IT Employment

Paid sick days may be next benefit to be cut

In an effort to cut costs on paid time off, private companies are looking at reducing or eliminating paid sick days from their benefit plans.

In an effort to cut costs on paid time off, private companies are looking at reducing or eliminating paid sick days from their benefit plans.

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While skyrocketing gas and grocery prices may be the most obvious sign of our going-to-hell-in-a-handbasket economy, never underestimate the power of the corporate spreadsheet. According to 2007 data from the U. S. federal government, as many as 43% of American workers in private industry don't have paid sick days as part of their benefit package.

The United States is the only industrialized country that doesn't require a minimal number of sick days for workers. The trend seems to be to decrease the existing number of sick days among workers or lump them in with vacation time.

However, according to an article on latimes.com, lawmakers are trying to curb this trend:

As employers cut back, however, lawmakers are stepping in, with the support of labor organizations and health officials. In May, legislation cleared the California Assembly that would allow workers to earn one hour of paid sick time for every 30 hours worked. The bill, called Healthy Families, Healthy Workplaces (AB 2716), has been sent to the Senate, where its prospects for passage are considered fair.

As many as 10 other states are also pondering paid-sick-day laws, including Ohio, where residents will likely vote in November on a ballot initiative requiring a minimum number of paid sick days.

About

Toni Bowers is Managing Editor of TechRepublic and is the award-winning blogger of the Career Management blog. She has edited newsletters, books, and web sites pertaining to software, IT career, and IT management issues.

140 comments
dangarrett
dangarrett

where i work it happened at the beginning of the year - without fanfare. until confronted management didn't discuss the matter.

asforza1
asforza1

Would'nt automation , I'm talking robots and AI take care of these human problems?

mikifinaz1
mikifinaz1

Day's work for a day's pay. Don't like it hit the street or form a union.

ted.wong
ted.wong

I work for a Canadian company and here are some of our benefits: - 12 sick days a year. - Start with two weeks of vacation. It increases to three weeks after your 2nd year. Get 4 years after 5 years of employment. After 7th year, you get an additional vacation day every two years of employment capping at 30 vacations days. - One "balance" day to do as you please. - Full dental and health. - Pay about par with US$ salaries now. Maybe all those Canadians who moved down to the US might want re-consider and move back to Canada.

wolfshades
wolfshades

You know...I'm getting a work-related sore back just thinking about all of this...

andrew.beals
andrew.beals

Silicon Valley went to "PTO" (Paid Time Off) well over a decade ago, wherein you receive a pool of hours (days) that count for both your vacation and your sick days. Most companies start you off at a miserly two weeks per year.

sauceml
sauceml

People getting sick is a part of life. It is a sad world when companies would rather employees come in sick, produce at 1/2 capacity and get everyone else sick in the process. Not good.

reisen55
reisen55

As an independent consultant, I left the corporate world when a few run-in jobs with outsourcing companies convinced me that the world of IT in mainstream business has gone to the dogs. Keeping money coming in from clients who are slow to pay is a major worry right now. But when I did have a job that was corporate-based, I made sure to take very few sick days anyway (they may be counting those). If you are outsourced, then all benefits come under the gun and they can be changed downward at a moment's notice. Doesn't matter how it is done. Federal WARN act. Firing mass employee base of more than 100 people requires 60 days severance pay unless certain pre-conditions exist such as a tornado that destroys the plant and/or a termination may impact search for outside financing. Act of God or Nature stuff, but otherwise the employer has to give 60 days notice. Period. Here's the trick. Fire 140 people - happened in November, 2005 at Aon Group and give them 30 days notice. But promise that another firm, BancTec, will re-hire 80% of them so you keep most of the 140 working anyway for 30 days. BancTec interviews everybody for 30 days .... and made offers to only 40 people. WARN act provisions cancelled out entirely. Only 10 people accepted those offers (they were that bad) so BancTec had to outsource FAST another 30 jobs (pizza delivery boys came in, that BAD of a talent pool). So sick day cuts are NOTHING. Bigger issues are around these days.

