It Hurts to Work on July 5th

It's like working on New Year's Day. I'm not hungover, but I was partying under fireworks last night. At least in 2008 and 2009, Independence Day falls on a Friday and Saturday, respectively. And in 2010, it falls on a Sunday, but we will have the following Monday off.

The last time we had Independence Day on a Wednesday was in 2001. Oh shit. Another bad sign. And yes, that means that 11 September comes on the Tuesday the week after Labor Day. The same exact day al Qaeda chose to ensure everyone was back in their cubicles. The planes arrived too early, thankfully, or else more than 3,000 civilians would have been killed. Why didn't those guys pick later flights? I always wondered. Was it a distinctly American thing to be at one's desk at 9am? Is that what they thought? Or maybe they thought that security was lax for the flight designed specifically for business travelers? They chose the perfect day, but the wrong time. I got to work early that day. Not everyone was as punctual that day, and was saved as a result.


I don't need to be at work today or tomorrow (and my company doesn't need me here these two days, either). But here I am.

And then a little slap from the European Trade Union Institute comes-in on my wire service this morning. It calls the USA the "No Vacation Nation". I love the Europeans, but who the fuck asked them for their opinion? Piss off, please. I'm at work!

I was enjoying my espresso in peace until that story caught my eye.

But then I re-read it, and they have an excellent point. The USA cannot claim to have higher worker productivity if it's low-income workers take fewer than ten vacation days per year. I personally have UK-style benefits, with 23 vacation days available each year. But most Americans either don't have that available, or are unable to take all of those days off (because of children, elderly parents, or simply an under-staffed department).

And the report is mirrored by a Washington think tank this morning as well. So it is not just the Europeans who are telling us what's up.