Can't go with family on vacation. Is it worth it?! - page 3

I'm #42 out of 55 nurses to choose my vacation week. We rent a condo in the outer banks; we share it with my sister-in-law and her family. Reservations have to be in now and so they are made. But... Read More

  1. by   Q.
    Quote from nurse_1098
    Seniority should account for something, that is true -
    Seniority should count in that more experienced nurses are paid more. Seniority should not mean that a 2 year employee (who is an experienced nurse too btw) shouldn't be able to take a planned vacation with her family.

    Zee, I would say take the vacation and scratch the job, find a new one, but then you'd be facing the whole "seniority" issue again someplace else.

    This is why I high-tailed it out of staffing as soon as I could.
  2. by   Haunted
    I don't get the whole "negotiate with the other unit nurses for scheduling" mentality. Scheduling a unit is not the responsibility of any staff nurse, that is what the admins are for, that is what registry is for. Our job is a profession, our family and personal time is just that...PERSONAL. I don't see the difference when it comes to being in a healthcare environment either, it should not matter.

    NOTHING comes before my family, never will.
  3. by   SmilingBluEyes
    Quote from Haunted
    I
    NOTHING comes before my family, never will.
    I agree with that sentiment totally--- but there are better ways to put family first than screwing over coworkers and your manager to get your way. Most of us have the desire to put our family and personal lives first, but these needs often clash with those of the job. So be it.

    This is one major reason I went PRN--to be able to say I can put family first......and take time off as I need to. But, in doing this, I made a personal decision to give up a regular , steady and predictible paycheck and some benefits, to put family first. Others may have to choose to do the same thing....or put up with status quo as FTE's.

    Sad but true; if you sign up to work full or part time and do so, knowing seniority will put you at the bottom of the list for vacations and other goodies, that onus is on you, not your coworkers or manager.

    Calling out sick or getting a dr note to get what you want is not the way to handle it, is all many of us saying. Trying to work things out w/coworkers scheduling-wise, or just saying "enough" and moving on , would be more effective and fair for everyone.

    I hope things work out for the OP and she gets that much-needed vacation.
    Last edit by SmilingBluEyes on Dec 12, '05
  4. by   Sable's mom
    I wasn't going to comment, but I just have to. I agree with those who said not to fake sickcall - your integrity is all you really have and if you sacrifice that you will never get it back.
    I also agree with those who say - make a choice, honorable and live with the consequences. I have quit jobs that tried to force me to push my family into second place, but like others, I had to pay a price - no steady pay check, a longer commute, or whatever.
    It is the pits when family decides to do something and you can't go along, but that is part of nursing (or any 24/7 job). While seniority may not be the only way to work it out it is the most common.
    As a manager, I have to say - what would you like admin to do about who gets what week for vacation?
  5. by   imenid37
    Hey I hope you work out something that makes you happy. I know your vacation means a lot to you, but others have plans that mean a lot to them too. I suspect someone could trade around w/ you. Do you have flex or per diem people who could fill for at least part of it for you? There are some years where I don't have really firm vacation plans and I have traded w/ someone who has really big plans. Just remember if someone helps you out, then you will need to be willing to return the favour. This could mean working on another special day. I really encourage you to be giving. It works for me. I have had most people be very nice about trading w/ me, because I do help them out. Don't call out sick please. That just adds to the problem, esp. for an entire week. How will you explain that suntan when you were so ill? If this job, isn't for you, then consider that and think about moving on. If someone has worked at your facility for a number of years, then they deserve to be rewarded. It sounds like you are a good employee too, so don't sabotage yourself, by doing something silly. I know you love your girls, but it is very true...the unit must be staffed. How would you like your kids to go to the ER and not be seen because 10 nurses needed off that day all for very good reasons?. If you were on that end of things, then you wouldn't care how important those plans were to those nurses. You'd care that your kids were sufferring because of lousy staffing. Maybe this is the make or break for you and this job, but please leave graciously. Good luck to you!
  6. by   Q.
    Quote from imenid37
    . If someone has worked at your facility for a number of years, then they deserve to be rewarded.

    But therein lies the problem. Vacation time isn't a reward for being an employee longer than someone else. Vacation is an earned benefit that is applicable after working, in some cases, 6 months at a facility, for everyone, including those who have been employees for "only" 2 years.
  7. by   SmilingBluEyes
    Quote from Q.
    But therein lies the problem. Vacation time isn't a reward for being an employee longer than someone else. Vacation is an earned benefit that is applicable after working, in some cases, 6 months at a facility, for everyone, including those who have been employees for "only" 2 years.
    I like how our unit works these issues out. The people wanting vacation blocks, at the first of the year, sign up----first come, first served, on a huge calendar near the manager's office-----however, in the event of a direct conflict (only 2 nurses per shift can be gone at one time), the senior nurse will win out. I do not think that is all that horrible, really, and I am far from "senior" being one of the newer nurses, despite having 6 years there. It's the way it is..... Seniority should count for something......

    Fortunately, most of the time, people work things out before it ever comes to a senior nurse bumping a junior one for the same block of time off. Most of them try to sign up and then if need be, change plans a bit to work together. Then PRN'ers and other part-timers (like me) rake it in, covering their vacations . I am very happy with how things work out where I work.

