Pay Attention!
The Ayes Have It!

If You Are Taking Tuesday Off, Raise Your Hand

Or:  Personal Time Off (PTO's)

The soul-saving feature of my job (and yours maybe also) is that each new year begins a new cookie jar full of days off. In our corporate land, they are known as PTO days. You get a big jarful of them on January 1st and it is up to you to ration yourself because while they seem more than anyone could ever eat in the beginning of the year, by August, you're wishing you hadn't gorged yourself in April and by November, you're wondering how on earth you are going to starve yourself with only two days left to the end of the year and Thanksgiving and Christmas still to get through. You see, even though we get this big bagful of days, they are for your sick days, vacation days, emergency time, and all holidays except New Year's, Christmas, Memorial Day, Fourth of July, Labor Day, and Thanksgiving. The rest, you take as personal days or you go to work as I am tomorrow.

So this year I made a resolution:

  1. no taking a vacation during the kids' February break and
  2. no springtime retreat on The Cape. 
  3. I am saving ALL my days off for at least 3 weeks on the Cape this summer in a dog-friendly rental.
  4. And I really need a full week off at Christmas. And maybe go to Squam in September? And two days for Art Is, a few emergency days, and then, of course, what if I get sick, or The Teen, or god forbid, serious illness or surgery in the family....


Before you know it, you've used up your days or committed them all, and are wallowing in burn out self pity.

Which brings me to this dilemma:

Should I take Tuesday off to watch this historic Inauguration, or should I content myself to watch it as it is repeated ad nauseum on the nightly news shows?

One of the judges told me she wanted to go and couldn't get a place to stay and she is keeping her children home to watch it with her. A few people in my office have already taken the day.

How can I not? And why aren't all inaugural days federal holidays??

If I take the day, then I have to let The Teen stay home, too.

Who else is staying home - or going - to watch this on Tuesday? And am the only one who is almost giddy with anticipation to hear  Elizabeth Alexander read her poem?

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