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Our No-Vacation Nation
#1
Prime vacation season may still be a couple of months off, but some of you may be starting to think about this year's plans. Schools around me are out on spring break this year which may have slowed down food delivery sales this week even though this time usually doesn't affect much else outside of the schools. You may just feel like you need a break, you know there are things you could do but you don't have the energy to do them. Many of us not only can't afford the expense involved in taking a regular vacation of a week or more, we have been more or less brainwashed to believe that time not doing something productive is wasted time. Delivery of food has become popular as it seems as if for whatever reason so many choose not to even take a long enough time out to enjoy a sit down meal in a restaurant or perhaps even at home. Thoughts of "that's okay, tomorrow is another day, for now be kind to yourself and relax", has nearly become sinful in many folks' minds. Some of this may very well fall into the "we have met the enemy and it is us" category. I personally resisted the trend for many years but now when I think of perhaps going out, say, on a regular date, I question whether I can afford not only the monetary expense but the time expense as well. This whole "I don't have time" syndrome is, as I have often pointed out, is quite the opposite of what many pundits expected would happen with the advent of modern technology. Said technology has served to ratchet up expectations as opposed to actually saving people time. I recently had some unexpected disruptions in my own life, and that is why I have been a stranger to this site and a few others.

It was once said that nearly half of all US workers fail to use all of the vacation leave time they are entitled to, in many cases out of fear that they will be considered highly expendable if they do so. European workers, by contrast, have a much stronger culture of vacationing. Even traditionally workaholic Japan has surpassed us in the amount of vacation time taken. The outlook is no doubt made worse by the advent of the gig economy where you're independent contractors and not allotted any real vacation, sick leave, or other benefits. I recently talked with the owner or manager of a restaurant I sometimes pick up at, and he told me that, like it or not, the gig economy is going to be the wave of the future and that there will be fewer and fewer traditional jobs with full pay and benefits. This already began with the trend toward companies using more and more temporary workers out of staffing agencies.

So, are you planning to take any true vacations this year, or are you in the category that just can't afford to? In the spirit of full disclosure I tend to fall into the latter camp, although I may try to squeeze a couple of days away if I am lucky. While we're at it I may also seek out opinions as to whether we ever will become that society of increased leisure we were once all but promised.
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#2
I'm a contractor with no benefits, therefore in the "gig" economy. I try to save money and take vacations when I can, though it might be tough this year. I'm not sure how "traditional" a job with benefits is - did they have them 100 years ago? I thought that kind of job was a temporary phenomenon that benefited a few generations only - the GIs, the Silents, and early-wave Boomers.
Steve Barrera

[A]lthough one would like to change today's world back to the spirit of one hundred years or more ago, it cannot be done. Thus it is important to make the best out of every generation. - Hagakure

Saecular Pages
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#3
(03-27-2019, 06:52 PM)beechnut79 Wrote: Prime vacation season may still be a couple of months off, but some of you may be starting to think about this year's plans. Schools around me are out on spring break this year which may have slowed down food delivery sales this week even though this time usually doesn't affect much else outside of the schools. You may just feel like you need a break, you know there are things you could do but you don't have the energy to do them. Many of us not only can't afford the expense involved in taking a regular vacation of a week or more, we have been more or less brainwashed to believe that time not doing something productive is wasted time. Delivery of food has become popular as it seems as if for whatever reason so many choose not to even take a long enough time out to enjoy a sit down meal in a restaurant or perhaps even at home. Thoughts of "that's okay, tomorrow is another day, for now be kind to yourself and relax", has nearly become sinful in many folks' minds. Some of this may very well fall into the "we have met the enemy and it is us" category. I personally resisted the trend for many years but now when I think of perhaps going out, say, on a regular date, I question whether I can afford not only the monetary expense but the time expense as well. This whole "I don't have time" syndrome is, as I have often pointed out, is quite the opposite of what many pundits expected would happen with the advent of modern technology. Said technology has served to ratchet up expectations as opposed to actually saving people time. I recently had some unexpected disruptions in my own life, and that is why I have been a stranger to this site and a few others.

High technology has made it easier to micro-manage things ever more trivial. People are expected to look busy -- so if there are no customers, grab a broom or polish the displays.

