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Take Your Fucking Vacation

This is an obituary for 662 million unused PTO days

Some 54 percent of Americans did not take a vacation last year, according to a study from the U.S. Travel Association, Fortune reported. Meaning Americans actually worked their jobs while a grand total of 662 million vacation days (just for that year!) withered and died like rotting bananas that should’ve been peeled and eaten with tropical carefree enthusiasm whilst wearing a Hawaiian shirt because life is actually pretty short or pretty long but either way it needs vacation days to be endured.

“You think this is normal and we are here to tell you it is not,” White House budget director Mick Mulvaney said this week to reporters. He was not talking about unused vacation days — he was actually talking about the American economy — but hey, I bet he would’ve said the same thing about vacation days if only we had asked him.

Sure, we had our reasons for letting vacation days slip away like sands of time in an hourglass running dangerously close to empty. Chief among them: “Returning to a mountain of work.” But people who didn’t respect themselves enough to stop working for merely one week just to drive to the nearest sad beach town to argue with their children and loved ones still missed out on promotions and bonuses!

“Employees who forfeit vacation time are less likely to have been promoted within the last year and to have received a raise or bonus in the last three years compared to workers who took all of their PTO,” Fortune notes. Nobody likes a non-vacation-taker. And what about an unused vacation day? It had dreams, too.

Worth noting, though not surprising: Men are more likely to take vacation than women. Some 48 percent of men took their vacation time in 2016, and among millennial men, 51 percent, but only 44 percent of women did (and 44 percent of millennial women). This makes sense, because women of all generations report greater guilt and hesitation over treating themselves well in any study ever conducted by anyone anywhere in the known galaxy.

If you want to be mad at someone about all this, look no further than your manager, to whom is absolutely not acceptable to express that anger. Even though managers in the study (over 80 percent!) agreed it was really important and morale-boosting and everything to take vacations because people get to be human and relax and drink a fucking Mai Tai and come back recharged with a tan, they admitted they never do anything whatsoever to encourage workers to take those days, which they swear is totally an oversight and not at all on purpose.

So even though no one will make you, take your vacation. You have nothing whatsoever to lose except your hard-earned money.