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This is just funny...
Posted by: McQ on Thursday, April 10, 2008

Interesting but not particularly compelling story about national parks and some speculation as to why no one seems to visit many of them any more.

Eh. Not something I'd usually blog about. But one comment caught my eye and the bold line just caused me to start laughing.

Linda in Portland tells us why she isn't visiting national parks that much:
...When I worked for the federal government, I had ample vacation time to visit Saguaro, Grand Canyon, Casa Grande, Yosemite, Arches, Kings Canyon, Death Valley, Joshua Tree and more other parks than I can count. Now that I work in the private sector, I have 15 days of combined sick leave/vacation/holiday time. It sure doesn’t leave enough time to load up the car and drive two days each way to visit our nation’s treasures.
Poor Linda has to earn vacation time now, instead of just having it handed to her. Wonder why she's not still with the federal government if all that vacation was so wonderful?

Any gue$$e$?
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Previous Comments to this Post 

Seriously, what the hell?

When did spambots evolve to get past your system?
Written By: Scott Jacobs
URL: http://
Got me ... but they’re actually easier to pick off when they do it like this.
Written By: McQ
I’m certainly not a big fan of the federal government, but this seems unduely harsh.

What’s wrong with offering a pay package that is lower but has more vacation?

I understand that the private sector doesn’t tend to offer that sort of deal, but that could just be because people who like low pay and lots of vacation tend to also enjoy working for the state.
Written By: OneEyedMan

It’s funny.

It feeds every stereotype you can imagine about a government worker.

"When I worked for the federal government I had ample vacation time ..." and most folks would think "and I bet you took every day of it and then tried to find a way to get more".

But now that poor Linda works in the private world, well, 2 weeks just isn’t enough to troop off to national parks and such. And because of that, well, look at what’s happening to them. Solution - more vacation time, of course.

Just funny ...
Written By: McQ
I feel so sorry for her. Poor, poor Linda! She actually has to work. Jeez, what is this all coming to!
Written By: Cindy
URL: http://
I was kidding with the above. I do find this quite funny. Not sure if it rates up with Ott Scerb though. That’s become a source of amusement.

Written By: Cindy
URL: http://
To be fair, Linda did NOT say she should be given more vacation time. She didn’t, technically speaking, say she was worse off over all. All she did was mention why she personally wasn’t visiting as much as she used to. Some other comment on the article then bitched about employers squeezing as much as possible out of the american worker.
Written By: Phlinn
URL: http://
When I worked for the Federal Government, I made $128.50 a month, but I too got 30 days leave a year. It was a deal I couldn’t refuse.
Written By: MarkD
URL: http://
You made $128.50? What a deal! I started at $88 and worked my way up to a little over $200 (including overseas allowance) by the time I "quit" two years later. Paid me off for 28 days of "vacation" that I never had a chance to use.

3 weeks of combined vaction and sick pay (known as PTO -Personal Time Off) is pretty standard. I’ve got 4 weeks (as good as it’s ever going to get with my present employer) because I’ve got 5 years here.

I think the price of gasoline has a lot more to do with the dearth of NP visitors than what has been the pretty much standard - in the private sector, which is still > 50% of the economy - vacation time.

Written By: bud
URL: http://
I don’t know if this bears directly or not on Bruce’s point, but I’ll toss it out there....

Most of you know I camp rather a lot. I have a 21ft camper trailer that I use every weekend that there’s enough in the kitty, which is about every other weekend, plus whatever vacations I managed to get. I do keep a full kitchen active in the thing April to late October, (Big freezer) as well as a three full sets of clothing... which means if we get the itch on a Friday night, all we have to do is drop hitch, and go. (This has the added tactical advantage of providing food and shelter in an emergency situation... food and shelter that can go where we go, at need) I know I’m not alone in this addiction. (Snork)

With that background, then to the point:
Time, with such a setup is a bit less of a factor, if you’re doing local...say, 500 miles or less, and is still less of a factor than might otherwise be, for other types of park visitors, when doing the long haul...500+ miles. I’m within Friday -night -after -work shooting distance of several national parks and even more very nice state parks.

So, given the numbers of families like ours, which is still growing, by the way, I think the quoted woman’s point about time limits to be a little off the center, though such time limitations do enter the equation, eventually.

But I should think that in both cases, simple visitors and campers alike, the bigger problem is costs of fuel will have caused at least some of the drop off in park visitation, even more so than the lesser vacation lengths in the private sector. I mean, granted that given the type of vacation time alloted me in my current job(s0 I can’t drive to Yellowstone, but who can with the cost of fuel anyway, trailer or not? Hauling a trailer or not, the expense of getting around on a vacation is getting to be a bigger concern, and is perhaps going to be the biggest single limitation this summer, and for the past few, actually.

Written By: Bithead

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