Quote:It was once said that nearly half of all US workers fail to use all of the vacation leave time they are entitled to, in many cases out of fear that they will be considered highly expendable if they do so. European workers, by contrast, have a much stronger culture of vacationing. Even traditionally workaholic Japan has surpassed us in the amount of vacation time taken. The outlook is no doubt made worse by the advent of the gig economy where you're independent contractors and not allotted any real vacation, sick leave, or other benefits. I recently talked with the owner or manager of a restaurant I sometimes pick up at, and he told me that, like it or not, the gig economy is going to be the wave of the future and that there will be fewer and fewer traditional jobs with full pay and benefits. This already began with the trend toward companies using more and more temporary workers out of staffing agencies.

In recent decades, Big Business has rewarded workers poorly but relied heavily upon fear to get compliance. Everyone knows that in the event of an economic downturn, the person who has been most heroic in his suffering on behalf of his employer might avoid a lay-off. Profits are higher, and real costs of living are higher -- but people are insecure in the extreme.

We may see more telecommuting, in which case much time wasted on office politics disappears.

Quote:So, are you planning to take any true vacations this year, or are you in the category that just can't afford to? In the spirit of full disclosure I tend to fall into the latter camp, although I may try to squeeze a couple of days away if I am lucky. While we're at it I may also seek out opinions as to whether we ever will become that society of increased leisure we were once all but promised.

Mini-vacations, perhaps -- four hours in one direction, and four back.
The ideal subject of totalitarian rule is not the convinced Nazi or the dedicated Communist  but instead the people for whom the distinction between fact and fiction, true and false, no longer exists -- Hannah Arendt.


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#4
(03-27-2019, 06:52 PM)beechnut79 Wrote: Prime vacation season may still be a couple of months off, but some of you may be starting to think about this year's plans. Schools around me are out on spring break this year which may have slowed down food delivery sales this week even though this time usually doesn't affect much else outside of the schools. You may just feel like you need a break, you know there are things you could do but you don't have the energy to do them. Many of us not only can't afford the expense involved in taking a regular vacation of a week or more, we have been more or less brainwashed to believe that time not doing something productive is wasted time. Delivery of food has become popular as it seems as if for whatever reason so many choose not to even take a long enough time out to enjoy a sit down meal in a restaurant or perhaps even at home. Thoughts of "that's okay, tomorrow is another day, for now be kind to yourself and relax", has nearly become sinful in many folks' minds. Some of this may very well fall into the "we have met the enemy and it is us" category. I personally resisted the trend for many years but now when I think of perhaps going out, say, on a regular date, I question whether I can afford not only the monetary expense but the time expense as well. This whole "I don't have time" syndrome is, as I have often pointed out, is quite the opposite of what many pundits expected would happen with the advent of modern technology. Said technology has served to ratchet up expectations as opposed to actually saving people time. I recently had some unexpected disruptions in my own life, and that is why I have been a stranger to this site and a few others.

It was once said that nearly half of all US workers fail to use all of the vacation leave time they are entitled to, in many cases out of fear that they will be considered highly expendable if they do so. European workers, by contrast, have a much stronger culture of vacationing. Even traditionally workaholic Japan has surpassed us in the amount of vacation time taken. The outlook is no doubt made worse by the advent of the gig economy where you're independent contractors and not allotted any real vacation, sick leave, or other benefits. I recently talked with the owner or manager of a restaurant I sometimes pick up at, and he told me that, like it or not, the gig economy is going to be the wave of the future and that there will be fewer and fewer traditional jobs with full pay and benefits. This already began with the trend toward companies using more and more temporary workers out of staffing agencies.

So, are you planning to take any true vacations this year, or are you in the category that just can't afford to? In the spirit of full disclosure I tend to fall into the latter camp, although I may try to squeeze a couple of days away if I am lucky. While we're at it I may also seek out opinions as to whether we ever will become that society of increased leisure we were once all but promised.

-- it helps if you have family 2 stay with. This past January l visited my Aunt in FL who lives on A1A so that's really sweet. My layover point was with a cousin in Savannah so I got 2 visit that city 2. My niece in Houston in graduating Memorial Day weekend. I hope 2 make that as well. Another niece is getting married on Bourbon St in December. Definitely making that 1!! Smile
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#5
Well, the brainwashing didn't work on me. The little time off that I have is needed to avoid burnout, so I sure don't feel guilty.


Some relevant terms.