BALTHOR
BALTHOR

$400 billion in foreign aid to Africa since the 60's.

Oz_Media
Oz_Media

Okay, while we don't live in a truly socialist country, Canada is often seen as such by many Americans; fair enough, we accept a FEW more social services than Americans do so we are tagged as socialists. On that same note, the United States has always pushed and been proud to declare themselves a capitalist country. One where business has the upper hand and controls the outcome with great government support. In our 'socialist' country, the government and our employments laws all lean towards protecting the citizen or employee, more than looking out for the business. In the USA, while there are benefits for companies operating under a capitalist regime, it is the workers that seem to suffer so often. I see it from the way US companies hire, very closed minded and set standards that seem to eliminate most real talent and simply seek certified seat fillers. They don't seem to care nor understand employees, or know how to benefit from talent that is often hidden in the workplace already. Wages are poor, benefits are minimal, employees feel trapped/owned by the employer etc. I know it is extreme but from the outside it just looks like obligatory slavery. People feel obligated to do whatever it takes to appease the employer. Now I am not suggesting that people here walk all over their bosses, people DO work overtime, work long hours etc because they WANT to. People don't HAVE to or feel obligated to though. In even the most entry level positions, there is opportunity/encouragement to grow and share other skills in order to better yourself and the company. Self promotion and career growth is SO easy for Canadian employees you just keep moving onward and upward. I have friends from teh US, now living here, that have opened so many doors in their careers, starting out at the bottom and rising into great positions very quickly. They say this just opportunity just doesn't happen in the US anymore, the way the remember it used to do at one time. Recently we have discussed what gets you fired, in the USA it is practically anything (that lost sense of job security would rive me insane). We have had similar discussions on overtime, personal calls, email etc. It seems that in the US companies need this control over employees and in Canada the employee is seen as valued for what they bring to the table. Why is it that capitalism is favoured by employees in the USA when it just doesn't look out for the employee at all? I can understand that if you run a big business, capitalism keeps the government looking out for your best interests, but if you are merely a company grunt (which seems to be anyone below the rank of company president)what is the attraction, other than some ancient focus of liberty and freedoms. Guess what, those liberties and freedoms are what represses the employee, how can that be seen as so cherished? What is the benefit to the employee? Why do Americans accept this overly controlling/repressive capitalist system of business?

jck
jck

if Canada needs more highly experienced .NET WinForms programmers. Sounds like I could make out like a bandit...if I wanna put up with the cold. Maybe I'll contact my buddy at the Canadian government. Maybe he can get me on doing .NET up there for about $70k a year.

jdclyde
jdclyde

Even before you considered the currency rate, the Canadian counterparts were only making about 2/3rds the salary. Good that you found a place that is willing to do something to retain its work force.

reisen55
reisen55

IT departments will soon be directed to hardware internal stalls with RJ45 and provide a folding cabinet, akin to a diaper changing station, for laptop computers. This way, staff can continue to be productive. Remember MODERN TIMES?

NotSoChiGuy
NotSoChiGuy

...already chastised for taking 'too long' in the bathrooms. Of course, one was a diabetic, that needed to shoot up insulin...but why let humanity get in the way of running an effective business? (Note: I no longer work at the place, thankfully)

beechC23
beechC23

I think one thing that contributes to keeping US employees squished, is that health care insurance is tied to employment, unlike Canada's single payer, gov't funded system. As one gets older, the need for health care increases for ourselves and our families. People live in mortal fear of losing their coverage in the US. I am not suggesting Canada's system is any better... in fact our system sucks if you're sick and waiting months for proper treatment. But the fact remains that tying health care benefits to employment, gives employers a very big stick indeed. I don't know what the answer is, not my area of expertise, but I suspect a gov't system that takes up the slack during job changes, and ensures coverage for pre-existing conditions, might be a compromise. But that might smell too much like socialism to our friends to the south. Up here we don't have to worry about losing our coverage, but we do have to worry about getting access to a doctor, so beware going to our system.

