As my first vacation days of 2010 rapidly approach (T-minus 2 days!), I find myself wishing I could have more. Sure, after this trip I’ll have about 2 weeks left for the year, but that still doesn’t feel like enough. So I was giddy with glee when I discovered that my company allows employees to buy up to 2 extra weeks of vacation a year, especially after reading your comments on my last vacation-day post and hearing how much time off some of you have (lucky, lucky Europeans!).
When I told my Dad about my plan to buy more vacation time, he was surprised. He thought the 3 weeks I started with was already a lot of time off. In fact, he told me that 3 weeks is the most time off he’s ever had throughout his career. 3 weeks! That’s it? It seemed a little sad to me. He deserves more than 3 measly weeks! And when I voiced my opinion, his response shocked me. Sure, he agreed he would have liked more vacation time, but he never expected it. He was happy with the little time he got, especially since all of his coworkers were in the same boat.
I was flabbergasted. I couldn’t even imagine having less than 3 weeks. 4 weeks even seems minimal when you think of how long a year can drag on. I was about ready to get on my little soapbox and start preaching about the problems with the American mindset and how we’re all overworked, etc. But then I stumbled upon the MSN article entitled “Millennials Value Time Off, Money More Than Gen X”, and it got me thinking. A lot.
You see, it’s not just me. Apparently my whole generation is ready to stand on a soapbox and preach about being overworked. For a split second, my mind raced to reform. My fellow Millennials and I could rally together and go all Newsies on corporate America. I’ve always dreamed of breaking out into spontaneous song and dance, so it seemed perfect. But just as the first few bars of “The World Will Know” started playing in my head, reality set in.
This article actually makes me feel pretty bad. And really ungrateful. All of our parents and grandparents worked hard for a living and I doubt they complained as much we do. Would I like more money? Of course! Somewhere in the back of my mind, I expected to be on the fast track to raises and promotions at the very start of my career. But why? How could I just expect that? And why do I always want more time off? Can’t I just be happy with what I have?
I think we could all use a bit of a reality check. And perhaps a healthy dose of appreciation for what we have. What do you all think? Fellow Millennials, do you agree with the article? And for you more experienced Working Girls out there, what are your thoughts about the newest wave of Working Girls? Are we as ungrateful as we sound? I’d love to hear your thoughts!