I knew I wasn't the only one who felt like summer was shrinking. My children and I have idyllic memories of summers floating on our pool, afternoon naps, catching up on reading and ditch ‘em after dark. All iconic activities of past summers.
As our children grew older and had families of their own, we still managed to spend at least four or five days at the beach, lounging under a canopy and dumping sand out of diapers. For the past few years, it’s been impossible to find a date where one or more grandchildren do not have summer school, practice or travel ball of some sort. Not to mention the work schedules where parents can’t take off the time.
According to the Time article, ours is the only advanced economy that doesn’t offer our workers a mandatory paid vacation. In spite of increasing productivity, American workers ceded back to their company an average of a full week of vacation time for various reasons. Some felt pressured to make a good presentation. Others cited too much work to do.
More and more people are becoming their own bosses and creating entrepreneurial jobs where no work means no pay. Last but not least, even when people do take time off, they are still connected to their job via cell phone or Internet.
Vacation is really not vacation.
I was once one of those employees who worked 35 hours a week with no benefits. No work meant no pay. I completely understand the pressure one feels in this difficult economic climate to compete and stay “employable.” With twenty grandchildren I understand--more than most--the need to keep children active in a productive manner while both parents are working.
I’m simply a befuddled, semi-retired retiree asking the question...who did kill summer vacation?