I’m afraid my boss may think I’m hopelessly fixated on vacation time. (This is true, actually; it’s just not what I want my boss to think.) Next Saturday, I am heading to Philadelphia for a final visit with my Dad. (I’m alternating between thinking I may be too late and thinking he’s got a while longer, depending on the report from Mom each day. She thinks he may have had another stroke – Friday he wasn’t eating at all and wasn’t responding much but he’s been a little better, though very far from good, these last two days). Anyway, I hope to work remotely for about two days of the week and use family leave for the other three, so I don’t have to use up my Paid Time Off (PTO). I’m not actually eligible for family leave under the Federal act, since I’ve been employed there less than a year, but fortunately my state has more generous laws. (For people outside the USA, family leave is unpaid, but if it’s approved they have to grant it and must hold your job – but it’s really meant for weeks or months at a time, not three days.)

Then I got asked to speak to a group of excecutives in Rhode Island (and they’re paying all my travel expenses, squee!!) and I managed to persuade my boss that this should count as a marketing opportunity for the company, so again not PTO. (This is completely true; even though I won’t be speaking directly about the company, getting the name in front of people who might want to hire our services, and conveying the idea that we hire people they obviously consider to be expert enough to come speak to them, is a valuable message.)

The funny thing is, I actually have extremely generous PTO for a US company. I get three weeks and had the option (which I took) to buy a fourth one. This includes sick time as well as vacation, but I’m reasonably healthy, knock wood, and if I’m mildly ill there’s the potential to work from home. But it never feels like enough. I blame the Dutch. (For getting me used to 8 weeks per year.)