I’m proud to be half Swedish.

Here is one reason why:

[snip:] According to a recent EU study, carried out by the European Foundation for the Improvement of Living and Working Conditions, he is the rule. Swedish workers topped the European vacation rankings, entitled to an average of 33 paid vacations days in 2006 – close to 7 weeks, not counting public holidays.

The EU study showed that, compared with the Swedes’ entitlement of 33 days of paid vacation in 2006, Germans had 30, Italians had 28 and Estonians, who ranked last, had 20.

(These numbers include the statutory minimum paid leave, as well as days added by collective bargaining agreements, but not public holidays. Not all EU countries are included in the study, since the way of gathering data relating to vacations is different in a way that makes comparisons difficult.)

Even more strikingly, Americans had, on average, only nine days of paid vacation in 2006, according to a recent report from the Center for Economic and Policy Research in Washington. That discrepancy is, in large measure, because the United States has no statutory minimum of paid vacation days.

In case you missed why ‘Old europe rules forever and always, let me reiterate.

These numbers include the statutory minimum paid leave…

Yes, folks. It is LAW that you get a MINIMUM amount of paid vacation days. This applies to everyone from the time they are hired. None of that measly ‘Work 5 years to get 2 weeks vacation’ shit here.

Also : Nudity is cool; just wear sunblock. Big beers are cheaper than water. Europeans love bikes. And then there is Oktoberfest (Ok, that’s Munich, but still…)

So pack your bags, abandon your soon-to-be-foreclosed-upon homes, Leave Fred Phelps to do god’s work and head over to the Old country. I’ll buy you your first massbier and we’ll have a laugh and shed a tear. Then you can go on your (legally-enforced) vacation.

—bikepunk

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About bikepunk

“Cuts, scrapes, bruises… all in a day’s riding. Then it’s off for some good german beer in a local biergarten.” Munich, Germany

37 thoughts on “I’m proud to be half Swedish.

  1. I think you’re onto something. Looking at the 2007 year calendar, it seems my co workers in Bischofsheim/Rhön have 15 public holidays in addition to the 30 paid vacation, I have 6/15 respectively.

    I smell a future transfer to Germany.

  2. Didn’t you ever wonder about all those fans that show up on weekdays for the big races? If only they would use all those vacation days for hygenic purposes…damn stinky Euros.

  3. The GOP is fine with you working less days per year. They simply want you to have the guts to stand up to your employer, all on your own, rather than having to legislate it all for you.

  4. I must say this wouldn’t pass ANY faction, GOP or DLC or whomever. Aside from Nader and maybe Kucinich there is no one who would either advocate this or even recommend it. It would be nice to get at least the same vacation as say oh… Congress.

    I know people who would shove their grandma down in an alley full of broken glass and used needles for a month vacation. Or a Raiders victory. Or Philly.

    Admit it Jonny.

  5. “The GOP is fine with you working less days per year. They simply want you to have the guts to stand up to your employer…….”.

    Is there another GOP that I’m not aware of? The one I’m familiar with wants nothing of the sort, being little more than an appendage of the corporate interests that put it in power in the first place.

  6. The Democrats are immune to corporate influence? Phew, at least we have ONE benevolent party to gravitate towards. And I was sweating there for a moment (insert mega-sarcasm now).

  7. Bikepunk hit it on the head! I want the same schedule (and paycheck…and benefits) of Congress!! Wheeehoooo! Imagine…corporate interests paying your way for everything…junkets to exotic foreign locales for “fact-finding missions” on your consituents’ dime…all while struggling to maintain an 18% approval rating (compared to Bush’s current 35%).

  8. So, lessee….

    I already have to pay for your benefits, I pay triple the taxes as any one else, I have to make sure your workplace is fun, friendly and has a break room, I have to pay you a living wage, put up with your bull shit, tardiness, no showing, laziness, ass grabbing and generally putting my ass in jeopordy legally speaking, I have to make sure your workplace is safe, clean and non-threatening, I can’t fire you without a paper trail that would cut down half of the world’s forests, I have to be OSHA compliant when you put things where they aren’t OSHA compliant, I have the stress, way more hours than you could dream of, deadlines and I have to make sure money is in the bank for your fucking check while you fuck around and steal from me by surfing on the internet all fucking day.

