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An Unrefined System

, , , , | Working | CREDIT: NotAPreppie | May 5, 2021

I’m an analytical chemist in the petroleum industry. I’m attached to a refining pilot plant where we test products related to refining. The data I produce supports various other groups. My lab is staffed by me — senior chemist — and a temp/contractor lab tech.

Due to the health crisis, an edict came from high up in the corporate pantheon that we weren’t allowed to carry over any vacation time this year; I’m usually allowed to carry over five days. I guess they were worried about people banking up too much time and leaving various groups critically understaffed when too many people took vacation time at once — never mind that vacation time has to be approved. This being America with lax labor protections, this is all perfectly legal.

My boss emailed me.

Boss: “You have five and a half days left of vacation time, and I’ve been told to tell you to use it or lose it.”

I looked at our holiday schedule and figured out that strategic use of vacation and holiday time meant I could take two consecutive weeks off. I told my boss this.

Boss: “Well, if they didn’t want you to use it all at once, they shouldn’t force you to use it all at once.”

She approved my plan.

So, the lab will be critically understaffed for two weeks — what they were trying to avoid — because I am doing what I was told. Not sure what the other departments are going to do but it won’t be anything that requires data from the pilot plant.

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