Thoughtful but silly NY Times article about employees who (like me) are going to be required to take furlough days as part of budget cuts. The article suggest that some people may do low cost leisure activities like a nap or walk in the park. That is ridiculous notion of people's lives given the amount of things people need to do and don't have time to do like house projects, cleaning, medical appointments, child care, helping family, errands, etc. Even if you did not have overwheming personal responsiblities, many of course are hit by the reduction in pay and it is not easy to find another way to makeup the lost income. One entrepreneurial employee is teaching belly dancing for kids during her furlough days.
The article brings up a good point in that many feel pressure to come in anyway because of the workload that must be done. This is a great quote from a guy who works for the California DMV “I’ve tried to schedule furlough time and was denied because we’re short-staffed.”
We have lost many employees in my state government program over the last 6-8 years and are doing more with less people and if we have even less people working less hours in the next budget we will not be able to get done what needs to get done. Many feel mixed about whether we should put in extra time and not take the furlough.
The article touches on a very sharp difference between many workers in this country. There are many who feel pressure to work extra time, work late and weekends and there are those who work their assigned work hours and no more. The idea of furlough seems ridiculous to many overworked people who check email on weekends, travel a lot, etc. I know many who can't find a way to take the vacation they get because of too much work to do.