Pros Of Working in Europe
About 6 weeks ago, I started working at Tommy Hilfiger in Ireland as a part-time sales assistant. I don’t know how many of you saw my blog about the difference between the American customer and the Irish customer, but that is one definite pro about working in retail in Ireland; the customers are much more respectful and nicer. Anyways, I’m realizing lately that there are more pros to working in Europe, even part-time workers.
I will start off with vacation. The amount of vacation you get compared to the two weeks paid vacation in America is unreal. It depends on the company I’m sure, but people here get double that, sometimes even 6 weeks paid vacation. When I started, two people were going away on vacation. I had asked them where they were going because they were gone for a week and they told me of their plans to stay at home. I thought this was odd. C’mon your time to be on vacation and you’re going to stay home? This is when I learned that these people are just taking a week off to relax and regroup, and are actually traveling somewhere in about June/July. Within the span of 4 months, they are getting two full weeks off paid vacation.
Then I learned that even part-time workers, like myself, get paid vacation days as well. In America, that was not the case when I worked retail part-time. If I took a day off it was fine, but I wasn’t making any money that day. In Europe, you accumulate paid vacation days based on how many hours you work. I asked my boss if I could go somewhere for a week in September with my boyfriend and she said of course. She thinks by then I would have about 3-4 paid days off and then I can string my two days off together on top of that, and then just take two extra days off on top of that. I wouldn’t get paid for those two extra days off but do I care? No, I wasn’t even aware that I got paid vacation days!
Here’s the real kicker. Having a baby in Europe sounds like the smartest idea ever. That is, if you’re married to a European or you work in Europe, then it makes 100% sense. One woman I work with is pregnant, and was talking about when she is going on maternity leave, which is in July. She is due in August, but she thinks she may have to go on maternity leave a bit earlier than July depending on how she was feeling. Well guess when she comes back to work? In freaking January! A full 6 months off…. PAID by the government, or if your company pays for it that works too. But c’mon! 6 months compared to the American 4 weeks off? So insane, I’m definitely trying to have kids over here because a new mother should be with her child for more than 4 weeks.
So basically, working in Europe is pretty damn awesome, well more awesome compared to working in America. But hey, that’s just my opinion so I understand if people don’t agree!