crawk
crawk

jck pointed out that the milk has spoiled and the honey hardened in the US as compared with fifty years ago. Good point and accurate observation. Fifty years ago the government had not yet inserted itself into every aspect of business. In an ideal environment, businesses, employers, and employees would all be people of honor and integrity. Get government out of their way and watch them take off. That's when capitalism works as intended. Bad employers lose employees and customers, and fail; good employers get good people and grow. It's never worked that way, in pure form, because people aren't all good (present company excluded, of course). The 'age of capitalism run rampant in the US' is most typified by the "robber barons" of the Industrial Revolution. All were self-made without entitlement of birth or social beginnings. Many were immigrants who started with nothing. All were seen as hard-driving and of expecting other people to be as self-driven and ambitious as they were. Some hoarded their vast wealth for conspicuous and outrageous personal consumption. Others used it to underwrite many of the social reforms of the time and to endow public institutions (libraries, universities, museums, arts, charitable foundations, social services, other) that still benefit people more than a century later. The true capitalists today continue in the same pattern of hard work, integrity, and altruism. They are most definitely NOT the pompous, excessive, disgraceful, soulless, odius pretenders in the news, on trial, or in government. Instead, they generally start out as ordinary people who find a need and fill it. They eventually develop a core of loyal employees who earn fair wages, opportunities to build their own personal wealth by their own hard work, are treated with fairness and compassion, and are encouraged to excel. Businesses like this innovate, grow, and succeed wildly. Their owners become enormously wealthy along with many of their employees, which allows them to provide more jobs for even more people, and gives them the freedom and resources to be actively involved in working for and supporting good causes, charitable work, and doing things themselves without waiting for the machinery of government to grind on. Capitalism. Idealistic? You bet. Capitalism at its best. But it happens every day, unnoticed by the klieg lights and under the radar. In the world of equality of *opportunity*, the good guys eventually find one another. So do the bad guys, but their businesses eventually fail because bad practices lose customers. Until government steps in to change the model from equality of opportunity to equality of *outcome*. This chains down the good guys and props up the bad guys. Since plain old regular people can no longer tell the good guys from the bad guys by outward appearance, they don't which one they're buying from or working for until they get stuck in a bad situation. Since it's a bad situation and the bad guys aren't going to fix it, government steps in. Socialistic capitalism. Government intervention further hurts the good guys as they obey the laws while the bad guys create and slip through the loopholes. Which creates more need for government intervention to protect people from business. Capitalistic socialism. The downward spiral continues until the landscape is finally leveled - at the lowest common denominator - with the government in control of everything and bureaucrats running everything. Socialism. The United States does not have a capitalist economy. Maybe never fully did. The arguments on the best position between capitalism and socialism on this continent have been going on for three thousand years or more. The raging eighteenth century debates on federalism are mere newcomers to the evidences in paleo-anthropology. The principles undergirding the United States and its economy are: that power belongs to the people, not the government, and that government power is only on loan from the people; that there are absolutes of natural law; and that people are personally self-governing by the rules of natural law in order to sustain this form of government. Now it's upside down: many people self-indulgent instead of self-governing; leading to relativity of law and principles of convenience; leading to power in the hands of self-indulgent government instead of self-governing people. So the government as originally established no longer works. This requires ever-greater government intervention and ever-less-free people. In such an environment, capitalism ceases to exist. But, in the US, the resultant socialistic system is still mistakenly labeled Capitalism. Therefore, it's difficult to do other than to both disagree and agree with the gentlefolk here who question the merits of US un-capitalism. We're pretty much on the same tightwire with everybody else now, but without the net of endpoint socialism stretched out underneath us. Except not quite.