    Fuck you, five weeks of vacation. Try putting in eight solid productive hours without your fucking IM, chat rooms, websites, myspace, text messaging, personal phone calls and boards and I’ll talk about your fucking five weeks.

    Signed,

    Someone who employees 20 of you louses.

  9. …maybe they do all the shit you complain about, cuz what you call a living wage, is really a subsistence level…

    …just sayin’…cuz i don’t work for you…

    …fortunately for me.

  10. Hey, my commitment and dedication to work is exactly proportional to the amount they pay me, wish is to say very little.

  11. That is the American way… Be lazy, steal from your employer and get ahead. How about I start you at a mil five for lying on your resume about your skills and qualifications?

    Good plan, slackers.

    How about bust your ass for little money, earn trust, respect, learn the job (99% of you are worthless the first three months), gain skills and be given a promotion and pay raises. Oh, work so scary.

    I pay those that work. I fire those that don’t. Black and white.

    I get the joy of firing another hack tomorrow just based upon her internet usage. If you surf on my time it is theft, plain and clear.

    Unemployment line for you, bitch (and I’ll be contesting that one as well).

  12. somebody ought to educate Punkndrublic on reality

    you can basically take an American employee out back and ass fuck them, and then fire them because their asshole didn’t suit your desires

    American employees have virtually no rights whatsoever. You can fire an employee for almost any reason whatsoever, except for purely racial or sex reasons, and even then you have to make OVERT statements and memos to link the evidence to a successful prosecution.

    In short, you’re a whiny ass fucking liar. The way you talk about your employees, for example calling them “lice”, getting gut shot and left to die in a desert would be too fucking good for you.

    When is the last time you had an OSHA visit, 1988?

    You’re a typical dumb shit Republican who’s first primordial response is to fucking whine.

    God fucking damn you need a massive punch in the head.

  13. …hey, lest we forget who we’re talkin’ about here…

    …they make a nice meatball, too…

    …hook me up, big jonny, if ya got some ‘a spicy’ connections !

  14. My Girl here in Scotland, Get 6 weeks paid Vacation, 12 Govt Holidays, And up to one month sick leave…

  15. Alls I was trying to say was a happy employee is a productive employee.
    from Wikipedia:

    As a continent, Europe has the largest economy in the world. Europe’s largest national economy is that of Germany, which ranks third globally in nominal GDP, and fifth in purchasing power parity (PPP) GDP; and its second is that of the United Kingdom, which ranks fifth globally in nominal GDP and sixth in PPP GDP.

    So all us slackers here; even with all our holidays; even with vacation time; even being smaller in size than California with over double the population…
    Germany is still the 3rd largest GDP in the WORLD.

    I think punkindrublic is pissed because in his role as night manager at Kinko’s, he no longer is able to surf porn on the couch in his underpants at 3am, while he sits in his mother’s basement.

  16. Bush43…before you get your nuts all in a bunch about the “reality” of being an employer, check your facts, dude. Turns out punkndrublic is a bit more accurate than you. I work for a family business, I’ve been there since I was 16 (started out washing the walls and the floors of a factory, for those who would attempt the “privilegded boss’s kid line), I’m 33 now and preparing to take over when the padre retires. You should SEE the anguish my pops goes through just to can somebody that won’t show up 1/2 the time, uses their cell phone on the factory floor during work hours (no internet out there!) and other bs.
    Oh yeah, since I just finished 11th year there Full time, I’m now eligible for 15 days of vacation. WHeee!

  17. Sommerfliesby: RUN, Sell the buiz, And get out…..Life is a verb…not a noun….And, you pay for what you get…..Pay more get better….Make a better product, charge more, Capitalism…

  18. No reason to get out. Business makes money, money helps me live as a verb. Also, I keep 12 people living comfortably…and since our average employee has been here about 20 YEARS, I’m not about to pull the rug out from under them.

