On November 9th I put in a request at the day job for a week of vacation starting this coming Monday. While this was somewhat short notice, the items on my To Do list at work are week ahead of schedule and not due until mid-December. It seemed like the best time to disappear for a week. Unfortunately the request was declined for reasons of "just in case", which is the same reason I've been given for the last two time off requests. I now have 17.5 days of paid vacation banked that will disappear if left unused on February 17th, 2019. Thanks to math, it's easy to see that there are 88 calendar days between then and now, 8 of which are for national and company holidays, and 25 for weekends. This leaves just fifty-five days to use the time off, or lose the opportunity without any sort of financial compensation1.
This leaves me in the undesirable position of being a jerk about using this particular benefit or once again forfeiting my time2 for an entity that employs a lot of smart people who most certainly do not need me sticking around "just in case".
As it happens, I've been asked to join a couple of important meetings taking place in New Jersey next week. While I will not be able to fly to the other side of the planet to participate in person, I will be there via teleconference. What I like about this situation is that my working hours will be from 9:30pm until 6:30am and there's little chance of any overtime being required. I'll be able to listen in, participate when it makes sense, and otherwise work on various projects while this side of the world is asleep. My goal will be to complete all of the core outstanding tasks that I have for this year, then approach the bosses boss in order to force the time off through. There will be no justifiable reason if there is literally no mission-critical work sitting on my desk. One thing that will be different, however, is the amount of time I request. Rather than go just for five working days, I'll make an effort to take all seventeen and a half days. That's just over three weeks, and the time off would be a glorious opportunity to focus on something that does not involve wading through institutional fiefdoms and corporate cow patties.
The company is required by law to provide time off to all full time employees. It's high time I take some.
Paying out unused vacation days are not required by law in Japan and, therefore, my employer will not do so.
I've forfeited a lot vacation days over the years in order to meet deadlines and whatnot. Silly me, right?