MadSciGuy
MadSciGuy

All right, so we have two guys bantering about how much they hate the bad old USA. There are no guards on US border keeping people in (or out, it seems), no one is going to force you to live here. We love it here, you wouldn't understand, so feel free to live in your perfect country. We'll keep welcoming busloads of Canadians coming down here for health care. I guess we spent too much money over the last 60 years keeping the rest of the free world free. Is this off-topic enough for everyone? Feel free to delete.

jck
jck

poor Americans just don't up and move to another state to get a better life: it isn't as easy to do as it is to say. I have tried to leave the United States to go to work in Ireland. I have had 3 companies turn me down because a) I don't already have a work authorisation, and b) I'm not already in Ireland. I can't legally pursue work in Ireland without a work authorisation. I can't get a work authorisation without having a job offered to me. I guess when 460M EU people all have jobs, I'll have a chance. Otherwise, I'm out of luck. But Oz, I don't like the system here. Not all Americans are for letting business be "big brother" instead of government.

jdclyde
jdclyde

to get some more insulation, and the cold won't bother you.... :p One day you will learn for yourself about if the grass is really greener on the other side or not. Seeing other countries through locals tinted glasses isn't always what it cracked up to be.

rpoccia
rpoccia

they do not need a wire. it will cost too much money. how about wireless. with a fold out deck next to the tp for the laptop (supplied by you). This coupled with cell phones or voip to the computer and you have yourself an office people will be dieing to get into.

jck
jck

When I lived in Oklahoma, I had a buddy worked for the US Postal Service. Every couple of years or so, the USPS would send around "auditors" with the mail carriers to evaluate their performance. They actually timed the amount of time they spent in the bathroom during their lunchbreak...ON A BREAK!!! Christ man...next thing you know, they're gonna start taking money out of your check for the air you breath and the power you use doing your job.

TonytheTiger
TonytheTiger

the person getting services (or not getting services) has no control over costs, and unless they expend some effort, they probably don't know what those costs are. Also the insurers have more or less a captive customer. Most employers don't offer more than a couple of choices, and there's no competition. I think if the employer gave the employee in wages what it is spending for coverage, most people could find the coverage [u]they need[/u] at a lower cost... first because they could customize their coverage for their health and lifestyle, and second because people having more choices would promote competition.

JamesRL
JamesRL

So you feel insulted by someone's comments, so you feel the need to insult the poster's country. Pot, kettle, black. We welcome busloads of Americans to get prescription drugs. And before we cracked down on photo IDs, we used to have millions more health care subscribers than we had citizens - guess where they came from? Y'all love to tell us about your freedom of speech, but then you complain when someone expresses their opinion if it doesn't match yours. Do you believe in free speech, or do you believe in the right of speech for people who think like you do. James

florida_kes
florida_kes

...and of course those who dared to even consider moving out of the USA where attacked by rabid flag wavers. Anyway, in a possible solution to your quest: "The easiest path to living and working in the EU is to claim EU citizenship through descent or origin should you have an ancestor born in one of the current European Union member states or non-EU members Iceland, Liechtenstein, Switzerland and Norway. Many times, there are no language or residency requirements, and applications for repatriation are processed quickly. Citizenship from an EU country would then entitle you to an EU passport, since only those with EU citizenship can apply for an EU passport."

Oz_Media
Oz_Media

Without a need to move, what can be done to get your employment laws to favour the employee, which is really what such laws should be focused on. Companies already have legal protection of their interests and business practices, but employees seem to be deemed mere peons without rights when it comes to capitalist businesses. I understand that you see through this, but there are so many here who have constantly piped up about what great employment opportunities are available there. Around the world, the big 'draw' to the US is not for beauty of the land or freedom of the people and it is not due to military might (no matter what some Americans may feel), it is due to it being sold as "the land of opportunity". But from an employees point of view, it seem rather repressive and not a golden opportunity at all. Oriental immigrants FLOCK to Canada for such opportunities, Richmond specifically because on a map it is the mouth of the dragon and is vely rucky. Anyone I have ever known that has considered a move to the US has also only done so for the 'opportunity' that is supposed to be had, I haven't really met anyone that wanted to move there for any other reasons; and when considered, opportunity is not enough to outweigh everything they don't like about it. How do Americans cope with the repressive employment? Is it JUST because taxes are generally lower in the USA, despite the fact that wages are also a bit lower. I just don't get it, what am I missing that is such a great benefit?

