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Wednesday, October 19, 2005

I need a few days off in October...

How many of you reading this have had to say those words this year?

The Jewish Holidays couldn't have come out any worse. Two days the first week. One the next. And two more for each of the next two weeks. All smack in the middle of the week. From a productivity standpoint, the entire month is shot.

I happen to have a job where I don't have to ask permission for time off. If I need the time, I take it. And I'm fortunate enough to have a partner who's willing to cover me without making a fuss. But each day that I'm gone, while I'm in shul, the work is literally piling up on my desk, waiting for me when I get back. And all the patients that I can't see while I'm off are somehow being crammed into the days when I am there. So that those days are now incredibly hectic. Just thinking about it now is making me nuts.

There are also issues going on with my family in New York, and I'd like to try to find time to get back there, but I just can't now. The truth is that I feel trapped by the Holidays this year, and I can't relax enough to enjoy them in any way. It shouldn't have to be like this.

I'm sure it's worse for many of you, who have to try to get your bosses to understand and give you the time off. I wonder how many Jews are losing their jobs this month?

Well, I'm back in the office tomorrow. Can't wait till they ask me how my "vacation" was.

15 comments:

torontopearl said...

I'm with you--I found this month so stressful just because of needing to confront my boss, show her the Jewish calendar for October and requesting full days and 1/2 days for Erev Yom Tov.

I jokingly said to her (but 1/2 seriously), "Maybe I should just take the whole month of October off as 'short-term disability'". She laughed with me, but no doubt she was cursing inside. Guess you can figure she hasn't been too pleased with my attendance this month...

queeniesmom said...

Hope all is better w/ your family in NY.

We have a new principal at our school, who was very confused when i said i wouldn't be at certain meetings because of the jewish holidays. she looked at me and said but we're off for them - it's always fun trying to explain succot to people. my students are beginning to wonder if i'm ever there between the yom tovim and a family crisis, which thankfully seems to be resolving itself.

hope it wasn't to cold and you had great weather for yom tov.

enjoy the rest of the chag!

Anonymous said...

My teaching schedule (college)has worked out in a way that I am not teaching for nearly a month-- between days when the college is closed and days I had to cancel classes. I have no idea what my students are thinking at this point. In some ways it will be like starting the semester over next Thursday.

Steg (dos iz nit der šteg) said...

And to think that me and my colleagues at our Jewish school are complaining about not getting off for hhol hamo‘eid... :-P

PsychoToddler said...

You wouldn't believe how much grief I'm getting from my ORTHODOX patients because I can't get them in as easily this month.

Sheesh!

BrooklynWolf said...

At least you know that next Tishrei will be easier... you only need the one day for Yom Kippur. The rest of the Yomim-Tovim are all Shabbos-Sunday.

The Wolf

Essie said...

Thank goodness my employer nevers questions when I need to take off, but productivity is basically shot this month. Every time I get back to work and start something, I remember that in 2 days I'll be out again so why bother?

Anne said...

I've had bosses who wouldn't even give me the High Holy Days off. People assume that if you're the least bit assimilated, then you're wholly an athiest and the holidays don't matter. If I ever go back to the regular work force, I'm going to get it in writing that I can take Jewish holidays off and need never work on Shabbat.

That way, I can threaten to file an EEOC complaint if I'm forced to violate it.

Then again, with my attitude, I'll probably never get hired again.

Stacey said...

I have worked here 10 years and they still don't get the fact that I take off every Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur.

In fact, this year all employees only had to work a half-day and were treated to a fancy lunch and a day of fun playing whirlyball -- on Rosh Hashanah. And when I reminded them of why I wouldn't be there, they looked stunned that'd I'd miss all the fun.

They just don't get it.

Wickwire said...

In our winter ceremonies, we have certain prayers we do at daybreak that involves drums, baskets, rattles, feathers, cedar, water, and face paint. We go there, do our prayers, then change and take off our paint to go to work. Two different worlds clashing. Those are the times I wish I didn't have a job or had understanding employers. Those are the times I envy elders who get to stay in the longhouse. I want to stay too.

PsychoToddler said...

Except for the face paint, it sounds a lot like when I go to minyan in the morning and then go to work.

Jack's Shack said...

I have had my share of moments educating my employers about the chagim.

Ralphie said...

I think this is one of those times where we, well, ok, I, benefit from multiculturalism out here in California. I've never had a problem (kenahora) with this, as long as I have enough vacation days (in the old days, I'd take 'em as unpaid leave, but no longer, not with a mortgage and day school tuition).

In fact, this summer my boss asked me about the holidays b/c he was scheduling some multi-day, all-day seminars and wanted to be sure they didn't conflict! He moved the whole shebang to November, even.

But, yes, productivity is way down.

And, next year, we'll all be complaining that we don't have Sundays to get anything done at home...

Doctor Bean said...

First of all, Ralphie: Your picture still cracks me up.


B. Last year I got soooo fed up with the fact that I was losing income during all the holidays while paying Jewish day school a gazillion dollars so my kids could be home on vacation, much of which would be spent in shul [synagogue]. I want to tell you the solution / compromise / cop out that I decided then, but I'm already enough of a heretic here, so maybe I'll check with b&c first.

Shira Salamone said...

I'll never forget my second boss telling me that he'd had Orthodox Jews working for him before and he'd never had anyone take off for a holiday named, er, what? So I said the only logical thing: "Then they weren't Orthodox."

There are some definite advantages to working for a Jewish organization. I may not get paid when I don't work on the chagim--after all, I'm still a temp., and temps. *never* get paid when they don't work, even if the reason is that the whole office is closed--but at least I don't have the annual song-and-dance with applying for leave, counting my vacation days, and explaining the holiday to the boss and/or the co-workers for the umpteenth time.

Um, er, what day of the week is this? I've lost track at least twice this week.