Vacation Nation

At least they waited until the vacation season was over. In what can only be seen as an attempt to stage a hilarous end of summer practical joke, the spokeswoman for a small business entrepreneur association has actually suggested that Germans go on vacation too much and that they should cut their annual leave time down from six weeks to four.

Cutting vacation time in Germany? Hardy, har, har. That’s a good one.

Es gibt Themen, bei denen verstehen die Deutschen keinen Spaß.

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4 responses

  1. Maybe we can start with the professionally unemployed. I’m always surprised, though I’m not sure why now, to see someone on t.v. described as “Arbeitssuchend” that still managed to purchase a t.v. nicer than mine and seems to be in no shortage of new clothes. If your holiday lasts longer than a season of Big Brother, it’s time to find something to do during the day.

    On a side note, I’m surprised to find out that such a mercantilist country like Germany would even allow enough small businesses to exist that they would require their own association.

  2. On an even more random side note, I just got back from my wonderful 2 1/2 week vacation to Israel. Some German behind me in the second security check had somehow managed to forget he was boarding an aircraft and stuck a 30 cm pair of scissors in his carry on. When confronted by 3 rather upset looking security officers, he was only able to manage a timid “whoops!” as consolation. While the desire to engage in some high quality arts and crafts must be great on any trips so far away from the Father land, why, zum Teufel would he bring something so monstrous along to a country that has, let’s just say, a rigourous security process? Could he never rest until he had made a paper maché of the manger scene in the city where it actually happened? Did he want to prune anybody’s hedge? Did he want to take out a couple of Jews for old time’s sake? What gives?

  3. How stupid are people, really? Don’t they realize that no-one really “gives them” time off?

    Let’s say your work/year comprises 2080 hours, out of which 80 are “paid” vacation days. What you’re getting in reality is 2000 hours of pay adjusted to 2080 paid hours.

    It that 2080 hours of pay is derived from 1840/2080 instead, which is the case in “generous” Germany, then you shouldn’t be surprised to get paid in aggregate 8% less – before taxes, that is. Which looks even more absurd given that the lower take home pay in Germany also yields less purchasing power and lower productivity, a calculation founded entirely in pay-to-output.

    This is what I tell the pups at work: you can take all the vacation time that reasonably can, just don’t expect to get paid for it: work hard and play hard all you like, if that’s what you like. We aren’t going to get as obsessed about your “leistung”. Then again, if one is prone to board a plane with hedge clippers or pruning shears, maybe they should…

    Welcome home, Jacob! I hope you took to higher elevations in Israel, given the coastal heat and dust this time of year.

    • No. I was hot and dusty the whole time. They are experiencing a massive heat wave, which I was lucky enough to catch. I felt like I was marinating every time I stepped outside.

      As for me, I’m self-employed, so the holiday/pay ratio is immediately obvious. Of course, new EU plans to declare vacationing an official “right” seems a bit strange to me; they want to pay to send young and poor Europeans abroad to learn about other countries, all on my dime. Italy must be even nicer when some other sucker is back in Bargteheide paying for it.

      German take home pay is extremely low anyway. I’m still shocked when I hear what some people my age with University degrees are making. What can you really do with 1,300 Euros a month when you are 30? When I explain, that adjusted for cost of living, I made more money bagging groceries when I was 17 people really have a hard time believing me.

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