Vacation Time

Vacation Time: Take It or Leave It?

Based on a vacation deprivation survey conducted annually by, Americans receive the fewest days of vacation on average of any of the industrialized nations, 13 days to be exact. To make matters worse, about 25% of allotted vacation days are never used.

The most mentioned reasons for not taking vacations are hardly surprising:

Too busy at work
Spouse can’t get away from their job
Required to schedule vacations far in advance by my company
Employer pays me for unused vacation time
Worried about losing my job

So why should any of this matter to an employer? Let’s look at employee performance for starters.

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) frequently cites that a large majority of employee injuries in the workplace are caused by an inattentive or tired worker.

If you consider that one injury each year at a workplace could be caused by a tired worker, resulting in lost time and productivity, is it really worth encouraging employees not to take their time off?

How does any employer encourage employees not to use their vacation time?

Most people would assume that the biggest motivator not to take a vacation would be programs that pay employees for unused vacation time or policies that allow employees to rollover unused days. This, however, is only part of the answer.

Many employers create policies which make it difficult for workers to take time off on short notice, which may deter them from taking a vacation at all.

The amount of notice required to schedule a vacation is often not well defined by the company. Some companies require a month’s notice, others require two weeks. Whatever the company requires is still subject to approval. Most employees dread the process of having to “put in for vacation.”

A more common reason why an employee won’t use his vacation time is because the company has created a culture that “frowns” on vacations. For instance, having manager who boasts about never taking vacations, telling his employees that the business is more important than “sitting around doing nothing.”

Before you smile and agree with those who think vacations are a waste of time, here are some interesting numbers from the American Management Association:

33% of employees coming back from vacation are more productive than when they left.
About 50% say they feel better about their families and that their home life is more balanced, leaving them to better focus on work.
75% of workers see the number of weeks of vacation they receive as one of the top benefits of working at a company.
Employees who have recently had a vacation are three times more likely to view the company they work for as being a “good place to work.”

So what does all this mean?

Whatever vacation culture you model or allow-either through formal policies or informal direction-your employees will adopt that culture as their own.

Make sure your approach to vacation is consistent at all your locations and with all your managers. If you encourage your employees to take their allotted vacation time, make sure the managers below you follow your lead.

Limited Vacation Time

Taster River Cruises For Those With Limited Vacation Time

A river cruise can be an exciting, relaxing, enjoyable, and educational vacation. However, many people simply don’t have the time for the typical one or two week-long expedition. For those with limited time, I suggest a taster or short-break cruise. Taster cruises are also especially helpful for newcomers who haven’t been on a river or canal cruise before. It’s a neat way to test the waters and to find out what to expect on a regular river cruise for a fraction of the cost.

However, there are only a few companies that offer short 3, 4, and 5 day taster cruises – especially on the popular European waterways. All the usual amenities are included and they generally begin and end from the same port. The problem is, they are truly limited in numbers and schedules and, as I recently found out, much to my chagrin, if you don’t book really early you won’t get booked. They fill up fast. The one I wanted in June had been fully booked since the beginning of January. I personally think many companies are missing out on a good thing by ignoring and promoting these short-break tours. It seems there really is a market for them.

The Cruise Company with the most short-break cruises is the French, CroisiEurope. They offer tasters in both France and Germany with most originating from Strasbourg, France.

Blue Water Holidays is an agency that offers several cruises on Viking, but primarily during the Christmas/New Year holiday season.

Other companies that offer taster cruises are located many miles from the European scene. That also includes a few in Russia.

Tasters on the other side of the planet can be found at China Travel Depot, Australian Pacific Touring and there’s even a taster jungle cruise in Borneo which can be found through Real Adventures.

A bit closer to home: Canada Your Way on the St. Lawrence Seaway.

And in England: Away 4 A While and Reading Marine book short-break cruises.

In Ireland, if you’re willing to be a DIY (do-it-yourselfer), Carrick craft offers small boats handling from 2 to 10 passengers. They say, “No license is required to cruise the rivers of Ireland, therefore anyone over the age of 21 can take command of one of Carrick craft’s cruisers.

Other drive-it- yourself boats are available throughout France; however, for obvious reasons, I would qualify these DIY’ers on small boats as not typical of the normal river or barge cruise experience. For more info on these, Google taster cruises on the midi canal.

Whatever your choice, relax and have fun out there.

Enjoying Your Vacation Time

Enjoying Your Vacation Time in a Timeshare With Your Family

Timeshares give you options for your vacation. The timeshare company most likely has resorts in different parts of the country. This often means that, if you own a unit in one resort, you can negotiate a stay in another location. If you do not own a unit, there is always the timeshare rental. If you have a unit that you no longer need, you can find web sites that help people to sell timeshare units. They can even be auctioned off.

