Friday, February 12, 2010


In general, I quite like my current job, but one of its major drawbacks is the fact that I am not an employee but a contractor. This means that I only get paid for the hours I work and things like vacation time and paid holidays are non-existent in my world. This past week, while all of my co-workers were enjoying 4 1/2 unexpected days off due to the vast amounts of snow we received, I had to work from home because I couldn't afford to lose the income from those days. Monday is a federal holiday but I'll be in the office working because I'm still working extra hours each week to make up for the days I took off at Christmas and for a family funeral in January.

When I started this job I didn't think it would be that big a deal. I'm young and healthy so buying health insurance was simple, and dealing with a few extra tax forms didn't seem like that much of a hardship. And neither of these things has really been an issue. What has most affected me is the fact that I simply can't take time off. Not for anything, ever. No mental health days, no summer vacations, not even a federal holiday or two, unless I'm willing to completely sacrifice all my free time in the evenings to work late and make up the hours. However, doing that makes me miserable and cranky, so I show up on holidays and work through blizzards instead.

At my last job I had abundant vacation time and almost never used it. I always thought that I should take more random Fridays off to enjoy the city or even just run errands, and I'm really regretting not doing that now that I no longer have the option.

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