SO WHERE ARE YOU GOING NEXT???

Jan 20th, 1999, 10:50 AM
  #21  
QueenMag
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
My "first" big adventure will be the UK this Spring. I get two weeks (16 days) of vacation time, and I am grateful for that. I've only been at my job for two years. The last three jobs I had, there was no vacation time (except for the federal holidays); if I wanted time off,I'd have to work the hours in advance or afterwards. At one job, I ended up working a month without pay just to make up for my sick days and holidays.

At least now I get paid. In three years I think I get a few more days off. You have to work for the company at least 20 years before you get five weeks' vacation. I don't think I'll be in this company that long.

After I go to the UK I'll have used up more than half my time; I'll only have six days left for the 1999 year. I don't know if I'll go anywhere except Mexico or Canada. I have to be careful not to use those days up because they are also for when I'm sick.





 
Jan 20th, 1999, 12:13 PM
  #22  
Don Stadler
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
We don't get Fridays, Susie. I'm in the US currently, but I don't believe our Canadians get Fridays off either.

Tricia, I wouldn't believe your story about your half-brother getting ten weeks off, except that I spent some time in the Netherlands too. Private sector workers get 6 weeks minimum unless they are in the black market.

There are, however, a LOT of undocumented workers from places like Morocco, and they don't get ANY vacation I believe.

Marginal income tax rates reach 60% fairly quickly (like at $45,000 US), so most Dutch engineers get paid at 50% of US rates, and they add perks like company cars and sometimes lodging instead of more pay.

Europeans tend to live well, though differently than americans do. Single family homes seem to be rare. Most Dutch live in townhouses or condos. The Italians I worked with tended to be in tiny apartments (by US standards). Cash salaries were low, and their companies also paid enormous social security taxes (like 45 to 60% of the wage) directly to the government.

So they pay for their benefits in other ways......
 
Jan 20th, 1999, 10:52 PM
  #23  
Trina
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Tricia -

Not to cause discord, but I feel compelled to comment on your remarks about the German work ethic. I've lived here for nearly 5 years, and have never heard of "beer breaks." That's not to say that they don't exist, but I highly doubt it. That may be a misconception born of the fact that Germans are not forbidden to consume beer during work hours.

Also, I am not disputing the facts you presented reference output of American Chrysler vs German Daimler-Benz employee output, but I'm afraid that it may give a misleading impression of the German workforce. There may be other factors that we are not aware of that cause such a gap in production, i.e. resources, government regulation, etc. From what I've seen and learned of the German workforce, their work ethic equals, if not surpasses, our own. It's a matter of individuality and efficiency. For example, when an American says "I'm working on it" he/she probably doesn't mean that they are working on it at that very moment in time, whereas it is probable that a German is doing that exact thing.

I'm not implying that either country has it easier/better/worse/etc., just that there is always more to the story, and that everything has a cost. Be careful what you wish for - you just might get it.
Also, Don - it is not entirely unbelievable that Tricia's 1/2 brother gets 10weeks off per year. He may be lumping sick leave, holidays, etc in with vacation time. I'm a U.S. federal worker, and when you add holidays, sick leave, annual leave, and time off awards, it's not impossible to come up with 10 weeks in one year. Just my 2 cents.
 
Jan 21st, 1999, 03:20 AM
  #24  
Maira
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
During my husband's business travels, I have had the opportunity to discuss labor practices with French, Germans, Italians, etc. My take on it is that the Europeans, specifically Germans, do not HAVE to own a house, do not PAY for a college education (or at least nowhere near what Americans pay), and approach consumerism in a much more conservative manner than Americans. Therefore, a German Senior Engineer, for example, can be very happy making $25K/yr, because of the perks he gets, including 5-10 weeks vacation time a year.

 
Jan 21st, 1999, 03:53 AM
  #25  
Allen
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Provence in April. Just a note about vacation. If travel is your passion, become a teacher. I quit my 2 weeks of vacation career, went to grad school, worked as a receptionist and teach kindergarten. My wife just left her old job for one with all federal holidays and three weeks of vacation to start. Life is short everyone.
 