  19. I can remember when this used to be a cycling blog…

    after riding extensively in Europe, I am down with bikepunk on the old country. They fucking get it that bicycles and cyclists belong. That is reason enough to brush up on my Deutsch and get my ass there sooner rather than later…

    Non believers are welcome to stay where they are and continue to beat on one another…I will be out riding with my German honey.

    tschuss…

  20. Who’s bitchin? I’m just telling it like it is…and refuting the bitchings of others.

    I didn’t even use my 10 days when I had it…probably won’t use the 15 either…although maybe I should plan a cycling vacation??? You guys got anyplace good to ride in AZ?

  21. I’m down to move into a better econ, I’ve paid taxes since i was
    * thinking * 16 years old and right now im 42.. just think of the
    money i could have if i didnt pass it to the man/system, for whar war machine? will i get good SS bennys? LOL

    worked for almost every asshole boss you could think of and
    it just seems to be getting worse every year.. micro fucks, relaxed bosses,, u name it.. **** almost everyone one will sell u out to save ” their ass ” all for a job.. piece of the pie?? nah just the mass job market where almost every corp fuck is a gold digger. stick ya in the back AND tell you when to piss and take a break.. anyone see that euro mag that just had bike culture in place without autos?? it was a system that everyone worked together.. no keeping up with ” The Jones “

  22. punkndrublic:

    Why give them internet access then? And the internet access you give, you could easily restrict. So why not just do that? It’d save you the hassle of firing people. You are the one enabling them to slack.

  23. My employees make WELL above the norm (two of my 26 yo’s make greater than $60K a year) but I expect hard work. I work hard, they should also.

    I do restrict internet access to the point of I record everything they do. I can’t nanny-gate software them as some of the internet is our business. However, shopping for a new purse isn’t part of it.

    Now they all know that I record every key stroke, every screen, every conversation.

    If they are stupid enough to think I’m not vigilant… Then they deserve to be fire.

    As an employer, it is very difficult to fire someone. I need three instances of the same occurance IN WRITING for cause baring theft or other disorderly conduct.

    Otherwise, EDD here they come.

  24. btw the company pays for the EDD if they choose to..
    total garbage ->>>Now they all know that I record every key stroke, every screen, every conversation. **sorry but thats lame.**

    u pay someone 60k to work, and do they do it?? bottom line
    if they dont maybe something is causing it.. think about it..

  25. Bikepunk, way to start a fucking firestorm.

    Now my turn to throw on some gas.

    punkndrublic – I feel for you but the way you come across you don’t sound like a real treat to work for–if a tenth of your negativity comes through to your employees then they will probably hate you and fuck you when they can. As a leader you set an example, so their behaviors may be a reflection…
    You do get what you hire, and if you pay well you will find good employees. If they are that bad, you can fire them, you just need to be diligence.
    Bush43 is on the other extreme. You think Americans have it so bad in the workplace, sounds like you need to take a holiday in cambodia. There are a shitload of laws here that protect workers, and there a some who will take advantage of it to the point where, as punkndrublic said, it is very hard to fire a truly bad employee for stuff as straightforward as stealing. Lawsuits abound and for most major companies, a settlement will be easier/cheaper in the end. Of course our min. wage blows which doesn’t do much to foster happy workers, but then there seem to be plenty of new immigrants that are pigs-in-shit happy to line up for whatever lousy job they can get at min. wage.
    And what the fuck is up with the nitpicky spelling/grammer notes?
    Pissy group we seem to have on this one, now its rubbing off on me, and I was in a good mood. bastards.

  26. Hey asshat:

    “btw the company pays for the EDD if they choose to..
    total garbage”

    We have an account we pay into, I pay quarterly. I HAVE to pay that tax (you call it a benefit) and if you win the case (I’ve lost only one because I let her win and didn’t respond; she was nice, just stupid and lied on her resume… was completely unqualified for the job) then it comes out of the account I pay better than $3000 quarterly for. If I exceed the amount in the account (a percentage goes into the Unemployment faction) then I have to cut a check out of company funds for the dough quarterly.

