Thursday, August 18, 2005

Oh The Horror. The Humiliation. Many French Can't Take Summer Holiday!

This is just outrageous. How can the French possibly put up with this, after all isn't "Holiday" a European absolute? I think the Americans should take up a collection for all of the poor, poor French so they get in their traditional "Holiday". Yeah, right! I don't think I've ever taken more than 10 consecutive days off (including the weekends) ever. But with the Euro's this is standard fair to take at least a month holiday. Back in the early ninety's the company I was with bought a Canadian division of IBM. They had one year to convert to new systems and that's where I came in. My boss said "oh, it'll only take 5 months tops and you won't have to travel to Toronto but 3 or 4 times". Sure. Uhuh. Right. One year later and traveling every freakin week to Toronto (sometimes I'd just be there for 3 weeks straight). We had a project plan and timeline but in a meeting someone would pop up with "oh, btw, I'll be on holiday tomorrow." Stoopid me thinking ok, so you can get it done in a week? Nooooo. They'd be gone for a month to 6 weeks. Going to oh Scotland, or Argentina or Ireland or wherever. I'm stuck doing this slackers work.

From the article:
With unemployment hovering at 10 percent, a growing number of French can no longer afford a traditional August getaway -- a summer ritual that symbolizes the good life a la francaise.

"Holidays have gotten very expensive, and more and more employed people who used to go find that they can't anymore," said Jean Froidure, a tourism expert at the University of Toulouse. He called the trend "very worrisome."

"The vacation is a potent symbol in French society, a visible sign of a certain social standing," Froidure said. "Not going on vacation can cause people to lose confidence not only in their own future, but also in French society in general.

Get this, it's a self esteem issue for the French. Here, I have some advice. Why don't the French get off their bony little butts and get rid of their socialist government and try the free market system for a change. Sorry, pensions won't be as enticing, nor will there be 7 weeks of holiday a year. But, you'd probably have a job.

Here's some numbers:
All European nations guarantee employees between four and five weeks' paid vacation a year. The United States and Australia are the only industrialized countries without national minimums on the length of vacations, according to the International Labor Organization.

The French average seven weeks of paid vacation a year -- two more than the country's labor laws stipulate. They work an average of 1,441 hours per year, compared with 1,661 hours for the British, and 1,824 for Americans, the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development reports.

Now lets see, what country has the strongest economy of those listed? Hmmm. Looks like the American economy. But then the lefty Neo-Socialists of the United States would say oh but look at how wonderful Europe is? Morons.

But as the French do they'll have a little Whine with their cheese. - Vacations out of reach for some French - Aug 17, 2005

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