The Pros and Cons of Vacation

One of the perks of working in Europe is the generous amount of vacation days employees receive. While some jobs in America may advertise a month of vacation time, the reality is that it is impossible to take that much time off of work. Most attorneys I know rarely take time off since doing so will only make it harder for them to meet the required annual number of hours they must bill. In Europe, on the other hand, you not only receive a lot of vacation time, but you are expected to use it. For example, at UBS we receive five weeks of vacation each year and are required to take at least one two-week long break.

Recently, however, I discovered the down side to all this vacation time: everyone receives it. This becomes a problem when you try to visit your favorite local restauraunt and a sign on its window announces that it will be closed while the owners are on vacation for a month. With most of the local people on vacation, the city also becomes a giant noisy and disorganized construction zone starting exactly at 7:00 every weekday morning since there is no better time to repair the city’s infrastructure than when half the town is gone.


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