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The Voice of the DBA

Steve Jones is the editor of SQLServerCentral.com and visits a wide variety of data related topics in his daily editorial. Steve has spent years working as a DBA and general purpose Windows administrator, primarily working with SQL Server since it was ported from Sybase in 1990. You can follow Steve on Twitter at twitter.com/way0utwest

Unlimited Vacation

Unlimited Vacation sounds good, and maybe it works, but I wonder how much vacation people really take at Red Frog. My guess is that it’s not far off from what most progressive companies give, something like 20 days a year.

It’s a good perk to have, and I’m sure it doesn’t get abused since the people that abuse it get let go. The people that don’t abuse it might even shortchange themselves. I know it sounds like a company would have people taking 40, 50, maybe 100 days a year off, but the reality is that if someone does that you find yourself in one of two situations:

  • their work isn’t getting done and you fire them
  • their work is getting done and you ignore it.

There are plenty of managers that might feel they should be getting more work from someone that can take 100 days a year off and still get their work done, but what type of attitude is that? You hire someone, expect them to get xx things done in a year for yyy dollars. If they get xx things done in 2/3 year while the person next to them takes a year, why complain? If others complain, tell them to just get their work done quicker (or learn how to work more efficiently).

I get over 20 days, plus holidays, and I struggle to take it. I’m essentially in the same boat as the Red Frog employees in that I manage my own schedule, and can take off whenever I want if my work is done. I rarely take sick days, since I can work at home when I’m sick. I have a grinding, daily job that requires regular effort, so I can’t plan on a month project, take off 2 days in the middle and catch up later. I essentially run a newspaper, every day.

However I could take unlimited vacation. I could potentially get my work done in 3 days every week, keeping enough items scheduled, to take two days a week off. I’m just not sure that it would be vacation since I’d be stressed during those 3 days.

If you are a professional, I think most places will work with you to get the vacation you need, whether it’s tracked, booked, managed, or not. The key, in my opinion, is to set a schedule that works for you, and a set amount of work that justifies your salary and makes both you and your employer happy.


Filed under: Blog Tagged: career, syndicated

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