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How do Americans go touring?

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How do Americans go touring?

Old 07-14-10, 08:59 AM
  #26  
mr geeker
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some companies require you to list what days/weeks you want off at the beginning of the year in order to even get vacation time, others will let you use sick days to extend vacation time... but finding them is a pain. my aunt works for such a place.

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Old 07-14-10, 09:00 AM
  #27  
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Originally Posted by John Coloccia View Post
I have 3 weeks of vacation. I just took a 2 month sabbatical. In the US, we get what we want by demanding it, not by hoping someone will "give" it to us.
Well hell ... I spend most of my time "demanding" that my students produce better work, but that doesn't mean I get it.
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Old 07-14-10, 09:17 AM
  #28  
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I think beyond the PWE there is a bit of the "underdog, up and coming country" residual cultural type thing that keeps Americans working so hard. My wife is from India, so I have become very familiar with the Indian work life, and they make Americans look lazy by comparison, so do the Chinese. In a lot of ways we are only comparing Americans with Europeans, Canadians and Australians here, but there is a much bigger world out there.
We have to keep in mind, America wasn't always like this. This crazy "live to work" thing didn't really come about until after WW2 with the major population shift from the farm to the suburban, urban business world. My grandparents used to tell me about taking month and 2 month long periods of not working during the winter on the farm, just sort of lazily fixing equipment, repairing buildings, hunting, etc.
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Old 07-14-10, 09:19 AM
  #29  
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Originally Posted by John Coloccia View Post
I have 3 weeks of vacation. I just took a 2 month sabbatical. In the US, we get what we want by demanding it, not by hoping someone will "give" it to us.
What colossal *********y. Nice that you can take a sabbatical, but that's not a word that most workers in the USA can even define. If we get what we want by demanding it, then we must be demanding to be exploited. And better vacation benefits in Europe were hardly "gifts"; workers got together, demanded, and won those benefits in struggles that were apparently airbrushed out of the history you've been fed.

Originally Posted by John Coloccia View Post
And you can always quit and go get another job.
There are six unemployed Americans competing for every job opening right now. I'm sorry to unload on you, but you are living in a little Tea Party fantasy inside of your head, and you need to know how ridiculous and offensive it is to waltz in here during the worst economic crisis of our lifetimes to parrot your black-is-white, hot-is-cold talking points.

I'm glad you can take a sabbatical to tour. You, sir, are not living in the America where most Americans live.
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Old 07-14-10, 09:22 AM
  #30  
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It's more like "negotiating", I think "demanding" would get me fired or put in unfavorable position even though I'm a valuable and respected employee, I doubt "demanding" would get me far. I'd just end up antagonizing some people in the management who are friendly and more likely to be receptive to "negotiations" and friendly reasoning I get along much better here by being nice and friendly with people. I guess, one more advantage of my job: not working for bloodsuckers.
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Old 07-14-10, 09:35 AM
  #31  
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Originally Posted by Takara View Post
What colossal *********y. Nice that you can take a sabbatical, but that's not a word that most workers in the USA can even define. If we get what we want by demanding it, then we must be demanding to be exploited. And better vacation benefits in Europe were hardly "gifts"; workers got together, demanded, and won those benefits in struggles that were apparently airbrushed out of the history you've been fed

There are six unemployed Americans competing for every job opening right now. I'm sorry to unload on you, but you are living in a little Tea Party fantasy inside of your head, and you need to know how ridiculous and offensive it is to waltz in here during the worst economic crisis of our lifetimes to parrot your black-is-white, hot-is-cold talking points.

I'm glad you can take a sabbatical to tour. You, sir, are not living in the America where most Americans live.
Well, yeah, I just didn't want to be so blunt in my response, but yeah.... Last time I heard HR here gets close to 700 applications PER DAY! That, of course, covers all positions from cleaning and catering staff to IT, nursing, management, lab staff, postdoctoral fellows etc, for an institution employing tens of thousands of people, but still, 700 a day, that's a bit mindblowing. Though we had hard time filling four Mac specific IT positions It took us over a year. But we have seen dozens of people who were laid off because their company went under or cut costs and they had hard time getting jobs.