But what is a timeshare? It is usually a condominium unit in a resort. Normally a group of purchasers buy into a single unit. Each buyer is assigned one week of the year during which they have exclusive occupancy of the unit. As with all condominiums, a monthly maintenance fee is required whether the buyer uses the unit or not. That should be obvious because the resort must be maintained whether or not owners are using their unit.

So what are the advantages of owning a timeshare? First of all, it is like the difference between a condominium and a house. A homeowner is responsible for everything about the house, both inside and outside. A condo owner is responsible for only the inside. He or she pays a maintenance fee every month so that the condo association can take care of the outside maintenance such as roofs and the grass. It is the same with a timeshare. You have your own little place in the woods, but you are responsible only for the inside. Someone else cares for the outside. By contrast, a family that has full ownership of a cottage on a lake is fully responsible for it.

Another advantage is that you need to think about your unit only at vacation time. During your week, the place is yours exclusively, and it is predetermined how it will be used and who will use it during the remainder of the year. By contrast, the owner of the cottage has it available to the family at any time during the year. But if the family uses it during only certain weeks of the year, they probably want to rent it out at other times so that they can earn money toward the upkeep of the cottage.

But during your week it’s your little piece of heaven. Your kids can get some outdoor time. If your resort is on a lake, they can swim, boat, water ski, and all of the other fun things kids like to do when there is water around. Since you always go at the same time every year, you can all get to know your neighbors who are staying for their allotted time. They can become your golfing and tennis buddies and your picnic partners.

If you don’t own a unit, you can rent the time of another family in their unit. This would be a good way to get to vacation in different parts of the country. An owner can also have this same advantage by trading weeks with owners in different areas.

Connor Sullivan recently looked into timeshare rental [] for his family to enjoy every year. He thinks he might want to sell timeshare [] in the western part of the country.


Busy, Busy, Busy

…busy, busy, busy, busy, busy…busy, busy, bus… OK, slap me with a wet diaper! Enough of that silliness. Most you know what I’m talking about though, right? That’s us! Busy. Doing what? Stuff. What kinds of stuff? All kinds of stuff. Like what? You name it. Give me an example. Can’t. Why not? Too busy…

OK – that’s it! Blow the danged whistle! We need a Time Out!

Holy Smokes, Folks! We’re going outta control. No, not all of us of course. But there are enough of us pushing our physical, mental and emotional limits that it’s worthwhile talking about it. Let me ask you this. When was the last time you just kicked back and looked at the clouds to see what cartoonish kinds of figures or shapes you could see in them? Or the last time you touched a plant leaf and really thought about how it felt and how amazing it was that it was an actual living thing? Or the last time you strolled leisurely down the road or path and thought about nothing in particular? Or the last time you watched a baby sleep and enjoyed the feeling of being a part of a great creation? Or the last time you leaned back in an easy chair and snoozed – not because you were completely worn out, but just because it seemed like a neat thing to do?

How long has it been? An extremely long time? Never? Hmmm…

Many of us unfortunately, are the proud owners of the skewed assumption that we must always be doing something. OK, for those of you who have a tendency to get overly technical, we are always doing something – even when we’re doing “nothing”. You know what I mean. I’m referring to our obsession with physical and mental (and sometimes emotional) activity. We go to work, do stuff, talk with folks, go home, go to the store, go out to an activity, run errands, pay bills, haul the kids around, fix meals, do yard work, do house work, fix stuff, paint stuff, reorganize stuff, buy more stuff, watch TV, surf the web, and on and on. Even our vacations are so crammed with “doing” that we’re pooped puppies by the time we get back home.

Yeah, I know. I have heard time and time again, “But I just have sooo much to do that I can’t get it all done in a day!” Hmmm (again…). And I think to myself that there are several possible reasons for this comment. This person may be in a survival mode of operation and his/her day is filled to overflowing with more than one job, caring for loved ones and trying to meet the demands of everyday living. This can be tough, but we do what we gotta do. Or this individual may just be a bit disorganized and have a difficult time establishing logical priorities. Or, maybe he/she isn’t really all that busy but for some inner reason would like others to think he/she is. Or maybe this person has a difficult time saying no for a variety of reasons. Or perhaps this individual has become so accustomed to being busy or having some type of auditory input or stimulus that to do otherwise is uncomfortable – again, for a variety of possible reasons.

We all have our individual, special reasons for being busy and admittedly, many of the reasons are completely valid. I’m suggesting however, that none of the reasons are valid enough. Every single one of us needs time to kick back for at least a few minutes each day to recharge our physical, mental and emotional batteries. And the busier we get, the more critical this re-charge becomes.

