I saw tweets circulating this week about a woman who was retiring with over 250 hours of PTO. The messages were from a coworker, outraged at their employer for only offering to payout 30% of the time.
I was mad, too. At first, by the terrible logistics of it all. Let’s get real - in most scenarios, someone in the organization can rewrite that “rule” and get people paid for the time they earned.
Then, I started thinking about her - the retiring woman. It broke my heart. Can you imagine how that feels? After working at a company long enough to accumulate over 250 hours of PTO, that’s a slap in the face - especially when you’re exhausted because you’ve never taken a vacation.
I know how that feels. I never used my vacation time in corporate America. I felt guilty. Maybe I was trying to prove something by showing up every day. Somewhere in my mind, I was convinced that skipping vacations proved that I was more dedicated and harder working than my tan, well-traveled peers.
News Flash: That’s not even a little true.
We’re given time off because, to thrive as humans, we have to rest. To bring an element of greatness to work, we need rested minds that thrive in a world outside the cubicle walls.
We devalue that time by quantifying it into paid time at work. Personal value and time aren’t punched into a system or put on a tenure scale. You can’t buy more time to live your life. Time is all we have (and don’t.)
So, in short, take your damn PTO.
After you book those days off, check out these posts. The links below are about how I want to spend my time and two ways you can avoid wasting yours. I hope you’ll check them out.