Jan 21st, 1999, 07:59 AM
  #26  
Myriam
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
In addition to Tricia and Don's postings: the 10 weeks off in the Netherlands is a true story. It is the same in Belgium, BUT one has to work to earn these 10 weeks. Let me explain: my husband works at Exxon Chemical in Antwerp in a "continuous working" system. This means that he works 7 x the early shift, then 2 days off, 7 x the late shift, 2 days off and 7 x the night shift, and 3 days off. In the chemical business it is commonly (by law) agreed to work max. 38 hours a week (= 152 hours in 4 weeks). In 4 weeks time my husband works 168 hours which is 16 hours too many ; on yearbasis this means 208 hours too many which equals 26 days.
He works at Exxon for 24 years, so he has 25 (working) days paid vacation, + the 26 days explained above + 10 national holidays + 1 federal holiday = 62 working days which is about 12 weeks.

By the way, the 60% tax is also a true story !

I don't agree with Don's point that Europeans live differently. We ourselves - an ordinary family of 3 - own a "single family home" with a nice garden but we live on the country. People who live in the city happen to live in townhouses or condos, which I think is the same in the US.
 
Jan 21st, 1999, 09:46 AM
  #27  
Tricia
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Wow, this is getting interesting. Well I'll address the article I read about German/American workers and the DaimlerChrysler merger. I quote: "It's 9a.m. and the early shift at the Mercedes-Benz assembly plant is headed for its vesper, the first of the workdays ritual beer breaks. Once back on the floor of the cavernous workshops the newly refreshed employees, in their uniform blue coveralls and safety glasses, light up their cigarettes at the controlpanels and matching stations. Issues such as the risk of alcohol-related accidents, nonsmokers' rights, sexual harrassment and diversity in the workplace are sources of bemusement for those who turn out the cars whose name has become synonymous with PERFECTION!" (BY CAROL J. WILLIAMS STAFF WRITER PRESS ENTERPRISE)

And regarding my other topic:
My 1/2 brother is a government worker for the Brandaris Lighthouse on Tershcelling Island in the North Sea just off the coast of Harlingen. He had to have many years of naval/sea training at the local academy and learn perfect English. He makes all of about $1800 (American) per month. About a 1/4th what my husband makes and less than I make as an Escrow Assistant. He takes vacations, constantly. (I'm jealous! hehe) Last year the Canary Islands, then days here and there on the Mainland and now going to a Spa in So. Holland for a week. He lives in a single family dwelling, small by our standards, one car family, has a computer, printer, cell phone, beautiful yard and lives on a gorgeous island. I told him he has so much less stress in his life than we do. He is coming here (hopefully) in the Fall. Trying to decide what slice of American life to show him! Any ideas? I for sure want to show him American grocery stores and malls and theaters!
 
Jan 21st, 1999, 10:05 AM
  #28  
Tricia
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Wow, this is getting interesting. Well I'll address the article I read about German/American workers and the DaimlerChrysler merger. I quote: "It's 9a.m. and the early shift at the Mercedes-Benz assembly plant is headed for its vesper, the first of the workdays ritual beer breaks. Once back on the floor of the cavernous workshops the newly refreshed employees, in their uniform blue coveralls and safety glasses, light up their cigarettes at the controlpanels and matching stations. Issues such as the risk of alcohol-related accidents, nonsmokers' rights, sexual harrassment and diversity in the workplace are sources of bemusement for those who turn out the cars whose name has become synonymous with PERFECTION!" (BY CAROL J. WILLIAMS STAFF WRITER PRESS ENTERPRISE)

And regarding my other topic:
My 1/2 brother is a government worker for the Brandaris Lighthouse on Tershcelling Island in the North Sea just off the coast of Harlingen. He had to have many years of naval/sea training at the local academy and learn perfect English. He makes all of about $1800 (American) per month. About a 1/4th what my husband makes and less than I make as an Escrow Assistant. He takes vacations, constantly. (I'm jealous! hehe) Last year the Canary Islands, then days here and there on the Mainland and now going to a Spa in So. Holland for a week. He lives in a single family dwelling, small by our standards, one car family, has a computer, printer, cell phone, beautiful yard and lives on a gorgeous island. I told him he has so much less stress in his life than we do. He is coming here (hopefully) in the Fall. Trying to decide what slice of American life to show him! Any ideas? I for sure want to show him American grocery stores and malls and theaters!
 
