chelsea cookOften it has been said that you Americans just don’t know how to relax. Then almost the same people will tell us that you Americans are lazy and don’t work hard enough. Without calling any names, I think there is a discrepancy in what “they” are telling us.
Now, I want to be careful here and not hurt any feelings, but I think the problem lies in the teller, not the tellee. But if they can make us feel guilty about how we live, then it is easier for them to make us into what they want, not what we want. It is possible that I may start a movement, collect donations to run a publicity campaign and urge all Americans to take more time off without guilt. You are going to have to help me come up with a name.
U.S. citizens, except for members of the U.S. Congress, take less vacation/holiday time than almost anywhere else on Earth. And since you brought up that subject, members of Congress seem to have this holiday time down to an art. In 2015 they were in session 140 days, give or take one/two. But remember, there are only 365 days in a year so they worked (-?-) a little over on-third of the time. Now let us compare that with the general public who is faced with the task of providing salary and millions for expenses for this hard working group.
After all, those over worked servants of the people passed all those legislative items they were scheduled to work on. That omnibus immigration reform must have taken... oh, wait, they didn’t pass that or work on it. But they sure strove to get the veterans what they deserve. Oh, not that either? But our national Supreme Court got their full attention and the committee di... Oh? The longest period in our nation’s history without a full Supreme Court? What did they do other than have one member tell us they needed a raise because living on a six figure income and a million plus expense was too difficult. But, he quickly adds, there are 104 weekend days and 10 Federal holidays per year so we are down to 251 work days. Why, those “nose to the grindstone” employees of ours worked almost fifty percent of the time. Poor babies.
But that is my point - assuming there is one. Most Americans work too hard and too long. Many, many people now take their laptop with them and continue working everywhere. Some of us, wellsir, at least one of us, believe that is one major reason our national spirit is low and our morale is very low.
We, as a people, are over stressed and have lost the ability to relax. Too many old curmudgeons criticize people who “stop and smell the roses.” Old curmudgeons come in all ages and sizes, it is a mental rather than an age thing.
As I was getting older, I greatly hesitate to use the term”growing up” as some say it never happened, I knew old curmudgeons who were in their 20’s. When I get old I sincerely hope I don’t get curmudgeonly.
Looking at some other countries, our Congress would fit in with some and one can see what they think of us. Quoting Wikipedia: "In the majority of nations, including all industrialized nations except the United States, advances in employee relations have seen the introduction of statutory agreements for minimum employee leave from work—that is the amount of entitlement to paid vacation and public holidays.
Several companies will offer contractually more time, depending on the sector.” Afghanistan gets 35 paid leave days, Austria gets 38 paid days, Canada gets only 16, China gets 16 and down toward the bottom of the list is the United States with a whopping -0-. Leave time in the U.S. is up to the employer as there is NO national vacation time as in almost every other country on earth.
So, now that summer is over, most people are back to work after a long, leisurely five or six day break interrupted only by getting another couple of reports ready. Actually, I think it verges on being criminal in those companies where employees are afraid to be gone as their boss would replace them.