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Sabbatical

nerudite

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I just found out that the City I work for offers a program where over a six-year time period you can put away a portion of your paycheck toward a one-year sabbatical starting on the seventh year. I find this incredibly intriguing.

The way that things are going these days, I probably will never see an "early" retirement... so maybe this is the new thing to do? Travel while you are young enough that you'll still enjoy it... it sounds so good!

Does anyone else have this type of program, and have you ever used it?
 

Chet

Cyburbian Emeritus
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I dont see that happening by us. Is this a paid sabatical? I assume so since you put away a portion of your check.

I cant even take off 3 days without the rest of the staff going postal. Likewise, when prudence leaves for a week at the end of this month, I expect to be a bigger a-hole than normal. :)

Leaving for an extended period would not be blessed by the powers that be, and it would be worse bringing in a temp to train than leaving the spot empty!
 

Cardinal

Cyburbian
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10,080
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I have to agree with Chet. I once took two consecutive weeks off from work, and was blasted for it (granted, some other things were at play there). I find it hard enough to get away for a week without having to check my e-mail and voice mail, which I should not have to do on vacation, but some people seem to expect it.

On the other hand, I would love the chance to take an extended period off. I'm young enough and healthy enough to do things now that I probably wont by the time I'm seventy. (Forget sixty-five, it won't be an option to anyone under fifty right now.)
 

Habanero

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3,241
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it makes me nervous when I see people take off for over a week- we've got one such planner that was on a month vacation and now he's on a two week vacation. I had a hard time taking today off knowing I'm going to play catch up tomorrow. I have no idea how I'd deal maternity leave in the future, let alone a full year off.
 

Chet

Cyburbian Emeritus
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Habanero said:
I have no idea how I'd deal maternity leave in the future, let alone a full year off.
We just dealt with that in our small dept. As the boss, trust me, we (and hopefully all) deal with it just fine. With 6 months lead time on a 9 month event, and 4 months guaranteed FLMA time off, everyone adjusts department goals an expectations.

We went into a "holding pattern". All non-rep employees are getting merit reviews based on "not falling behind" rather than on achieving goals they otherwise would have had.

I'm quite happy with my employees - despite a bit of crunch time on must-do projects, everyone took the work load in stride and respected the situation.
 

Jeff

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Just got back from a 2 weeker and it was great...but I found myself getting bored. I wouldn't mind the sabattical thing if I could break it up into several 1 week+ vacations for when i start my unpaid professional cycling career.
 

donk

Cyburbian
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I have to mimic everyone else's comments. We have staff that leave for extended periods of time and the work load increase is unfair on everyone else. I think it maybe just me.

Also my desk is the place that all problem cases end up, so being away for a few weeks and knowing what I would have to come back to does not make taking extended time off an option. I even cashed out a weeks vacation last year that I did not use. That being said I do enjoy my long weekends and could not imagine having less then the 3 weeks vacation I get now plus holidays.
 

nerudite

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It is a paid sabbatical (since it's your money that they are putting away), but you have to pay your own insurance, etc. while you are gone. Since there would be a year of salary savings, don't you think that a contract planner could be brought in for part of that time? I mean... you have six years to plan out the transition. I have known quite a few people that have taken extended leaves of absence for about four months max, which they worked out with their employer (usually for foreign missions, travel, etc.). You all must have some hard-ass employers... nobody has ever been hassled for a month off at any of the other places I have worked.

Edit: I forgot to mention that our employer gives us three weeks vacation per year to start. Of those three weeks, two of the weeks needs to occur in one big chunk. The City frowns upon the little day here, day there kind of vacation use and wishes employees to take off for longer chunks to actually get the benefit of vacation (rest, time away, stress reduction).
 

Chet

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nerudite said:
Since there would be a year of salary savings, don't you think that a contract planner could be brought in for part of that time? I mean... you have six years to plan out the transition. I have known quite a few people that have taken extended leaves of absence for about four months max, which they worked out with their employer (usually for foreign missions, travel, etc.). You all must have some hard-ass employers... nobody has ever been hassled for a month off at any of the other places I have worked.
We run a tight ship. Other than Federally required paid or unpaid family medical leave, we can not have people gone that long.

Further, we have a use-it-or-lose-it vacation time accrual. You have 12 months to use accrues time, or *poof* its gone. They don't want to book more liabilities than they can reasonably pay outof contingency funds.

I would not want a 12 month temp. It would take me 6 months to train them, and my experience is they are not committed to the job.
 
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I would love to have that option to take a year sabbatical, but it just wouldn't ever happen here in my position. My employer does offer the sabbatical for other non-professional positions - unpaid. but still.

My boss is very cool with my maternity leave coming up. However, several town board members and local rabble rousers have already started making comments about how my work is going to get done while I'm gone. And they aren't even aware that I'm coming back only part time for about 5 months after I get back from my 3 month FMLA leave. sigh.
 