cowen80194
cowen80194

I might decide to go get a job paving a street or roofing, framing, sheet rocking, electrical, buried cable, ect. I am a AMERICAN worker so I should be considered at a "FAIR" wage before the illegals are considered. Well that feild is so packed with illigals that I dont have a shot. SO I have to get jobs that are so skilled that I cost to much to employ so changeing jobs to something totally foriegn to me but still something I am skilled at is not even an option anymore. Tried to get on with TXDOT and was denied because I was no mexican. So some new rules forcing companies to hire AMERICAN first would be worth looking into.

jdclyde
jdclyde

because everyone knows the only jobs the illegal aliens are doing is working the fields, right? They don't get any of the higher paying unskilled labor jobs, such as roofing and such, right? right? Amazing how there are so many bleeding hearts that don't care that they are putting Americans out of jobs and causing a drop in the wages because of a flood to the work force. The easier it is to fill a position, the less you have to offer to get someone to do the work. People that support illegal immigration are hurting our middle and lower class and don't even care.

cowen80194
cowen80194

EU labor hiring requirements. In Ireland, they are required to: 1) Post the job publically for at least 4 weeks 2) Interview all qualified responding candidates from the EU. 3) Then interview me, if they don't find anyone in the EU. 4) Then offer me a job. 5) Then apply to the FAS with me to get my work authorisation and wait for approval. 6) Then I fly over to start work. Well maybe not have a need to fly but the rest seems valid. He!l I had to get a I-9 form to confirm that my Birth Certificate from Michigan was really an American Citizen I feel so Violated where do I go for Equal Rights as a White American Born and raise I drive by the Mexican Circus (sorry consolit) on 35e in Dallas almost every day and every but there is trash free. And I am talking about real trash, bags, paper, wine bottles, diapers, ect. and the good ole City of Dallas is required to clean up Mexican land. Hmmmmmm thats not right is it?

jck
jck

I haven't sent anything in over a year, cause back then no one was even considering me because of the lag time getting me there. I'll update the CV and see what happens. Thanks for letting me know. And if you get Andrea to date me, it's free pints on Fridays for the rest of your life...k? ;) lol

Shellbot
Shellbot

A few years back when they were desperate for IT staff it was possible to get a work permit for a year or two. Now its a bit different. The hiring company has to jump through hoops to hire from abroad. Some will however, you just have to find the right ones..but they would generally not be the highest paying. So JCK..you threw out 70K in an earlier post..thats about 44,500 euros. Most .net developer jobs pay between 40-60K euros depending on experience.. if your cv is neat and polished, send it out..make sure it looks professional though.. right now its taking some places 3-6 months to fill vacancies. you never know, might get lucky?

jck
jck

1) You should never call me a dumbass for that. I advocate armed sharpshooters on the border. Costs less to pay them than it does the welfare to the stacks of illegals that come across every year. We'll imprison a guy for having a quarter oz of pot, but we just smack the hand of people who come here and ruin our economy by taking cash at a rate under the national rate that takes away jobs from American workers. 2) It has nothing to do with their immigration laws. If I showed the Irish government financial independence (that I was self-sustaining without earned income), I could move to Ireland tomorrow. It's labor law. And it's not even Ireland's. It was an EU mandate. And, it sucks. I had one company in Navan (north of Dublin) talk to me, and wanted to hire me. But, they had an immediate need to place someone who could start within 2 weeks. I was looking at a minimum of 8 weeks. I want to go and be a productive citizen there, and can't even do it because I have to wait for 457M others to apply. It blows. JD, you and Tony go fight for my freedom over there. I feel discriminated against. lol :^0 I guess if all else fails, I could just do like other guys who want to come to America and marry some girl there and use her til I get my citizenship. Maybe that's my only hope. Maybe Shellbot will talk sense into Andrea by my next visit. lol ]:) :^0

jdclyde
jdclyde

that is preventing you from joining paradise. I never implied lazy, and knew before hand that it was the government in paradise that was keeping you out. And dumbasses complain when WE even talk about enforcing our own immigration laws.