So yeah, in reality it's not as simple so "you can always quit and go get another job".
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Old 07-14-10, 09:40 AM
  #32  
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AS an American who lived in Europe for a number of years, if you value free time, community and leisure over pure monetary profit I would stay in Europe. The standard of living there is higher, all things considered... And the US situation is quite bleak right now (not to say that EU is not....) I look forward to being able to work locum tenens every sixth-nine months or so to afford extended periods off to travel and learn.
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Old 07-14-10, 09:41 AM
  #33  
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In America we, at least historically, value freedom and capitilizm over almost anything else. As far as I know, there are no laws (with the exception of the minimum wage and the one brand new law regarding healthcare) that require any employer to offer anything to an employee. I have had several jobs where we did not get any vacation, and several where we had too much (construction, slow periods, but no pay either).
Also, keep in mind that the laws and regulations vary widely state to state. I don't know of any, but there may very well be some states that require employers to offer certain amounts of vacation to full time employees.
Also, benefits tend to be much better in the unionized parts of the counrty such as the north east, upper midwest, and west coast. Where I grew up, in GA, benefits tended to be pretty bad, at least in the 70s and 80s.
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Old 07-14-10, 09:58 AM
  #34  
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Originally Posted by benajah View Post
In America we, at least historically, value freedom and capitilizm over almost anything else. As far as I know, there are no laws (with the exception of the minimum wage and the one brand new law regarding healthcare) that require any employer to offer anything to an employee. I have had several jobs where we did not get any vacation, and several where we had too much (construction, slow periods, but no pay either).
I think this whole "freedom" thing is an illusion, a trick used to brainwash people. Americans are economically enslaved. What freedom is it if your credit report is the number one factor that will decide your quality of life? Until recently you could be denied health insurance based on pre-existing condition. The employers start dictating people what they can and cannot do in their free time, so do schools. The Police and judicial system have become tools for corporations to extort money and terrorize citizens and stiffle small business. The US military is protecting the interests of the American Corporations first, not the American citizens.

What freedom?
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Old 07-14-10, 10:03 AM
  #35  
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Originally Posted by benajah View Post
We have to keep in mind, America wasn't always like this. This crazy "live to work" thing didn't really come about until after WW2 with the major population shift from the farm to the suburban, urban business world. My grandparents used to tell me about taking month and 2 month long periods of not working during the winter on the farm, just sort of lazily fixing equipment, repairing buildings, hunting, etc.
Hmm, repairing equipment and fixing buildings sounds like work to me, especially with the tools and methods of the time. And your grandparents probably hunted to help put food on the table, so that counts too.
 
Old 07-14-10, 10:05 AM
  #36  
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Takara, did you really have to go after the Tea Party people? Oh, sorry, forgot I'm on Bike Forums. Of course you had to.
 
Old 07-14-10, 10:09 AM
  #37  
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Originally Posted by The Historian View Post
Hmm, repairing equipment and fixing buildings sounds like work to me, especially with the tools and methods of the time. And your grandparents probably hunted to help put food on the table, so that counts too.
Well, those folks worked hard back then. If they worked 10-12 hours in the fields then perhaps working 6-8 hours fixing something indoors felt like leisurely time off.
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Old 07-14-10, 10:13 AM
  #38  
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I think I'll move to Europe.
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Old 07-14-10, 10:38 AM
  #39  
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The US does seem pretty hot on individual freedom as opposed to collective rights... Please don't take this too seriously, but would anybody care to swap the right to own handguns for an extra weeks holiday?, two, three? ; )
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Old 07-14-10, 10:57 AM
  #40  
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*********y? Huh? My counterparts overseas all get more vacation time than I do, and they also get paid less and pay more taxes. My point us that here it's my choice to work less or buy vacation time, and in return I make less, as opposed to waiting for someone else to make that decision for you. My "sabatical" was an unpaid leave of absence. I didn't just dissapear for 2 months. I wonder how many that have responded have ever considered that many employers are willing to do that.

My point re: other jobs is that the US is huge and there are still opportunities for people that are willing to pick up and move. This is unlike many smaller European countries where you literally may need to moveto a different country to find a job. I have family from Europe living in China because that's where their company had a job for them.

There are plenty of people in the US that are not rich and still find ways to get blocks of time. That's what the OP asked about and I gave an honest answer. You have to ask for it, pay for it or go somewhere else where they are willing to grant it. Or start your own business. I thought that was a more productive answer than complaining about it.

