Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Personal Days

Okay, the HR department where I work sucks. I know some of you probably admire people in your company's HR department (well, probably because you run it). For most of us, HR is the department that keeps us from hiring the person we want to hire, keeps our relatives from getting through the screening process while the Media Relations Director's bum child gets a cushy job, or takes away our vacation time because the new fiscal year has started.

I saw a blogger who said the other day (just to piss me off, I am sure), "I hate having my vacation and sick time lumped together in personal time because when I am sick and take a day off, it is one less day for me to take as vacation, where I can go to some secluded island and buy overpriced drinks.

Okay, I probably got the quote wrong, but it still pissed me off. And we should be focusing on my emotions, not some guy (or gal) with what he/she thinks is a hard luck situation that I would kill for. Okay, I would selectively kill (the HR director; maybe the media director). The point is that I would love for all my leave to be "personal leave." I mean, if you are puking in an old pot by the couch while listening to Dr. Phil tell a psycho-Mom how she is screwing up her children's lives, it reeks of being personal anyway.

You see, I am a Catholic, so I have a heightened sense of shame. That's good for some things, but bad when calling in "sick" because it is 90 degrees outside, I am not feeling bloat-y, and a neighbor is house-sitting a relatives place on Tybee Island.

I go to work most days, eager to write blog entries, take phone messages, and move paper from one pile to the next. That's sort of my life. It would be a bit nicer if I could use my hundreds of hours of accrued sick leave to visit nearby cities (by myself or with my hubbie), stay home and read all day, or just spend the day window shopping.

I mean, if I am away from work, does it make a difference if I am convalescing because I caught the flu the one year I did not get my flu shot or if I am drinking margaritas down in Florida?

I am sure someone in HR got a bonus by drafting a position paper stating that sick days and vacation days should remain separate because we have hired a bunch of ethical schleps who feel shame when calling in sick. If we were less honest, perhaps we would have personal days. Well, that's what I am telling myself. As I write this blog on company time.

Oh, yeah, HR makes those memoranda concerning "Internet usage" as well. I am sure some guy in HR is surfing over to the Dilbert page (or "bodacious ta-ta thumbnails") as I type this. I feel a bit sick. Cough. Cough.


74WIXYgrad said...

HR folks are usually those who are legends in their own minds. They look at themselves as Arnold Swarzenegger(sp?) and we usually look at them as Drew Carey.

Deb said...

Years and years of working in corporate offices made me sick-----permanently. My last day stuck in a cubicle begging to take a 15 minute break because I felt dizzy and nauseous. They refused and told me to keep pressing on. I did. I passed out and woke up in the hospital because HR/management/union leaders didn't give a rat's ass about employees' well being, they cared about meeting their numbers only.

I never went back, even knowing that I'd be financially crippled for a long time. In the end, it paid off after hard years of working to get where I wanted to be and finally out of the bowels of the cubicle hell.

I totally feel your pain.

Grant said...

I like it when companies give you all of your time off lumped together instead of making you break it into sick vs. personal vs. vacation days. The old system screwed you if you were honest and healthy. The downside is that I saw many companies create the time bank (as they called it), but then used the justification that not everyone needed all of their time to reduce everyone's days off. For instance, one former employer decided that 10 days vacation, 2 personal days, and 3 sick days would become a total of 12 days off because, if you were honest, you probably wouldn't need all five emergency days.

My current employer simplified things even further by eliminating all sick and personal days, all holidays, and reducing vacation to 5 days (which must be used on the holidays if you wish to be paid for them - working through the holiday is not an option). However, they have identified 6 holidays during the year, so basically most workers here have to work every day of the year except the main holidays, and then they still lose one day of pay. I've been here long enough to be grandfathered in to having 10 days of vacation (w00t!), but I still lose all the others.

Redneck jihad on HR!

Leesa said...

WIXY: the HR people have lots of power where I work.

Deb: if the company makes you sick, shouldn't it pay for your days off? Just wondering.

Grant: More and more, I think employers are giving people lots of time off. When they let them go permanently.

LarryLilly said...

I work for the feds. So when i am NOT reading blogs, I am giving some company a living hell, so i am better off reading blogs. Get my drift.

But I digress. We get sick time and annual time. Annual you cant exceed 240 hours past year end but sick you can accumulate forever. But when you leave, retire, go elsewhere, you get paid for the annual, but you kiss goodbye your sick. Which is why when people near retirement they get retirement flu, a debilitating illness where its like NFL time, a hour is a day a day a week and OMG a heart attack takes months to get over.

So I feel ya pain. I have to hurry cause I need to take off early today and get my will notarized. No really, i have to get my will notarized. LOL But by not working I am helping America use its stimulus money. Otherwise i will write you a permit from hell!

Leesa said...

Larry: I wonder how many people do get the retirement flu.

Deb said...

They eventually did, Leesa. ;-) They compensated me for a year after that.

Dr. Deb said...

A day off is a day off in my mind.

Ian Lidster said...

Be good to yourself, darling, and go home. I couldn't agree more with what you write, and the galling thing in doing my counseling gig is I have to deal with social workers, and they are all HR types in spades and I simply want to smack them much of the time.
The HR weasel in the series The Office is just perfect.

Knot said...

I've never liked the HR department anywhere I've worked. They always seem like the enemy against everyone. Or the principal's office. They never laugh or joke.

Girl Japan said...

Hi Leesa... thank so much for giving me a shout out! So glad to have met you! I have not read your blog entirely yet but I am now. BRB = ) "wink"

Awake In Rochester said...

Where are HR personal hiding these days? When I try to call them about my job application they are almost alway out.

I agree with you & Doc Deb. "A day off is a day off".

Leesa said...

Deb: Good for you!

Dr. Deb: Yeah, but the HR department doesn't think that.

Ian: I have never seen The Office.

Knot: I am sure they are joking about the rest of us behind closed doors.

Girl Japan: Not a problem. I am jealous of you living in Japan.

Awake: Always "out to lunch."

kathi said...

Mine are divided, and I like it that way. I know I've got 2 wks vacation and 2 wks personal or sick days. They're pretty lax here though, we can borrow from one to use for the other if we need it or it'll all carry over to the next year if we want. Of course, I work for a private practice and not a large corporation, has it's benefits. No big HR dept. :) Just good people looking out for one another.