jck
jck

[i]"IF"? Isn't that the point? Isn't not getting gainfully employed a major problem with these other countries you keep having wet dreams over?[/i] No, I probably could have a job by now if it weren't for one huge thing... [i]If they were really the new land of milk and honey, you should be able to just hop on a flight and go live the good life.[/i] I'm not looking for the land of milk and honey where I can get rich quick and live in a fancy home. I want a normal life. [i]What is REALLY stopping you from doing more than dream about what you seem to think is a better life?[/i] EU labor hiring requirements. In Ireland, they are required to: 1) Post the job publically for at least 4 weeks 2) Interview all qualified responding candidates from the EU. 3) Then interview me, if they don't find anyone in the EU. 4) Then offer me a job. 5) Then apply to the FAS with me to get my work authorisation and wait for approval. 6) Then I fly over to start work. Companies usually don't want to wait 8-10 weeks for a new hire to come on board. That's the big stumbling block...EU law prevents me from interviewing and starting right away. And no, I can't just go over and hunt a job. A company can't legally offer me a job off the street, unless they go through all those hoops. If things go right, my friend from Harland and Wolfe will be retiring in the next year or two. If he and his wife buy the B&B they have been talking about, I will go to work maintaining all the computers, phones, and other electronics. He's promised to hire me if they make that move. So, I am trying...unlike your perception of me being lazy just because I don't agree with your views.

jdclyde
jdclyde

Isn't that the point? Isn't not getting gainfully employed a major problem with these other countries you keep having wet dreams over? If they were really the new land of milk and honey, you should be able to just hop on a flight and go live the good life. What is REALLY stopping you from doing more than dream about what you seem to think is a better life?

jck
jck

That's why I am so enamoured with Ireland. I would move there in a heartbeat, if I was offered a good job there at a good firm that I knew was going to be around for several years (so I could get dual citizenship). From what I've seen there, in various industries: If you put in your hard days work, the boss is usually happy with you. If you have a pint at lunch with your sandwich and soup, you're not treated like a criminal. If you are out sick for two days, you are not treated like some lying heathen bastard who should be stock and pillaried. Like I'd said somewhere else...and had it pointed out to me by a Dubliner in 2006... Americans are typically the live to work types...where job and professional progression and increased income are paramount...sometimes even above time with family. Europeans typically are the work to live type...meaning if they make a decent wage and can live a decent normal life, then they are happy. At least, that's my observation from meeting 100,000s of Americans and 10,000s of Europeans in my years. And honestly, I'd prefer not to live life like that...being a slave to another man's whims that I should dedicate my life to improving his situation to the detriment of myself and my loved ones. But...again...just my two cents worth...not worth much.

cowen80194
cowen80194

Well in the office I worked in in Lewisville Tx. I was hit up for parking, a office cube and network bandwidth while checking corporate mail. Not kidding. So I use a cellular card an inverter in the truck and I park in the street when I need to go to the office. One good thing since I am paying for the GAS, and Cellular service they can not stop me from blogging on TechRepublic.

GreenPirogue
GreenPirogue

The auditors that you mentioned were sent to perform time studies. It is something that was developed by Frederick Taylor - using a stopwatch on workers to see how long it took to perform each part of a job and then change job functions to increase productivity. This stuff happened about 100 years ago. The post office workers have a very powerful union - no way they are ever going to get docked time for bathroom breaks.

jck
jck

but with those kind of people running things, the whole operation usually goes right down the toilet :^0

NotSoChiGuy
NotSoChiGuy

...to the term p!ss poor management! :)

