Employees with children getting preferential vacation treatment

Employees with children getting preferential vacation treatment

Employees with children getting preferential vacation treatment

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by Rozanne "Roze" Worrell

WVEC.com

Posted on November 6, 2012 at 4:56 PM

Dear Roze:

 
Although I’m not the least bit surprised with what I’m about to complain about, I am upset and I get upset no matter how many times (three and counting!) it happens.  I just can’t get used to it.  The holidays are right around the corner and my boss gives preferential treatment to the employees who have kids.  Just because I’m childless doesn’t mean spending time with my family is any less important.  Everyone’s families are local, so no one leaves town for the holidays.  I manage to get some decent time off at Christmas because there are a lot more days to work around, but I always get ripped off at Thanksgiving and that’s a big holiday in my family.  I put my vacation request in for the Wednesday before and the Friday after Thanksgiving back in January, way before anyone else in my office was even thinking about the holidays.  Now, everyone else has put in their requests and my boss has asked if I wouldn’t mind taking my vacation at another time since someone has to be physically on site and available to our clients at all times.  I’m no idiot.  Even though my boss asked me, I don’t think it will be good for my career if I refuse.  There’s one other person in our office that has no kids, but he’s married, so he’s never asked to give up his vacation.  I jokingly tell people I’m a second-class employee who will remain single if I continue to have to work when everyone else is off.
 
Not real thankful
 
Dear Not real thankful:
 
I feel your pain.  I had a similar situation in the beginning of my career.  I found my supervisors and co-workers were more sympathetic when they realized I had no family in the area.  You are fortunate everyone’s family is local, and it sounds like you have been working with the same group of people for quite some time.  Several ideas come to mind if your co-workers are not the sole parents to their children.  You have nothing to lose if you ask your boss to consider doing one of the following things:  One, to check and see if any of the other employees would be willing to take only one of those days off so you could have the other day.  Two, to approach those employees whose kids are now of an age where they would not be as heartbroken if their parent was not home on those days.  Three, to consider rotating the responsibility of working those two days amongst all the employees.  Or four, consider doing a lottery.  
 
Regardless of what happens, I hope you have a wonderful holiday!
 
Dear Roze:
 
I’ve been a stay-at-home mom for almost ten years.  The recession has impacted my husband’s business a lot, so I’ve decided to get back into the workforce.  I’m already applying for jobs and going on interviews.  My children are nine, eight, and five.  I worked in various industries before I had kids and most of it dealt with inside or outside sales, so I’m applying for technical sales jobs.  I know it’s going to be a big adjustment for our family, but I think it’s what needs to be done.  A couple of my family members think I’m making a mistake and should wait until all my kids are in high school.  They think it will negatively impact them and that I will go crazy trying to do it all - be the perfect mom and a successful sales executive.  I’d like to know if you think I’m doing the right thing and if you think it can be done.      
 
Want to do it all
 
Dear Want to do it all:
 
I cannot tell you if you have made the right decision.  This is a very personal decision for you and your husband to make.  If you were one of my clients, I still would not tell you whether or not you had made the right decision.  I would, however, ask you a boat load of questions to make sure you have thoroughly thought about the way this change will affect so many aspects of your children’s lives and your husband’s life as well as yours.  Hopefully, the two of you have already had some very deep discussions concerning this matter, identifying all the pros and cons.  
 
I am a big proponent of list making.  I suggest you create a list that delineates the pros and cons. Since your family’s financial situation is prompting you to make this change, make sure your list includes all the new financial obligations your family will incur when you go back to work.  You want to be sure it is in fact cost effective.  And of course, be sure to identify and discuss all the other possible changes and potential issues that may arise for each family member and you.  As far as being able to do it all and do it very well, I believe it is impossible to do everything without something or more than one thing being sacrificed and/or compromised at some level.
 
I wish you and your family the very best!
 
© 2012 Rozanne R. Worrell
 

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