Staycation.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Staycation

Came across a definition for a Nearcation-going someplace within driving distance for a long weekend.
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#6
No plans as of yet for any vacation this year. Awhile back the notion of a family reunion was mentioned, but I don't know if anything will come of it.

Maybe I will do a near cation this year?

The last time I went anywhere was a near cation to Orting, Washington at the beginning of Sept. 2017-to house sit. Before that, attending my mother's funeral Sept. 2016 in New Mexico.

Didn't go anywhere in 2018.
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#7
(03-28-2019, 12:20 PM)Tim Randal Walker Wrote: Well, the brainwashing didn't work on me.  The little time off that I have is needed to avoid burnout, so I sure don't feel guilty.


Some relevant terms.

Staycation.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Staycation

Came across a definition for a Nearcation-going someplace within driving distance for a long weekend.

-- most of my getaways have been long weekends as well. The 10 day trip 2 Miami & Savannah was the 1st real vacay I've had in a few yrs. B4 that l went 2 a family wedding in StL in 2016, 2 my nephew's wedding in Detroit in 2017, & back up 2 Detroit last yr 4 his daughter's christening.  This yrs wedding on Bourbon St is a little further away (from Cincinnati) so that trip will last the better part of a week. So will the Houston trip if I am able 2 make that
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#8
(03-28-2019, 12:20 PM)Tim Randal Walker Wrote: Well, the brainwashing didn't work on me.  The little time off that I have is needed to avoid burnout, so I sure don't feel guilty.


Some relevant terms.

Staycation.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Staycation

Came across a definition for a Nearcation-going someplace within driving distance for a long weekend.

Stay-cation: not a vacation. It's almost an Orwellian term. People need to break their routines just to get the cobwebs out of life.


The decline of the vacation suggests that people are being worked harder for less so that a few can indulge even more.

.
The ideal subject of totalitarian rule is not the convinced Nazi or the dedicated Communist  but instead the people for whom the distinction between fact and fiction, true and false, no longer exists -- Hannah Arendt.


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#9
If a "nearcation" is driving to a nearby city to visit relatives, then I do that all the time. But that's not what I think of as a vacation at all, I assumed we were talking about taking an extended trip with days off of work. Staycation I have done often in the past, but not so much now because my girlfriend likes to travel so if I took a week off of work it would be when she is off of work and we would do *something* interesting.

Driving 3-4 hours to see relatives for the weekend is just keeping up with family. I mean, you want to see them regularly because time is fleeting.
Steve Barrera

[A]lthough one would like to change today's world back to the spirit of one hundred years or more ago, it cannot be done. Thus it is important to make the best out of every generation. - Hagakure

Saecular Pages
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#10
As for having to work when you'd rather be enjoying leisure, well that is a universal human problem. I don't see it as the fault of capitalism or neoliberalism or whatever. Aristotle wrote about it 2300+ years ago.

From the Nicomachean ethics: “The life of money-making is one undertaken under compulsion, and wealth is evidently not the good we are seeking; for it is merely useful and for the sake of something else.”
Steve Barrera

[A]lthough one would like to change today's world back to the spirit of one hundred years or more ago, it cannot be done. Thus it is important to make the best out of every generation. - Hagakure

Saecular Pages
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#11
A final note: my profile picture is perfect for this topic. Big Grin Big Grin Big Grin
Steve Barrera

[A]lthough one would like to change today's world back to the spirit of one hundred years or more ago, it cannot be done. Thus it is important to make the best out of every generation. - Hagakure

Saecular Pages
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#12
(03-30-2019, 12:48 PM)sbarrera Wrote: If a "nearcation" is driving to a nearby city to visit relatives, then I do that all the time. But that's not what I think of as a vacation at all, I assumed we were talking about taking an extended trip with days off of work. Staycation I have done often in the past, but not so much now because my girlfriend likes to travel so if I took a week off of work it would be when she is off of work and we would do *something* interesting.

Driving 3-4 hours to see relatives for the weekend is just keeping up with family. I mean, you want to see them regularly because time is fleeting.

Using South Bend, Indiana as an example:


Stay-cation: you use your vacation time at home doing household renovations or car repair, or waste it on home entertainment or shopping. I'm not going to knock household improvements because such increase the value of personal property. I

Day-trip: you take a day to get away to such a place as Chicago, Indianapolis, Toledo, Grand Rapids, or maybe Detroit to see some attraction. or you go to some beach on the southern or eastern shore of Lake Michigan. It is possible to make a vacation out of several day trips. Advantage: you need not spend money on a motel or hotel stay. Disadvantage: the trip takes you, usually, to some place familiar.  You cannot repeat the pattern every year because it will be stale.

