Friday, October 12, 2007

Family Day - Unintended Consequences?

Our newly elected Ontario government has announced that its first priority is to execute its first campaign promise, to establish a provincial holiday in February (historically a grueling month here, but conceivably less so in the future with climate change). When the promise was announced I recall laughing at the cynicism, and unfortunately the campaign as it played out became so silly that this was barely recalled as the election approached.

But count on McGuinty (our once and future Premier) to ooze his special brand of oil making promises to families about how great this new move is.

How great is the move for me (or anyone who works for my company)? Not very good.

My employer, a multinational, for reasons having to do with standardization across a variety of domains, has given its employees all the local holidays plus three 'floaters', extra holidays whose actual date changes from year to year but are often designed to make all the summer holiday weekends four-day weekends. A four-day weekend I have always valued more highly than a third better than a three-day weekend. And it is far more useful in the summer, when one can do something, than in February, where, as far as I am concerned, one might as well simply work.

What will our management do, now forced to give us a holiday in February? My guess is we will be down to two floaters (that would be my call were I in higher management). Personally I think this is a simple overall loss. In my view, this wonderful campaign promise gives me something I did not even want, and I will be losing something I really liked and getting something I never wanted at all. Thanks, provincial Liberals.

Well, I did not vote for them, but this makes me even less likely to contemplate it in the future. (OK - I confess, they did not have much chance anyway - such managerialist interfering clowns that they are.)


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