Cardinal

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I think the problem is that most of us are in small offices, or perhaps in management. It is harder for a department manager to take the time off because of the added responsibility and the need to make decisions. With smaller offices, there are not as many people to do the work. If I am gone, other department managers end up taking on some of my work, just as I do when they are gone. Over the short term it is not too much, especially when I can simply say "You'll have to wait for so-and-so to get back." Over a long period of time, it would be a huge burden. While getting a sub in might help, who would train them? I m the only one at the city who knows most of what I do. I know my board and the council, and what they will approve. I know the people, businesses, properties, etc. A temp could never come in and pick up where I left off. That said, a year off would be awfully nice. Maybe between jobs?
 

jmf

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594
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Michael Stumpf said:
That said, a year off would be awfully nice. Maybe between jobs?
I thought I would have a month off between jobs one time....damned if I didn't even get a week. I know I am lucky to be able jump from one job to another with no problem but I wanted a break!!

In some ways, I can't see that a sabbactical would be too hard around here - although i don't know of many places which would consider it. At my old job we had one person who took July and August off two years in a row. She did the payroll though so she was in once every two weeks for a few hours to do that.
 

donk

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Downtown and other pregos's.

Maternity leave up here is a total of 1 year and either spouse can take all or part of it. There is a move afoot to increase it to 2 years.

To nerudite, I would not find 2 weeks off as relaxing or stress relieving, work would be on my mind the entire time and knowing that I would be coming back to it would kill the fun.
 

nerudite

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donk said:
To nerudite, I would not find 2 weeks off as relaxing or stress relieving, work would be on my mind the entire time and knowing that I would be coming back to it would kill the fun.
I rarely ever think about work when I'm away. If I'm away there is nothing I can do... nor would I want to. Worrying about work while I'm supposed to be relaxing only makes me less productive when I get back to the job.
 

Tranplanner

maudit anglais
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7,903
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35
I don't know the exact details, but sabbaticals are an option here. One guy right now is away for six months. I think he did something like in Nerudite's example, where he received about 75% of his pay for a certian period leading up to the sabbatical, and then continued at the 75% rate during the time off.

Donk - are you sure about the two year mat. leave? I thought it had just gone from six months to one year... You have to go on Employment Insurance for part of that time too - the employer doesn't pay for the whole shot.
 

jresta

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haha - man, i love what i do but i'm perfectly content with leaving it at work. If my employer wants or needs me to take my work home or on vacation with me they can start paying me for it.

I'm thinking of taking my own little "sabatical" next year. Going to Barcelona for 4 months to round out my spanish education. I'll have a months vacation saved and i don't plan on getting paid for the other 3.

If they replace me . . . so be it. I guess that's just the difference between having kids and not.
 

smarty

Cyburbian
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88
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4
Sabbatical Sickness..................

From what I see in this line of posting is pretty dang funny. Funny in a psychotic American 'work ethic' way. Americans are currently working more hours than anyone else in the world, more than the Japanese. I find the canadian self paid sabbatical refreshing. When I take vacation I meet people from canada, australia, holland, britian, they all take a MANDATORY PAID MONTH OFF, and it's typically ENCOURAGED by the employer and other employees help take up the slack.

Hearing that someone can't, or isn't allowed, or feels guilty, taking their vacation time is screwed. That's one of the main reasons I still work for the government, the vacation time. I'm not real crazy about my job, but the vacation and benefits outweight the complaints.

For supervisors not to encourage vacation time seems like very poor management. Why on earth would you want some poor bastard shagged out after working for three years straight only getting the normal government holidays off, looking forward to 'getting an extra day off for the BIG four day-er'. That's insane.

Like Moses told Pharoh 'let me people go' on a friggin' vacation. Probably make them alot happier knowing they didn't have to get email/voicemail, worry about projects, etc. If you can't leave it at work, can't take your vacation, are made to feel guilty about taking your vacation, have a use it or lose it situation, why would a person want to work there. I'm sure that Kathy Lee Gifford has a sweat shop opening..........

Whatever happened to co-worker support??? From most of the posts on this site, the majority seem to feel they are over worked, under paid, under appreciated, stomped on public servants/slaves. Let people take their dang vacation.......the longer the better. If someone here earns the vacation, we all try to help out with the extra work, and really it never amounts to much extra for such a short time.

I feel for Chet, Donk and Micheal S.........sounds like a nice mexican beach vacation is just what you need. I only spent a week surfing in mexico and it was the best week I had in years.
Looking forward to two weeks in Italy next spring and three weeks in Japan in Fall of '04.
 
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Cardinal

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Yeah, frankly I resent that some (not all) people expect me to check in and handle things while I am on vacation. ("Hey, maybe you can take a stab at writing something up while you're on the plane.") It helps that I often go off into the wilderness. ("Sorry, there's no cell phone coverage at the bottom of the canyon, or even on the mesa.")
 

donk

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Mine's a personality foible, related to loyalty and duty. No one else in my office feels the way I do, but then again I am consistently told I should feel lucky to have my job and being doing as well as I am in life (if they only knew).