Vacation: you really do get away, literally vacating your premises. This offers more opportunities to see something altogether new. It is also expensive.
The ideal subject of totalitarian rule is not the convinced Nazi or the dedicated Communist  but instead the people for whom the distinction between fact and fiction, true and false, no longer exists -- Hannah Arendt.


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#13
(03-30-2019, 12:48 PM)sbarrera Wrote: If a "nearcation" is driving to a nearby city to visit relatives, then I do that all the time. But that's not what I think of as a vacation at all, I assumed we were talking about taking an extended trip with days off of work. Staycation I have done often in the past, but not so much now because my girlfriend likes to travel so if I took a week off of work it would be when she is off of work and we would do *something* interesting.

Driving 3-4 hours to see relatives for the weekend is just keeping up with family. I mean, you want to see them regularly because time is fleeting.

-- this is true. But it also encourages them 2 "do something" bcuz they have houseguests 2 entertain. And you get a change of scenery.  This last visit with my Aunt l mostly hung out, although we did go out 2 dinner most nites I was there. But just hanging out on the beach or in her building's hot tub or pool was great. It was a change of scenery. & I got 2 see my Aunt. I laid over in Savannah with my cousin. She showed me around the city, something she would not of done if l hadn't been there. And we got 2 catch up. A visit 2 my brothers place in Houston several yrs back prompted a nearcation ( 4 them) in Galveston 4 a few daze. We all got a change of scenery , & a good time, & we got 2 catch up. Best of both worlds Smile
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#14
Staycation for me meant working on personal projects - mainly reading, research and writing. So hard to find the time for if you have a job and a family. I guess I should have made that my job, but that's not what's happened.
Steve Barrera

[A]lthough one would like to change today's world back to the spirit of one hundred years or more ago, it cannot be done. Thus it is important to make the best out of every generation. - Hagakure

Saecular Pages
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#15
Just entering the planning stages-a family reunion. On my mother's side of the family. Probably summer of next year.
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#16
The absence of vacations -- or more blatantly, the fear that people have of taking vacations (the Boss may find that he can do without you) -- demonstrates how sick the economic policies of our economic elites are. This is a 4T, and so far the economic elites have been getting everything that they want, including a climate of economic fear for all but themselves. People are more heavily in debt just to prepare to hold any but the most menial of jobs. The cornerstone of economic policy of reactionary administrations has been tax cuts to reeard those already rich. The one institution that can give workers a chance for some dignity in dealings with the elites of ownership and management, the labor union, has practically disappeared. Productivit7y has increased, but all of the increase -- and then some -- has gone to the economic elites.

Supposedly we have the glories of technological wonders, but except for those technological improvements that make life safer (like collapsible steering columns in automobiles) or medical marvels that might save lives, I question whether white people are better off now than we were in the 1950s. (The gains of blacks due to the Civil Rights struggle and the acceptance of homosexuality have not done harm to others).

There has never been a more wonderful time in which to be filthy rich in America except perhaps for being a big planter in the pre-Civil War South, when and where most of the labor was literally slaves. Others live in fear that they can be replaced at a moment's notice. Everyone is proving every day that he should not be fired on the spot if only to set an example for Stakhanovite efforts.

Life is to be suffered and hated, yet we are all obliged to show how content we are . Maybe we are to take vicarious pleasure in knowing the pleasures that the elites get to enjoy. The lack of vacations is but a symptom of the nastiness of out plutocratic corporatocracy.
The ideal subject of totalitarian rule is not the convinced Nazi or the dedicated Communist  but instead the people for whom the distinction between fact and fiction, true and false, no longer exists -- Hannah Arendt.


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#17
All four of your paragraphs here are a symptom of what I refer to as a malaise for the current time. Forty years ago this month, as a matter of fact, then President Jimmy Carter went on TV to talk about our crisis of confidence, aka malaise (though that word was never actually used in it). At least at that time many folks were spending their weekend evenings out partying at discos. Few if any, even the younger folk, are doing anything like that now. And weren't we once told that modern technology would give us increased leisure time? Seems instead we went in the opposite direction. And schools in many places are starting their terms nearly a month earlier than was formerly the case.