JamesRL
JamesRL

I don't agree with everything that Oz says, but he has free speech. Of course we have freedom to post our opinions even in Canukistan. Mark Steyn was ultimately vindicated by the Canadian Human rights commission, the Ontario HRC and the BC HRC, as I predicted. I see many right wing americans tend to see this as some kind of watershed, but the question was not about whether or not he had written somethign offensive - he has the clear right to be as offensive as he wants. It was whether or not he was inciting hate, and clearly according to all jurisdictions, he was not. You may have a problem with hate crime laws, do you have a problem with Gitmo? That would tell me a lot about consistency. I don't have an issue, as many of my American friends here can tell you with Americans and stereotyping. I work with Americans every single day. Since when was saying y'all to a Virginian an insult, or are you just looking to be offended? I'm not offended by your reaction. I never said your thoughts were "American" or typical or even common. But you chose to slag a whole country because of one posters remarks. Sad really. James

Ed Woychowsky
Ed Woychowsky

The Pilgrims left England because of religious freedom. Once they arrived in America they were free to persecute any religion they liked. It is one of the founding principles of America and can still be seen in the practice of shouting down anyone whose opinion doesn?t match their own.

MadSciGuy
MadSciGuy

You sound pretty steamed up as well. At least we agree that the inane, off-topic USA-bashing of the previous posters (read the posts) was the kettle, and in your opinion I am the equally-guilty pot. And where did I complain about anyone's freedom of speech? Who's stopping you or me from posting? Certainly not me. And what's this weird "Y'all" stuff? I was born and raised in Chicago. Do you have some stereotype issues? Author Mark Steyn and others can tell us about their free speech problems with the HRC. But let me close with an apology to any Canadians who were offended by my reaction; it's all incredibly off-topic anyway.

jck
jck

I never thought it to be perfect, but I love it there. And trust me...I've seen some of the knaves walking down the less-beaten paths in Dublin...like the night I walked back to just south of Temple Bar from Smithfield. That was an experience. Glad I'm a big man. lol But, I've seen the whole isle...even the girl Mary in Donegal who was a native Gaelic speaker trying to speak English to me...and her pronunciation evaded me. She was so patient, although I could tell a bit aggravated. I apologized to her repeatedly for my "American ear". And at least I knew how to say "Thank you" in Gaelic. But, it's also just meeting the people who I met too. My friend Andrew took me to the pub and I met all sorts of people...from an out of work electrics lineman, to a multimillionaire horse breeder and businessman. Funny thing is...we were all sitting at the table together at the pub. I've never experienced that in the USA where old classmates no matter what their wealth or poverty...all sat together regularly for a beer and never lost touch with who they are and where they are from. Of course, I was raised in what we called growing up "the a$$hole of the universe"... I just know I love Ireland...the history...the tradition...the mentality of most folks...the ability to get a taxi or a bus or a train almost anywhere in the country without having to take a 2nd mortgage. ;) BTW...that train to Dundalk...been on that too ;) lol

Shellbot
Shellbot

cold as heck..? in 8 years only dropped below 0C once or twice. winter = rain. and more rain..with a few showers thrown in..got a lot of sleet type of stuff last year.. i must admit, I love dublin/ireland. every time i go away somewhere, i can;t wait to get back. just something about it. canada is a distant memory for me. when we were there last summer within 3 days i was ready to get back on a plane to dublin :( however, i would disagree with your estimation of the people here. as a tourist, most people are very nice..living here is a bit different. when you settle into routine you realise there are just as many @ssh0les here as there are anywhere else. For instance, go to Pearse Station and get a commuter train at 5.10 pm to Dundalk. I spent 4 years doing that..the day a group of people pushed over a blind man and stepped on him as they were fighting to get a seat on a train home was a low point for me. Now, in fairness..a vast portion of the people are good..but its the same as anywhere else in the world..when your on holiday you see the good things..there's a whole huge other side to things when you live in a place. But..however..as i said, there's just something about it :)

jck
jck

would a straight, single American man sign up to work in Russia?? lol ]:)