Jan 21st, 1999, 10:20 PM
  #29  
Trina
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Tricia -

I read your response, and have to admit that I'm not exactly sure of the writer's intent. If the entire article is available on the web, I wouldn't mind exploring it further. However, I inquired with one of my German co-workers about beer breaks. He stated that German law allows for 2 "snack" breaks and one lunch break per day (not unlike American practice.) They are not designated for beer drinking, but may include the conumption of one. One must also understand that attitudes towards the consumption of alcohol are very different here than in the states. I haven't done much statistical research on the effects of the heavy beer consumption here, but everything I've read and seen thus far indicates that Germans are far more responsible drinkers. In fact, their DUI laws are so strict that their legal BAC is lower than the U.S. military's.

I know we've gotten way off track, but European labor laws are a great source of interest to me. Thanks to all who've responded thus far, I've really enjoyed this!
 
Jan 21st, 1999, 10:40 PM
  #30  
Myriam
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Trina,
I am not speaking for Germany but regarding Belgium, I don't think that there is one single company where it is allowed to drink alcohol during working hours. During his 8 "working" hours, my husband has indeed a short break in the morning, 30 mins. lunch time and a short break in the afternoon. It must be said that the short breaks are not always really short, when the amount of work allows it !

Tricia,
Government workers in Belgium also have lots of vacation time and the wages are indeed not high, which is certainly not the case in the private sectors. What I meant before was that, in Belgium, when you want to work during the hours that everybody else is at home with his family, this will be rewarded by more vacation and a good salary. The negative point is that we for instance have a very bad social life because at weekends my husband is very often at work. We have all the luxury we want: a nice house, two cars, at least 2 far-away vacations a year, etc.
And, by the way, the continuous working system was initially not his own choice. In the 70's one had to take what he could get and once you're used to earning good money, it is difficult to do one (or more) steps back.
 
Jan 22nd, 1999, 12:07 PM
  #31  
Al
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Without pointing my finger at anyone, we seem to have strayed a long way from the original subject of this post. This (to get us back on track) is our "Year of Lost Cities." Machu Picchu in Peru. Then to Jordan and to Petra. This is our second year on this topic. Last year, we went to Hattusas, the capital of the once-mighty empire of the Hittites in the mountains of eastern Turkey. Then to Ani, ruined by earthquakes in the 12th century, a main stop on the Silk Road, just on the border with the People's Republic of Armenia.
 
Jan 23rd, 1999, 12:35 PM
  #32  
Peggy & Jack
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Heading for Albufeira in the Algarve in Southern Portugalfor 22 days, then onto Lisbon for three days and Amsterdam for two days. Any ideas from someone who has been there
 
Jan 24th, 1999, 06:36 AM
  #33  
Lisa
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
I am headed in April to London and Paris with a couple of friends. We are all single and feel the need to kick up our heels and have a good time. All of us work for a major airline and travel around a lot. I also plan on going back to Italy in September. I fell in love with that country.
 
Jan 28th, 1999, 03:59 PM
  #34  
Cheryl Z.
Guest
 
Posts: n/a

We just returned home from l0 days in Hawaii - a sunny trip in Jan. after our business slows down after the holidays is our holiday. We go to Puerto Vallarta end of March for two weeks, and in Oct. will be making our first trip to New Zealand. I'm really going to be "homesick" for Europe this year, as any place there is my favorite. Maybe I can convince my husband we can squeeze in Paris or Rome or......
 
Related Topics
Thread
Original Poster
Forum
Replies
Last Post
debbie
Europe
24
Jun 3rd, 2003 05:15 PM
BTD
Europe
6
Aug 9th, 2002 04:45 PM
Lynne
Europe
8
Mar 12th, 2002 08:08 PM
Traveling girl
Europe
4
Feb 14th, 2002 11:10 AM
deb
Europe
5
Oct 4th, 2001 06:32 PM

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are On


Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy -

FODOR'S VIDEO

All times are GMT -8. The time now is 07:25 AM.