Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Lessons Learned

 Mistakes are a part of being human. Appreciate your mistakes for what they are: precious life lessons that can only be learned the hard way. Unless it's a fatal mistake, which, at least, others can learn from.

 Al Franken

The above quote is perfect for today's post. Mistakes can, indeed, become valuable life lessons, and although it is too late for me to correct, I made sure that my co-workers learned from it. Do your remember when I mentioned that when I left my last job I lost a lot of hours that I hadn't taken?--156 sick time, 52 vacation, and 3 personal, to be exact. I just never took time off. Well, I vowed when I started this new job that it wouldn't happen again, that I was going to take my time rather than give it back to the company. Especially once I made my decision to retire. I vowed that I wasn't going to give my time up this time, so I took almost everything, aside from the vacation time I get paid for. The mistake was I didn't check with HR before I started calling in sick.

See, in my previous job we accumulated sick time; that is, each month we gained so many hours. Vacation hours and personal time were allotted at the beginning of the year. In my current job, it is just the opposite. Sick days, 15 of them, and personal days are allotted the first of the year. Vacation time is accumulated on a monthly basis. Yesterday I called HR to see how much vacation monies they would pay upon my leaving and was totally unprepared for the reply....but I do understand and should have thought about it before hand. At present I have 134 hours of vacation, plus the 7 that will be added this month. That will be 141 hours when I leave, four whole weeks of vacation time....but I won't be getting it all. What was explained to me is that because all my sick time and personal time I am allotted in January carries for the year. We get 105 hours sick. Because I am leaving after working half a year, I should have 52 hours left. I get 4 personal days so I should have two left. Because I only have 35 hours sick and 1 personal, I actually owe the company time which will be deducted from my vacation time. 

Needless to say, it is too late for me.  A lesson learned, yes, but one I won't benefit from, but it is not too late for the others.  I made sure none of them make the same mistake I did.  It just goes to show you that one should never 'assume' anything. I figured that I wasn't going to make the same mistake as last time, and I didn't.  Instead, I made a different kind of mistake because I 'didn't' ask, and because of this, I lost vacation time in a different way. I'm not going to beat myself up over it, though.  Things are going to happen, and it is how we deal with them that counts. I don't cry over spilled milk anymore.  Instead, I have now learned to take things and stride and move on.  Life is too short.  Sure, that extra money would have been great, but is it really worth worrying myself sick over it? 

Don't keep crying because of an mistake. Learn from it and move on. Don't waste your life blaming yourself because of something that's gone.



  1. It's kind of you, to share this lesson...

    And wonderful for you, to have learned not to fret over something like this. Just learn and help others.

  2. Sigh..deep breath and move on...

  3. So good of you to share this lesson with others. Every place has its own vacation time quirks, i guess. I'm sorry this happened to you though. It's good to move on and say.. next! And not lose sleep or make yourself unhealthy with regret!