I also hate stress and pressure, to avoid these items I work to get things done in a timely manner (my timely manner not the calendars). Coming back from a vacation means that I can't work at the pace I like to to ensure the work is done so I am satisfied, therefore it causes me stress and pressure that I don't like.

I also am not trusting of some of my coworkers to collect the info I need to process applications. The number of times I have had to chase people down for more info is too many to count. I then look like the fool. No thanks.
 

SW MI Planner

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I was kind of worried about the maternity leave thing, but it helps to be protected by FMLA. I plan on taking the full three months off. (To bad I wasn't in Canada!). Before I started here, there was a three month lapse without a planner and the engineer and his secretary held down the fort just fine.

They are pretty good about it here and I am the only planner. I don't even have a secretary or anything. I feel that I earn my vacation and sick time, so darn it, I'm going to use it.

Having said that I am glad I got pregnant when I did, so I will be off in Jan, Feb, and March, which are all pretty slow (starts picking up in March). Nov - Jan would have been best, but oh well. I think even if I could take more time off, I don't know that I would. I think 6 months to a year is a little excessive and not fair to other coworkers.
 

michaelskis

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We get 2 weeks vacation, 2 days of personal, 14 paid holidays, and comp time. This year, I will take about a month or so off. I just got back from a 5 day weekend, and I will be on vacation for a week and a half starting next thursday.

But, I am the only trained GIS person in the office, so I have a feeling that I will have more than one call when I am gone, as well as have a pile of work stacked up for me when I get back.
 
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SW MI Planner said:

Having said that I am glad I got pregnant when I did, so I will be off in Jan, Feb, and March, which are all pretty slow (starts picking up in March). Nov - Jan would have been best, but oh well
I've had more than one towns person comment that I timed this pregnancy just right - I'm off Dec, Jan, Feb, our slowest months, and not until after we hold our community meetings for our comp plan effort.

As for covering for other planners, December is ghost town time. The town only lets you roll over 420 hours of vacation time (60 days) and if you don't use it the remainder, you lose it. So the guys that are accruing 3 weeks a year and have maxed out their roll over, they're off every thurs. and fri. in december, just so they don't lose it. My boss also frequently takes off the entire month of November because there are 4 holidays that month, so you're maximizing your vacation days.
 

pandersen

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Holidaze

Me:
I've been on the job in my current position for just over 3 years now and I started with 3 weeks per year. This year, I get one additonal week bringing the total to 4 weeks.

I spend a lot of time at evening meetings and don't get paid any overtime, but am permitted to take some "time in lieu" as well.

The trick in my office is scheduling holidaze in such a manner that there is sufficient coverage to keep the paper flowing. 3 planners in my office look after 48 municipalities. Oh yeah, did I forget to mention that I'm low man on the pole in terms of seniority. The other two planners in my office have 25 years each on the job and get 6 weeks holidaze a year.

Overall, everything works out alright as I prefer to break my holidays into 2 parts - a couple of week at Christmas and a couple of weeks during the summer.
 

Mud Princess

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Michael Stumpf said:
Yeah, frankly I resent that some (not all) people expect me to check in and handle things while I am on vacation. ("Hey, maybe you can take a stab at writing something up while you're on the plane.") It helps that I often go off into the wilderness. ("Sorry, there's no cell phone coverage at the bottom of the canyon, or even on the mesa.")
This is exactly why I still don't have a cell phone. My time should be my time. I don't want to be at anyone's beck and call!

'Smarty' is right. Americans get far too little time off. No wonder we have road rage, people shooting their bosses, and all those other examples of extreme hostility.
 

smarty

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Thanks Mud Princess...........I can't recall the last time I was 'right'!!!!

I realized over the weekend that I can take some of my work home and thought that I might have been a tad bit harsh, but I'm not sorry for what I vented.

I don't have a cell phone either, and I most CERTAINLY wouldn't give that number to my office. Once I'm gone, I'm GONE. half day, whole day whole week......don't even THINK about trying to get me.

Donks foible is fine with him, he realizes it and I have a co-worker that's the same way. But he recently went to Costa Rica for two weeks and I think he realized that he needs to get out more.

Dunno, I just think that the average american really works to much out of guilt or the saying of 'be happy you have a job'. Great, I have a job, but I'm loading my gun, driving my SUV, complaining on my cell, while eating a McJackKing sandwich and drinking my triple tall mocha orange decaf nonfat extra whip on the side latte, yelling at the jerk in front of me slowing down in a school zone under construction..............................

Maybe this is another Topic Thread.......The Insanity of the American Work Force???
 

donk

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My personality foible, is fine with me, unfortunately others see my loyalty and sense of responsibility and commitment as a way to shirk their duties or as a thing that can be exploited.
 
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