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Tuesday, May 01, 2007

A New Day

After four days of rain, I woke this morning to bright blue skies, night fog rising from the valley Stucky and singing birds. Hum? It is also very quiet. No buses on the road below the house, no school children laughing as they walk to the bus, only birds singing and dogs barking, it must be another holiday in Brasil.
Camillo has been in disagreement with me over holidays in Brasil. He says we have more time off in the USA. But since he has been trying to organize some meetings in Rio, he is now seeing the error of his thinking in this. Everyone from waiters to top executives have a 30 day vacation starting after one year of employment. In the States, until you have worked for a company for five years, if your lucky, you get ten days of vacation a year. After five years, you get 3 weeks, and if you make it to 20 years you might get a month.
Brasil has mother's day, father's day, children's day, saints' days, world cup days, carnival days, Christmas days, New Year Eve Days, Easter days, .... and today is Labor day and I think May day also, so if it weren't labor day they wouldn't be working anyway. On holidays, all the schools are closed, (Oh! schools also have summer and winter breaks), shops are closed, some restaurants are closed, government offices are closed and worst of all MY GYM is closed. Also, I think that there is a day before and a day after each holiday when nothing happens because they are getting ready for or recovering from a holiday.
In the states, there are by standard 10 paid holidays a year. AND the stores and restaurants are never closed because holidays are the best shopping days for all those women at home for the day with nothing to do because their husbands are watching football games all day. Hum! maybe there is room for improvement there.
I wonder if any government body here has ever related the holiday issues with low national productivity numbers and sluggish economic growth? Speaking of productivity I'd better get to work.

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