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April 10, 2004

Everybody's Working On the Weekend

From the English-to-American Dictionary

holiday n. A holiday for a person in the UK is any time taken off work. For Americans, a vacation is time taken off specifically for yourself and a holiday is time that everyone gets off and they're paid for (Christmas, New Year, Easter, etc.).

I think the same definition of "holiday" applies to Canadians. In Vancouver, however, holidays (where everybody gets time off) seem to be a thing of the past for many, especially those in the retail industry. Many years ago, when I was going to school and working part-time at Save-On-Foods, we used to get Christmas, Boxing Day, and New Year's Day off. Last year, I heard some employees at Urban Fare--an affiliated grocery store--griping about the fact that they had to work every day except for Christmas.

Signs around here advertise that Granville Island is open 7 days a week this week. What are the Easter hours? 9am-6pm, Good Friday, Easter Sunday, Easter Monday...which are the same nine hours that the market is normally opened for. Sorry, no time off for you!

A co-worker who just came back from business in Paris was disgusted by how little our French and British colleagues had to work. While we get 3 weeks off per year for vacation, they get 5 weeks off. In addition, France has legislated a 35-hour working week. In our company, French employees can accrue up to 13 extra vacation days, which means that thay can potentially take 7 weeks off. Apparently, nobody in the Vancouver office dares to schedule a meeting in the summer with a French employee because chances are that he or she will be gone for the entire month of July or August, visiting family en Provence or hiking in the Swiss Alps.

Personally, I think that the more time off, the better. How about a 4-day working week? I can only dream...

Posted by tomi at 10:21 PM in All Work and No Play..., Rants, Rants, Rants | Permalink


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