Posted in Miscellaneous

Federal Holidays

Today is Martin Luther King Jr Day in the US, which is a federal holiday. ┬áMost people get the day off work, but I’ve pretty much never been in that category. ┬áI 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”. ┬áThe fixed holidays are New Year’s,┬áMemorial 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). ┬áThe 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. ┬áThere’s no concept of vacation or holiday time. ┬áI work whenever and wherever I want, as long as I get my job┬ádone. ┬áAnd holidays like today are especially nebulous, since┬áthe company is spread out all across the globe, and the holiday is limited to just the US. ┬áSo 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. ┬áSeriously, how is that acceptable? ┬áThis is a public place. ┬áShare 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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