    I always sign up to be off on the "off" times. We take family vacations in Sept-October and in May, when the beaches are virtually deserted and no one else is asking to be off. It works great for us.

    Certainly, being creative and cooperative with your coworkers is very helpful, if not critical. But if a job situation is truly all that untenable, you have a decision to make: is the job worth it to you? It's that simple.
    Last edit by SmilingBluEyes on Dec 12, '05
  8. by   imenid37
    Quote from Q.
    But therein lies the problem. Vacation time isn't a reward for being an employee longer than someone else. Vacation is an earned benefit that is applicable after working, in some cases, 6 months at a facility, for everyone, including those who have been employees for "only" 2 years.
    So sorry to misspeak, but having priority in choosing one's vacation is a perk r/t longevity. Also amount of vacation usually is too. This lady has earned vacation, but not the perogative of exactly when she wants to take it. I can't help but wonder if this would cause such a reaction if she were a male. If a man had a new job (relatively) and was told it didn't fit in w/ long standing vacation plans, would he react similarly? I think as women we feel we must satisfy everyone. We have to be a good mom, a good wife, and a good employee. Also what if she has another vacation w/ the family? I have lost count of how many times I have changed my schedule to accomadate my husband and his work/school needs or even recreational plans, like NFL games. He has changed plans a very few times in the past 18 years. I know many of my co-workers will may a five way switch before they will tell their husbads they can't go hunting or fishing or ask them to change a shift at their jobs. Perhaps someone (another family member or close friend) would go to the outer banks w/ the in-laws and pay for what her and her hubby have committed to and she could go somewhere else w/ hubby and the kids when she did have time off. Everyone does get a vacation.Everyone(regular full and part time) may not be lucky enough to get it during prime time. This is a little like the thread about people w/ young kids who assume singles do not need to be off for the holidays. I am sure it is stressful where you work and everyone needs their vacation. No one should put themselves in a position to evaluate what other staff deserve. This is probably why there is the seniority rule. Personally, I support doing something for long time staff. They probably don't get much else if it's like most place. Did the OP know about her unit's vacation policy when she scheduled this vacation.
    Last edit by imenid37 on Dec 12, '05
  9. by   Zee_RN
    My (our) solution: we cancelled our reservations. We're going to have to take our chances. Unfortunately, this involves my sister-in-law's family, too, and I hate to be the cause of messing up someone else's plans. But my family has decided that they don't want to go without me and will take a chance on not getting the vacation we want (we have gone to this same place four times and we love it there but ... oh well).

    Solution for the unit regarding vacation time? (one manager asked). I don't know. It wouldn't be so much of a big deal if it were easier to get other days off. If the vacation schedule needs to be inflexible, then make some of the other items more flexible...like scheduled weekends that are currently cast in stone. We have over three pages of individuals who need to make-up weekends that spans a two-year period (if you call off on a weekend, you have to make it up)--use these make-up days to accommodate special weekend requests and/or vacation weekends. Our schedule comes out in two-week increments and you're allowed one request in a schedule (and, of course, it can't be a weekend). How about a 4-week schedule? (Especially since I rotate 50/50 days/nights -- in a 2-week period, I'm constantly flip-flopping.)

    If a few other schedule accommodations were made, the vacation schedule would be more tolerable. Like I said earlier, it can't be right that the employee is supposed to be as flexible as possible but the employer gets to be as inflexible as possible. There's got to be some give and take on both parts.
  10. by   SmilingBluEyes
    I could not work like you do---flip flopping shifts and set-in-stone weekends would never work for me.
  11. by   Jessy_RN
    Just want to wish you the best of luck and enjoy your vacation.
  12. by   imenid37
    I hope when you do have your vacation it's fantastic. I don't think you or your family would've been happy w/o you there. You employer sounds severe w/ those weekend make ups. I know they have to cover the unit, but it does sound a bit harsh. I am 100% behind covering the unit, but if they want people to stick around, they should realize that there's a shortage and be more creative. I am so glad you are going to be w/ the kids for vacation and not compromise your good record.
  13. by   nurse_1098
    Quote from Zee_RN
    It's not as simple as "missing one vacation," at least to me. My daughters (triplets) are 16 years old. I've got maybe one more vacation with them, after this one? It's also a lot of money to spend and not be able to go as a family. And it did have to be scheduled now; otherwise--obviously--I would have waited until it was my turn to pick.

    ...............

    And the week before Christmas for me? MON 7a-7p; TUE 11p-7a; THU 7a-7p; FRI 11p-7a. That's switching between days and nights TWICE in five days. One day "off" in between (and that's not really a day off; I'd normally be sleeping but I can't because I have to go to work the next morning). That's just not right and it's part of why I'm so frustrated about vacation too. I'm just really really frustrated (as you can tell) about their inflexibility regarding scheduling--only the employees are supposed to be flexible, not the employer.
    It sounds like you have no choice to get what you want you may as well quit, take on a casual position so you can be as flexible as you want with your working time and time off. Seniority is the way vacation time is attended to, that is universal and a fact you have to accept. You either stick it out and become senior staff over time or you take control and do casual where you can self-schedule.

    As for your Christmas schedule?! That is nuts - I'd be checking that with the Union.

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