Posted in Miscellaneous

Federal Holidays

Today is Martin Luther King Jr Day in the US, which is a federal holiday.  Most people get the day off work, but I’ve pretty much never been in that category.  I think I’ve only not worked on MLK Day once in my entire professional career.

For nearly a decade I worked for Lockheed Martin, and their policy is to give employees a few “fixed” holidays and a few “floaters”.  The fixed holidays are New Year’s, Memorial Day, 4th of July, Thanksgiving, and Christmas, and you can only take those holiday hours on the actual holiday (unless you’re a shift worker, which introduces tons of fun addendums and quid pro quos).  The floaters can be used at any time, and one of them is in theory designated for today.

After I left Lockheed I worked briefly for another small contractor, and the contract I was on with that company was structured differently.  There I only had to work a certain number of hours (1880) across the span of the year, and it factored out to 40 hours a week minus 3 weeks of vacation and holidays.  The contract was officially shut down on all federal holidays, but I could work if I wanted to shift those holiday hours to a later date.  So essentially the same as the floating holidays, but more flexible overall.  Regardless, this was probably the one time I took the day off.

Now I work for Automattic, and everything I did before was thrown out the window.  There’s no concept of vacation or holiday time.  I work whenever and wherever I want, as long as I get my job done.  And holidays like today are especially nebulous, since the company is spread out all across the globe, and the holiday is limited to just the US.  So I’m working on a federal holiday, but I’m doing that work from the comfort* of a coffee shop.


*It’s comfortable, but there are some jerks in the corner doing a video chat with the volume up.  Seriously, how is that acceptable?  This is a public place.  Share a pair of headphones or something.


I'm an Excellence Wrangler at Automattic. I enjoy coffee, and debating who would win in a fight...

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