Hill:

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Originally Posted by Candidate Donald J. Trump
I would rarely leave the White House because there’s so much work to be done. I would not be a president who took vacations. I would not be a president that takes time off. You don’t have time to take time off.
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Old 08-07-2017, 09:39 AM
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I've seen two valid complaints about the Dear President's vacations.

First, he criticized his predecessor for playing golf and taking vacations, while promising to do neither once he became president. Pure hypocrisy.

Second, his vacations are largely (entirely?) spent at his own commercial properties. He's getting his salary and also collecting rent.

Of course, he's not breaking any laws or regulations with either of these, but I'd like to think the President of the United States should be held to a standard higher than "it's not illegal". It used to be that the Republican Party advocated personal integrity, but that's apparently not a concept the GOP leader is familiar with.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

My current employer starts out giving two weeks of personal time off (combination of vacation and sick time), increasing by one week for every five years worked. And it's required to use all your personal time. Not only can you not carryover extra time, any leftover time is subtracted from your future time. And managers can get in trouble if they hassle employees about taking time off.
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Old 08-07-2017, 09:40 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by doreen View Post
This https://www.bls.gov/opub/btn/volume-...t-20-years.htm has numbers from 2012, but if the average worker with 5 years service in a company has 14 days vacation and one with 10 years has 17, few of them are going to take a single two week vacation in a year. Sure, someone might do it for a special event like a honeymoon or a once in a life-time trip, but most who have three weeks of vacation don't take two weeks in a lump and leave only five days for the entire rest of the year. Seventeen days makes two consecutive weeks a bit more likely, but how many people spend ten years at the same employer nowadays?
Good info. I would not have questioned the claim that "most Americans don't take 2 1/2 weeks vacation all at once", but the claim was that it w as "rare". I also asked to clarify what "rare" meant, because to me it means "single digits, percentage-wise". Most of my experience is in Silicon Valley, so it's probably not typical of the US. Some companies offer a sabbatical every 5-10 years where you are expected to take an extended leave from work.

Also, note that it's common for presidents to take time off in August-- the dead, slow-news time in DC with Congress in recess. Obama spent time on Martha's Vineyard most (every?) years in August. Bush 43, of course, spent days and days and days at his Crawford, TX ranch.
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