I am sure that there are many who're quite passionate about their ideas and are eager to share them with others. There are those leaders such as Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren, but everyday people as well. They may or may not be recognized for their ideas or for achieving a goal. One example were those dedicated to reducing drunk driving crashes, and now those trying to reduce gun violence.

Of course there's also the potential for disagreements with others, as you may feel you have to defend your ideas. On some websites I see that the acute lack of housing affordability is finally beginning to gain some traction, but obviously has a long ways to go. The biggest enemies there being zoning laws and homeowners associations which are like fiefdoms in and of themselves.

Getting back to vacation issues, there is a movement, I believe it's name is Take Back Your Time, which is promoting the idea of at least meeting the Europeans halfway to guarantee a minimum of three weeks annual vacation per full-time worker. Haven't visited the site for a while but will enclose the link to it if I can find it.


http://www.takebackyourtime.org
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#18
(03-27-2019, 07:50 PM)sbarrera Wrote: I'm a contractor with no benefits, therefore in the "gig" economy. I try to save money and take vacations when I can, though it might be tough this year. I'm not sure how "traditional" a job with benefits is - did they have them 100 years ago? I thought that kind of job was a temporary phenomenon that benefited a few generations only - the GIs, the Silents, and early-wave Boomers.

 I thought that kind of job was a temporary phenomenon that benefited a few generations only - the GIs, the Silents, and early-wave Boomers.

Obviously true, but this is still being held up as the gold standard for what an economy should be, and probably will continue to do so as long as there are folks alive who remember this model, even if only children at the time who didn't need to worry whether Daddy would come home one day and no longer have a job. I am sure there were some folks who felt that this is what Trump meant when he campaigned on the theme of "Make America Great Again". I have chosen to withhold judgment as to whether or not this is what he meant.
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#19
(07-08-2019, 08:16 AM)beechnut79 Wrote:
(03-27-2019, 07:50 PM)sbarrera Wrote: I'm a contractor with no benefits, therefore in the "gig" economy. I try to save money and take vacations when I can, though it might be tough this year. I'm not sure how "traditional" a job with benefits is - did they have them 100 years ago? I thought that kind of job was a temporary phenomenon that benefited a few generations only - the GIs, the Silents, and early-wave Boomers.

 I thought that kind of job was a temporary phenomenon that benefited a few generations only - the GIs, the Silents, and early-wave Boomers.

Obviously true, but this is still being held up as the gold standard for what an economy should be, and probably will continue to do so as long as there are folks alive who remember this model, even if only children at the time who didn't need to worry whether Daddy would come home one day and no longer have a job. I am sure there were some folks who felt that this is what Trump meant when he campaigned on the theme of "Make America Great Again". I have chosen to withhold judgment as to whether or not this is what he meant.

Paradoxically the gig economy would create plenty of opportunity for enriching vacations -- if the gigs paid well. The gigs are now for ill-paid labor, and people who do such work never get enough funds for enjoying a predictable break. So the time between jobs is a grim struggle to get the next one before one's resources run out.

So let us suppose that one4 does some well-paying work (even if it is certifiably miserable) as a means for getting a once-in-a-lifetime experience. Maybe construction work or farm labor is nastier than glorified clerical work. Maybe it should be better rewarded. 

OK, real power in vile social orders comes not from doing good for people but instead in  enforcing fear, pain and suffering -- including poverty. Now knowing poverty, I hate life and unless things change I have nothing to look forward to but either reincarnation or an afterlife. One sign of nastiness in a society is that for any semblance of happiness unless one is not part of the economic elite is that one must be stupid or ignorant. If Ronald Reagan took us in baby steps in that direction, Donald Trump takes us in giant leaps.

"Male America Great Again" -- sure... it is all a monstrous fraud.
The ideal subject of totalitarian rule is not the convinced Nazi or the dedicated Communist  but instead the people for whom the distinction between fact and fiction, true and false, no longer exists -- Hannah Arendt.


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#20
This is a story I found over on LinkedIn. Thought we could create a thoughtful discussion here. Shouldn't we be feeling as though we just need some space, to get away from the torrid rat race. Many people I believe no longer take vacations not only due to cost but the frantic reality of today's work environment seems to foster the belief that we have to defend or justify our feelings for needing to do so.


https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/...a-vacation
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