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A Business Trip On PTO

December 4, 2019

PTO: Personal Time Off, Employee Vacation or sick time

My company doesn’t offer sick time. Instead they offer PTO hours. It’s up to the employees to decide how to use it. It can be used either for sick time or vacation time.

The company also has a use-it-or-lose-it policy. Any PTO hours unused at the end of the year are lost. I’ve been with the company long enough that I get 25 vacation days each year. That’s more than a month.

And that’s the problem. I don’t take a lot of vacations during the year. Even when I try to take vacation time, it doesn’t always work out. I’m a salaried employee. So, if I work for any amount of time during a day, by law it becomes a work day. My of my previous supervisor said, “If you take a phone call, it’s a work day.”

So, given the number of outages we have and their tendency to follow me on vacation, I end up in December with quite a few days that I need to take vacation for.

This year I 96 PTO hours headed into December. That’s 12 days. We get Christmas day as a company holiday, so I requested from December 13 through the end of the year off.

I filled out the forms and since I don’t need to have anyone cover my “shift that was the end of it. Oh sure, if we had an outage call during the last two weeks of December my PTO days will turn into work days, but otherwise I’m all set for a long vacation.

Except. . .our client decided to make a trip to our Arkansas location in two weeks. I sent email to the VP,

The client wants to visit our Arkansas site on December 18 and 19. Do you want me to arrange to be onsite?


And there it was. Could I insist that “I had those days scheduled off!!”? I suppose. But, the fact is if the client is going to be onsite at our call center in Arkansas, I needed to be there too.

So, now I’m requesting PTO for December 9 – 16, and then again from December 23 through then end of the year. A couple of travel days and weekends round out the rest of the month.

My friends suggested that I should insist that I wasn’t going.

I simply replied, “Who wouldn’t want a couple of days in Arkansas in December?”

Rodney M Bliss is an author, columnist and IT Consultant. His blog updates every weekday. He lives in Pleasant Grove, UT with his lovely wife, thirteen children and grandchildren.

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(c) 2019 Rodney M Bliss, all rights reserved

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