    Get your facts straight, leach.

    Yes, I record your keystrokes. You are on my computers, my internet, my desks, my chairs, my office, my lights, my AC, my coffee, my bathrooms, my insurance, my taxes, my OSHA, my cleaning crew and my fucking time. I pay you, the simple answer is work, not fuck off my time. Do that when you get home, not at my address. Moral compass anyone? Again, when is stealing right? Never, not of time or anything else.

    Fucking lazy Americans, I’m starting to really believe that sentiment. I grew up poor as a fourth gen American and am 100% self made because I work my ass off, as are my parents, both of my brothers and my grandparents. If I wasn’t so against it, I’d hire from the south like many other business owners I know that are successful; I choose to keep my nose clean and do it the right way and I pay the price with a $15/hr office worker with full benefits and a 401K I match funds on that I fire tomorrow fucking off on the computer all day if I’m gone. She has stolen approx $1525.23 from me in time this month alone. Time is money and that is completely quantitative.

    Recording has now paid off.

    No matter what, I try to give Americans jobs, which many fuck off, expecting to Pimp My Ride or Cribs in days. It takes decades of hard work to make real money (when you can write a check for a mil cash it is real, not when you pull it out of equity), not days and four years of some crappy education in which I have to wipe your ass with the certificate and teach you real world principals and standards.

    I’d rather hire someone without a degree than someone with; street smarts make a better business person than four years of partying, Greek letters and Cliff Notes. I’d rather have a gang fighter anyday over an Ivy League prick. Scrappy makes it happen. Striped ties make good weapons against that opponent.

    Remember, those that can’t, teach. You’d degreed people learn from these asses and expect a paycheck. Learn from an internship and skip the degree. You’ll be better off.

    Look in the mirror, you are what they say you are. I am an ass and successful, my family taken care of for life; you are fucking lazy.

    Flame on, losers.

  27. Wow punkndrublic is angry. I was sort of with him until he got really angry. Most of what he says about having to pay all of that shit is true. I know I deal with that all the time being Operations Manager of my company. Here is the deal with firing someone, if they are a bad employee you have to document every fucking thing they have done wrong, when you fire them. You are however able to just fire them at anytime if you work in a “will to work” state, You just need documentaion if they fight.
    But really punkndrublic there is no need to get so angry. Go ride your bikes, relax, and chill. People do suck and always feel they are entilted to more than they actually are, myself included. It sounds like you forgot that people are not machines and will have errors. I found out that if I relax on my crew and employees, more gets done in a day and there is less air of tension. I also found that less errors are committed by my employees if they do not feel like I will rip their heads if they fuck up. I have done things like instituted a “beer-thirty”, no yelling policy, unless it is me versus the owner, and I am not so strict about tardiness unless it is way absurd. I find my job is much more chill. I find I feel more relaxed daily and my home life is happier due to it. And I feel that my employees do not look at me like a big fucking angry asshat like your employees look at you.
    Oh yeah before you say well if you were the owner you would feel different, I saved my company from bankruptcy two years ago and have brought into the black higher than it has every been in the 12 years of exsisitance. The company owner is better served letting me run this show.

  28. Holy shit this one got entertaining.

    Jesus Christo – bet you’d make even more money if you recorded keystrokes. And hired gang members/thugs.
    Street Cred? Yeah, that usually means you know how to get shit done one way or another, but not necessarily the most ethical/moral way.

    Punkndrublic – I’m guessing you didn’t go to college, so, how do you know to assume we all spent the whole time drinking? I know some pretty hard workers, smart people that did quite well, and their hard work continues to pay off.
    You remind me of Mr. Hand from Fast Times at Ridgemont High, thinking everyone’s on dope…
    Based on your comments, I would say you have only been partially successful. But hey, if you are happy, thats all that matters for you, right?
    Just out of curiousity, do you wear a tie to work?