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Old 07-14-10, 11:16 AM
  #41  
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Originally Posted by John Coloccia View Post
In the US, we get what we want by demanding it, not by hoping someone will "give" it to us.
You obviously don't live in the same US I live in. I work in IT, and if I stroll into my employers office and demand paid time off.. they will tell me to hit the road and never come back, and hire one of the literally millions of unemployed Americans that are already in line for my job, and likely only pay that person half what they pay me.
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Old 07-14-10, 11:30 AM
  #42  
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Originally Posted by John Coloccia View Post
*********y? Huh? My counterparts overseas all get more vacation time than I do, and they also get paid less and pay more taxes.
If the "pay more taxes" is a criticism, depending on where they live overseas, they could very well directly see the benefits of those higher taxes in services that would bankrupt a typical American worker if they had to pay out-of-pocket. The longer holiday time means less stress. In addition, it's pretty much been proven that despite the American's greater amount of work time the production level doesn't reflect it. We slip in vacation minute-by-minute (like I'm doing by reading these boards and responding to this thread instead of working).

Originally Posted by John Coloccia View Post
My point us that here it's my choice to work less or buy vacation time, and in return I make less, as opposed to waiting for someone else to make that decision for you. My "sabatical" was an unpaid leave of absence. I didn't just dissapear for 2 months. I wonder how many that have responded have ever considered that many employers are willing to do that.
How many? I'd like to see some numbers. Even if a company allows one of their higher up or middle management employees to do this there are probably 20 employees underneath them that don't have that privilege nor do they have the income that allows them to take 2 months off unpaid. You have to recognize that you are extremely privileged in your status.

Originally Posted by John Coloccia View Post
My point re: other jobs is that the US is huge and there are still opportunities for people that are willing to pick up and move. This is unlike many smaller European countries where you literally may need to moveto a different country to find a job. I have family from Europe living in China because that's where their company had a job for them.
Considering that moving locations has been rated one of the top two stresses in life people are extremely reluctant to do so. They leave friends, family, schools, neighborhoods, homes they may love, community networks, etc. It's also very expensive to move across country. Then there are other stresses like - Can you sell your house? Can you find a new and affordable place to live in a community that is good for you? Can everyone in the household find a job? What are the unknowns about where you are moving?
Add to that even smaller stresses - did everything get packed, will it be secure, what will most likely break, what can be left behind, what can be sold to reduce our moving cost, etc.
In Europe, home ownership is much lower than it is in the US therefore making it much much easier to pick up and move from place to place. People also generally own less stuff that needs to be moved. Moving in Europe is a different experience than it is here in the states.

Originally Posted by John Coloccia View Post
There are plenty of people in the US that are not rich and still find ways to get blocks of time. That's what the OP asked about and I gave an honest answer. You have to ask for it, pay for it or go somewhere else where they are willing to grant it. Or start your own business.
Whoa - you think that by starting your own business you're going to get more free time? Are you delusional? I know more than a handful of people who have started their own businesses/companies in various fields and free time is the very last thing they get or reward themselves with.
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Old 07-14-10, 11:53 AM
  #43  
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The taxes wasn't a criticism. You said yourself that people live more cheaply and have less stuff in Europe. They tend to take home less, spend less and have more free time. It's a trade. It's just that most in the US are not willing to accept the simpler lifestyle and less cash for the free time. I don't think there's anything wrong with that either. If you stop being angry for a second a just really think about some of the possibilities, you may decide that it's not so bad here. Selling the house is the tough one. Don't talk to me about moving. I've moved a dozen times in the last 15 years, and have had to sell homes...usually for a bit of a loss. I've basically broken even with renting over the years. That's how I look at it to make myself feel better about it v
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Old 07-14-10, 12:07 PM
  #44  
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Originally Posted by Casrider View Post
Whoa - you think that by starting your own business you're going to get more free time? Are you delusional? I know more than a handful of people who have started their own businesses/companies in various fields and free time is the very last thing they get or reward themselves with.
It depends on the individual and the business. I know a few folks who started businesses exactly because they wanted more flexibility in their time off. In those few cases they managed exactly that. I will grant that they are exceptions to the rule, but they do illustrate that it is possible.

I will also grant that none of them are getting rich, but that isn't their priority.
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Old 07-14-10, 12:16 PM
  #45  
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So,um back to the OP, for my first tour, I tried to get a sabbatical, which I was supposed to get after working for the company for 5 years. They said "no," so I quit (there were other things wrong with the job), and did my tour. Afterward, I got a series of contract jobs, mostly by connecting with people from my old job at their new jobs, and I'm still doing that. I did longer trips (1-3 months) in between contracts.

