Holiday Pay and other things I've started to miss

Tuesday, May 31, 2011
Some people, like Meri over at Meri-Goes-Round, viewed yesterday's Memorial Day holiday as an opportunity to post about what the holiday is really about. But I'm having a "she stoops to conquer" sort of moment and have to admit the thing I associate most with the day is not picnics or placing flags on gravestones. Honestly, when I think Memorial Day, I think holiday pay.

I spent three summers on the federal payroll and while working for the feds submerges you in some unique challenges and one could argue that federal agencies foster bureaucracy and incompetency, the job came with some perks. Namely, if I showed up for a regularly scheduled shifts on say, Memorial Day or Fourth of July, I got time and a half pay. 

Andy rolls his eyes whenever I wax poetic about holiday pay and I know what you're thinking: "This girl claims she wants to be a freelance writer. Has she not yet accepted her fate as never having disposable income ever again?!" 

To be honest, I've pretty well excepted my fate as a penniless writer. And when I really think about holiday pay, I realize it wasn't really meant as a perk. In reality, it's there to promote the idea that Memorial Day (or whatever the holiday du jour) is a special day for Americans  If you aren't able to get the day off, you deserved a little extra pay to "remind" you of the holiday.

When I accepted my current job, I basically kissed summer holidays (and weddings and any other special occasion not scheduled on my days off) good-bye. Holidays roll past without me even noticing them. I've been known to ask, "oh, was it Labor Day yesterday?" Around here, life doesn't pause for holidays. We barrel through them like they don't exist.

And I suppose that's okay. But maybe it would have been nice if yesterday I'd thought less about closing out the cash register and more about my great-uncle Peter who died in WWII when his plane was shot down over France. Or about my great-uncle Frank, who was a WWII paratrooper. Or a little about my gramma.

If I'd received holiday pay, would it really have affected my mindset yesterday? Who knows? All I know is when it comes to holidays, I'm not getting them off and I'm not getting paid any more for showing up for work on them.

Welcome to summer at Of Woods and Words.


  1. Now that I don't work in the corporate world, I think I would totally forget about holidays too if it weren't for the kids' school schedules! Yes, we did luck out this weekend and missed most of the bad weather. It only rained at night and was OK during the days.

  2. When I took my shot as a full time civilian and part time soldier (instead of active duty soldier), so that I could write, I realized that I was losing a great income for an unpredictable, and sparse one.

    I put out a 99c short story on Kindle, and so far have sold 3, meaning that I've almost made $1.00... le sigh.

    All other projects, I'm waiting to work out (publishers and other things) and start making money, but ...

    I consider a writer lucky if they make $500/mo. Le sigh.

  3. LOL, I miss the holiday pay too! Our friends at the local grocery store get triple pay for working holidays....TRIPLE PAY?! Sime I'm a SAHM, that really means no holiday pay, no bonus pay, never ending hours, oh and no every day pay. I forgot all about disposable income 2 years ago, lol!

  4. Thanks for the shoutout! I have to admit that I spent more of the weekend grumbling about cleaning out our old apt than reminiscing about loved ones. I'm a fraud haha.

  5. I don't get holiday pay, but I do enjoy having a paid day off.

  6. I've always had to work holidays but never received holiday pay. I need to find a different type of job I guess. Military related holidays are hard for me to acknowledge because they make me so sad. I'm happy and grateful that Jake made it home and we were able to meet and fall in love but I can't get past the fact that so many others didn't and it just makes me want to cry all day. I'm not much of a crier but for each soldier that didn't come home, so many lives were affected and I really feel for them, and even for the families of the loved ones that did come home, it's tough.

  7. I can certainly feel where you're coming from. A few times yesterday I felt a twinge of guilt at not doing something patriotic to memorialize those who fought and served to protect me and my rights. But mostly, I enjoyed my day off and loved the thought that my hubby was at work for at least part of the day...getting time and a half pay. I appreciate my father and my grandfather for all they did to serve our country, and I especially appreciate the day off that memorializes and thanks them.

  8. Wait, some people get days off and other people get paid extra to work on holidays?!?! Will someone tell my boss?!?!?!

  9. Surprise you now have received a Blog Award at my blog ~ go to my blog and Copy the Award and then follow the directions and Paste on your Blog ~ thanks ~ Carol ~ artmusedog ^_^


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