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When holidays pop up on the calendar, I am always reminded of an unusual business owner. He ran a business that was open 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year. It never closed.
As the business grew, the owner added employees. They came from diverse ethnic backgrounds and races. He had them working together like a well-oiled machine, except for one thing.
With different backgrounds, they had different ideas about holidays. The company started out in the early 1970s. Early on, the owner specified 9 paid holidays--New Year's Day, President's Day, Easter, Memorial Day, Fourth of July, Labor Day, Veteran's Day, Thanksgiving and Christmas. In addition, there were 3 paid personal days of the employee's choosing. All in all, there were 12 paid days off each year.
As the company grew from 20 to 30 or so employees, complaints began to roll in about company paid holidays. A Jewish man wanted to take Jewish holidays. A Chinese guy wondered why he had to take any holidays. A man from Egypt wanted to take Islamic holidays. An atheist refused to take off on Christmas and Easter. And a Buddhist wanted to take his birthday.
The owner of the company solved the problem in a very unique way. The company dropped all holidays; leaving no official ones. Instead, every employee is entitled to, and paid for, 12 personal days off each year. They may be taken no more than two days at a time, and at least one week's notice must be given in writing. These personal days must be taken or they are lost at the end of each year. They are in addition to paid vacation time and sick days.
The solution tossed the holiday problem back into the employee's lap. Interestingly, some of the loudest requests for religious holidays are now spent elsewhere.
Contrary to popular belief, business owners do not get any time off. You carry your worries with you wherever you go. Wouldn't have it any other way, would you?