I'm lucky that I am in a field where contract jobs are available (IT) and that I had some good connections from a past employer. If it weren't for that, I would have had to take another full time job, and my life would be totally different.

Part of that "luck" though, is from my own prioritizing of non-work activities (bike touring, rock climbing) over work and possessions. If I was really focused on making a lot of money and having a lot of stuff, I would have made different choices, which probably would have prevented me from doing as much touring as I do. For the last few years, I have toured 3-5 weeks per year, as well as going on 1-3 one-week bike vacations, and doing a bunch of local/three-day-weekend type riding. If I don't work, I don't get paid, so of course I'm making a choice every time I go tour to prioritize touring over money.
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Old 07-14-10, 12:41 PM
  #46  
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Originally Posted by do-well View Post
Another major factor in all of this, from my perspective, is health insurance. As health insurance is tied to employment (for the most part), one has to have a job to have the health insurance. Imagine how we could all go chase our dreams - and maybe contribute more to society - with such a basic need accounted for. Health insurance and school loans - those things that keep me indebted to the corporate machine.
Access to good health insurance is also an important factor for me. This August 16th will mark the 20th anniversary of the implant of my mechanical heart valve. Although it could, it is not expected to last my lifetime. And I have to take blood thiners every day, which adds additional risk.
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Old 07-14-10, 12:56 PM
  #47  
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Originally Posted by The Historian View Post
Takara, did you really have to go after the Tea Party people? Oh, sorry, forgot I'm on Bike Forums. Of course you had to.
Why not? Their positions are ludicrous and untenable, and BF seems to be full of people with the ability to, you know, think critically...

The *********s' ideas are in direct opposition with the practices that allow for the European OP to enjoy longer vacations, and a higher standard of living including free healthcare and education (both of higher quality than ours here in America). But I guess that is socialism, unlike the medicare and social security that the Tea Party folks seem to be so protective of. If I understand the convoluted ideas correctly, the tea party seems to want to pay less in taxes so that the government will have more money...

No wonder the USA is a laughingstock of civilized countries; you know, the ones that take care of their populace... Not only are we full of self-righteous ignorant citizens (our own fault due to our failure to invest in education), but we seem so proud of our ignorance. The tea party brings it on themselves... see: Rand Paul, Sharon Angle or Michelle Bachmann.
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Old 07-14-10, 01:06 PM
  #48  
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Originally Posted by valygrl View Post
Part of that "luck" though, is from my own prioritizing of non-work activities (bike touring, rock climbing) over work and possessions. If I was really focused on making a lot of money and having a lot of stuff, I would have made different choices, which probably would have prevented me from doing as much touring as I do. For the last few years, I have toured 3-5 weeks per year, as well as going on 1-3 one-week bike vacations, and doing a bunch of local/three-day-weekend type riding. If I don't work, I don't get paid, so of course I'm making a choice every time I go tour to prioritize touring over money.
Amen!
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Old 07-14-10, 01:11 PM
  #49  
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Originally Posted by VT_Speed_TR View Post
We Americans have allowed business to rule the country. Whenever enhanced benefits are mentioned, business response is that it will kill business and throw the country into a recession. Americans fail to grasp that European countries have been doing well, while still providing benefits that make their workers happy and healthy.
Really? I have been hearing that most European countries are in far worse shape economically than we are and we are in a recession. How is Greece doing? How about Spain?
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Old 07-14-10, 01:26 PM
  #50  
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Originally Posted by positron View Post
Why not? Their positions are ludicrous and untenable, and BF seems to be full of people with the ability to, you know, think critically...

The *********s' ideas are in direct opposition with the practices that allow for the European OP to enjoy longer vacations, and a higher standard of living including free healthcare and education (both of higher quality than ours here in America) Where the hell do you get that from?. But I guess that is socialism, unlike the medicare and social security that the Tea Party folks seem to be so protective of. If I understand the convoluted ideas correctly, the tea party seems to want to pay less in taxes so that the government will have more money... WTF?

No wonder the USA is a laughingstock of civilized countries; you know, the ones that take care of their populace... You're a fool Not only are we full of self-righteous ignorant citizens (our own fault due to our failure to invest in education), but we seem so proud of our ignorance. Glad I'm not you.The tea party brings it on themselves... see: Rand Paul, Sharon Angle or Michelle Bachmann.
What a tool you are. Time for you to leave for Europe—what's stopping ya?
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