My PTO needs an IOU.

Today was, as I Twittered, either the best worst day off ever, or the worst best day off ever. I’m still trying to decide.

Last year I didn’t take much paid time off because I kept saving it for something special.

The company I work for doesn’t allot time off into categories — holiday, sick time, personal day, etc. — but rather gives each employee a year’s worth of PTO hours to use whenever he or she wants.  Don’t have plans on New Year’s Day? You can work that day and bank those PTO hours for sometime down the road when you really want them, instead.

So that’s what I did: I worked the holidays — which was nice because everyone else has taken that time off, allowing me to get to tasks that otherwise get shunted to the side for more immediate concerns. I even got (shh!) ahead.

But at the end of the year, I had hours that I hadn’t used — because after my trips to Montana and Hawaii, I didn’t really have anything else big planned. So this year, I decided I would be more carefree about using my PTO.

Like today, for example. A three-day weekend would be nice, right? But there’s something about using PTO that still makes me think that at the end of the day, I should be able to say, “Well, that was 8 hours well spent” and not, say, “Wow, I can’t believe I wasted 8 hours watching a ‘Law and Order SVU’ marathon.”

And while I didn’t ever turn on the TV, I also didn’t ever get that “worth it” feeling.

It turned out to match up with our cleaning lady’s biweekly visit, so Mr. Brooks and I left the house early (really early, for a day off) so we wouldn’t be in her way and drove up to Scramble for breakfast, which we always think is a good idea until we pay $14 for eggs, bacon, toast and yogurt. I dropped him back at the house and then it was a textbook case of:  “Now what?” The libraries turned out to be closed because of MLK Jr. Day, and Starbucks was so packed that although I had brought my laptop, there was no place to park it and plug it. And it was raining outside.

When I look back, I did manage to accomplish several things that had been back-burnered for a while: copies of keys for our new roommate (and this cool lucha libre key cover from Smeeks so he knows which key fits the front door); new pillows (and covers) to replace the old ones after this discovery; underbed containers (sort of like these, only, you know, not five of them) to store my sweaters now that the third bedroom is no longer Our Repository For Things That Don’t Fit In Our Our Respective Rooms; WD-40 for our now-mended sticking door.

And when I ran out of errands (or incentive to complete more errands) I browsed the selection at Zia Records, where I was sort of freaked out that the clerk at the register had piercings in both cheeks where her dimples would be.  (My haul: “Reading, Writing and Arithmetic” by The Sundays, mostly for this song;  “La Roux” by, well, La Roux; “Lungs” by Florence & The Machine; “Collection” by Tracy Chapman; “More Lovin’ From Our Oven” from Pansy Division*; and “Gran Turismo,” my favorite album by The Cardigans. All for less than $40.)

(* They also covered Willie Nelson’s “Cowboys Are Frequently Secretly Fond of Each Other,” which someone created a video for with “Star Trek” footage. It’s both entertaining and troubling that other songs with similar slash footage include “SexyBack,” “Hot N’ Cold” and “You Spin Me Round”,” while “Everything You Want” includes McCoy in the mix. Some imaginative people have way too much time on their hands.)

Jeez, that got off track, didn’t it? Anyway, suffice it to say that even with adding the trip to the gym and $3 burgers at Maizie’s for dinner, I still don’t feel like I did enough to justify taking it off work.

Is it better to waste the days by using them indiscriminately, or better to waste them by not using them but really enjoying the ones you do use?  Still figuring it out — and hoping there’s a nice compromise somewhere in between.

WHAT SAM WORE: 1-18-10
The sweatshirt: My go-to hoodie, inherited from Mr. Brooks.
I don’t even know which brand it is — there are no tags.
The shirt: University of Montana Grizzlies T-shirt,
from Gart Bros. when I was home last summer.
The pants: “Relax”jeans by 7 for All Mankind, from Last Chance.
These are the jeans that inspired me to buy 2 more pairs in other washes.
The shoes: Sneakers by Asics, from Sports Authority.

One response to “My PTO needs an IOU.

  1. OOH1 burn me a copy of The Sunday’s CD..PLEEEEEASE!

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