From a New York Times report…
The Conference Board, a private research group, found that at the start of the summer, 40 percent of consumers had no plans to take a vacation over the next six months — the lowest percentage recorded by the group in 28 years. A survey by the Gallup Organization in May based on telephone interviews with a national sample of 1,003 adults found that 43 percent of respondents had no summer vacation plans.
About 25 percent of American workers in the private sector do not get any paid vacation time, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reports. Another 33 percent will take only a seven-day vacation, including a weekend.“
The idea of somebody going away for two weeks is really becoming a thing of the past,” said Mike Pina, a spokesman for AAA, which has nearly 50 million members in North America. “It’s kind of sad, really, that people can’t seem to leave their jobs anymore.”
Shrinking-vacation syndrome has gotten so bad that at least one major American company, the accounting firm PricewaterhouseCoopers, has taken to shutting down its entire national operation twice a year to ensure that people stop working — for about 10 days over Christmas, and 5 days or so around the Fourth of July.
“We aren’t doing this to push people out the door,” said Barbara Kraft, a partner at the firm in the human resources office. “But we wanted to create an environment where people could walk away and not worry about missing a meeting, a conference call or 300 e-mails.”
Ye Gods! What a country. I have a friend who’s a senior executive in a major US corporation. He gets two weeks of holiday a year, and reports that his colleagues get annoyed by his refusal to take a laptop away with him.