Tuesday, 26 June 2012

Work cultural clash, short remarks

So a couple of weeks ago we were out with a German girl, she has been here 3 years and as her visa expires she'll have to leave by the end of July. She is a teacher so she has vacation now and will be traveling in July. She was telling us how her boyfriend who lives in Germany was not able to come visit her because his company does vacation 3 weeks in August and he thus is not able to get time off any other time during the summer. Our (or my) response to that was ‘Oh my God,that is sooo crazy! How can that be? How can they force him to take three weeks of vacation in August? That is terrible! I could not live with that” etc. etc..
Then on Friday night we went to one of my colleague’s home to have dinner with her and her husband and Carrie and her husband. There we learnt that Americans have two weeks of vacation A YEAR and that it, many places, is frowned upon to take both weeks (or any vacation at all)… I guess the German way does not sound so bad compared to that… I am amazed that this is reality in the States. Even though Michael is a little more understanding (I guess we do reduce productivity or effectively during June, July, and August as we all take turns going on vacation), I do not think he would want it any other way (at least not the American way).


  1. Laura,

    I didn't know you had a blog... stumbled on it while looking to see if Michael had posted any pics from your trip.

    Vacation varies in the US. For most, companies, there is an escalating scale, not the 4 weeks that is automatic (according to the rumors we receive in the US of the plush arrangements you have...) I started with 12 days of vacation and another 10 holidays. After 15 years, my vacation allotment per year is maxed out at 25 days per year. My company allows me to carry over hours from one year to the next, which most companies don't. I can have a total of 8 weeks in my account.

    True, since we don't force or encourage holiday periods such as August in Germany, it is tough for a company to handle a valued employee leaving for 4 weeks. Two weeks is common though.

    My 2 Ore....

    1. I'm glad to hear that it's not all Americans that are stuck with 2 weeks ;-D We have a great trip, not much Internet coverage though (or cell coverage for that matter). We try to post pics whenever we have Internet! Looking forward to seeing you on July 30!