T.Walpole
T.Walpole

It has it's fair share of annoyances (pollution, traffic, etc.), but it's not as bad as the foreign media makes it out to be. Probably safer than most US cities. Business is booming here, unlike everywhere else it seems. You can get anything here. It's expensive, but salaries are high so it evens out. If you are a single straight male you will think you died and went to heaven.

jck
jck

it's why i try to teach people...because government regulates does not mean they repress. government is supposed to be like guardrails on a mountain highway. they are there if you really need them to keep you going the right way, but you never have to deal with them if you do things right. To be honest, I loved Ireland for the people and culture and scenery and music and general social attitude....not because I was 4800 miles from my office where no one could call me...although that was nice :^0 I once told some co-workers: going to Ireland felt like being around millions of family members. Everyone I met was polite like I was raised to be, people had concern and compassion for others as I was raised to show, and they were far less judgemental of others no matter what their quirks. It just felt right to me there. I can't explain it. I loved it so much, I'd move there even though it is cold as heck in the winter sometimes...and I hate cold.

jck
jck

I have thought about doing. Of course, I would much rather start my own business in Ireland.

florida_kes
florida_kes

How is it to be an American in Russia these days?

T.Walpole
T.Walpole

I'm so glad to not be working in the States now. I have five weeks vacation plus sick days, health insurance that actually pays claims, and a non-USD denominated salary. Whenever I feel a twinge of homesickness, I just think about how bad it would s**k to rejoin the ratrace back there. One thing that the US has going for it is that it is a very easy place to start and run your own business. The whole system is designed to encourage entrepreneurial activity. You get ahead in America by becoming your own boss, not by working for somebody else.

Oz_Media
Oz_Media

Not really, its always a drag to go home, no matter where you live. I am torn, big time, between the UK and Canada. As much as I prefer the day to day life in England, plus my English life is all about heavy metal, bars and bands (yeeeaahh!) I cannot replace the absolutely stunning scenery and recreational lifestyle that BC affords me. Honestly, if I lived anywhere else in Canada(Alberta being my second choice) I would move to England no questions asked, but there's something about BC that I, and most others just cannot leave behind. I have toured the globe, not with prolonged stays of sightseeing and culture though, and can honestly say there is no place I would rather live, and that's putting all politics of ANY country aside and just going on quality of life and day to day enjoyment of my surroundings. Anyhow, don't feel bad about not wanting to come home, it is also the knowledge of being back at work, paying bills and obligations that deflates that excitement. As for freedom around the world, that's what i say all the time, except it isn't , as you say, a big deal or a daily topic of discussion, people just ARE free and (right or wrong) take it for granted now. We all know about WWI and II, we don't need to constantly push to feel free anymore. I find people around the world also don't have to fight the government every day over yet another personal freedom being ignored. The USA is a free country, but as I have noted too many times to count, it is not the ONLY free country but it is certainly the only one I've seen where people need to fight for that freedom every day. Now THAT's a "sad statement, eh?"

jck
jck

i suggested i move...i have been to Ireland twice...and both times, did not want to come back to the USA. Sad statement, eh? and i am as inquisitive as you are about the mentality here. My friends in Holland and Germany have all told me they were raised to believe that the USA was the "land of milk and honey". But as one friend from Holland told me after visits here to several states, "The US is more like the land of spoiled milk and hardened honey." She was absolutely right. Fifty years ago, hard work and dedication would get you places quickly. Now in the "professional" arena, you have to kiss butt more than work hard to get places. Plus, so many here bark about "personal freedom" they have here. However, almost every country in Europe doesn't make a big deal if you have a beer or glass of wine at lunch. In the USA, it's treated as a criminal offense...even if you sort files in an office as a clerk where you have no risk of endangering anyone. It's pretty sad. Lots of people raised here are totally bought into the hype. They treat America like it's the land where you will get a big break if you work hard. When in reality, it's the land where you [b]might[/b] get a big break if you work hard and kiss the right behinds.

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