Most of us know, or have known, people who have succumbed to the Go-Go-Go Syndrome. We have seen everything from burn-outs to complete physical, mental or emotional collapse. Suddenly, the go-go-go has turned into a stop-stop-stop. Everything that seemed to be such a high priority dropped dramatically in its ranking – probably closer to the level it should have been at in the first place.

I think it would be very beneficial if we all made the small effort that it takes to reserve at least fifteen minutes a day just for us. Fifteen minutes for a time out to relax, meditate or just let the old brain cells cool down. Fifteen minutes to regroup and recharge our batteries. Just fifteen minutes. About one percent of our day. OK, considering all the other possible options, it might not be the absolute best fifteen minutes you’ve ever enjoyed in life but it’s still worth doing. Give it a try. You’ll like it…

Vacation Time

Vacation Time – Take It – You Need It (And Your Company Will Survive Without You)

“Vacation is time off to remind employees that the business can get along without them.” Earl Wilson. The implications behind this quote are discussed as well as the importance of taking a vacation to relieve stress and enhance well-being.

This quote tackles an interesting issue for many employees. It suggests that employees are just not that important or worthy to the company. As such, it can leave a person feeling quite despondent. However, by accepting the quote, a person can take their vacation without guilt or believing the company will fall apart as they are not there for two whole weeks.

Some people may find it hard to accept such a quote, believing it does not apply to them. You may have met people reluctant to take their vacations as they believe the company will not survive without them. Or if they do take the vacation, they keep their phone on so they can be contacted at any time. Some people may also leave their vacation early to go into work.

Yet, if we take the quote to be true, why should any person behave in this way? The truth is you really are not indispensable and a business really can get by without you, whilst you take your vacation. Even world leaders take a vacation and the world still functions during that time. Your company may well and truly value you and perhaps you really are important to them. In fact you must be, else there would not be a role for you there in the first place. This is not in doubt. What is in doubt is the belief that a company would crumble without you. Yes, you can be valued, however you are not indispensable.

So what can we learn from this quote? Consider the following:

Hopefully, it will help you acknowledge that it is okay to take a vacation.

Taking a vacation means you will be away in mind as well as body. In other words, don’t take work with you and don’t allow people to contact you whilst you are away.

It can help a person relinquish control and interestingly, by doing so, take control. By taking your vacation you are stepping away from your job and so must trust others to function in your place. This is where you are relinquishing control. Yet by doing so, you show that you control your work and your work does not control you.

By taking your vacation you have shown you are able to create a balance in your life and are making important decisions that matter to you. You realise that there is more to your life than work.

Your stress will be reduced as you will feel able to take your vacation without feeling guilty and the vacation itself will revive you.

Shortly before going on your vacation, ensure that people know you are away, delegate work as necessary and schedule meetings and deadlines to account for your vacation time. If you are good enough in your role at work (which you are), then you will slip right back into it when you get back.

Arizona Nursing Jobs

Arizona Nursing Jobs at the Best Geriatric Care Hospitals

Arizona has long been known as a popular vacation and relocation spot for the elderly. That demographic has resulted in an aging population throughout the state, which in turn has caused an increased need for qualified candidates to fill local healthcare positions focused on geriatric care.

Arizona’s education and health services industry employed 334,100 workers during March, according to the U.S. Department of Labor Bureau of Labor Statistics. This is up from 333,000 workers during February and a 2.3 percent increase from last year.

There are many geriatric-focused Arizona nursing jobs available at hospitals throughout the state, so if you’re looking for such a position, it might be hard to decide where to apply. Fortunately, some hospitals do stand more than others, according to data from U.S. News & World Report.

The top hospitals in Arizona that offer geriatric services include:

Sun Health Boswell Hospital – Located in Sun City, this hospital is accredited by the Joint Commission. The facility offers geriatric inpatient services such as elderly and disabled skilled nursing care and end-of-life services and pain management. The hospital also offers general geriatric outpatient services and an Alzheimer center.

The hospital has a modest reputation with physicians, a low level of nurse staffing, and an as-expected death rate. The facility has:

436 beds
45,824 ER visits
24,561 patients admitted
104,113 outpatient visits
6,298 inpatient surgeries
4,026 outpatient surgeries
1 part-time physicians and dentists
536 full-time and 82 part-time registered nurses
24 full-time and 4 part time licensed practical nurses

When asked if they would recommend the hospital to friends or family, 67 percent of patients said definitely – which is higher than the state average of 66 percent, but lower than the national average of 68 percent – and only 5 percent said probably or definitely not.

St. Joseph’s Hospital and Medical Center – This hospital, located in Phoenix, is accredited by the Joint Commission, Commission on Accreditation of Rehabilitation Facilities, and is a teaching hospital. The facility was ranked ninth in the nation for adult neurology and neurosurgery. Geriatric inpatient offerings include end-of-life services, such as pain management and palliative care, while outpatient offerings include an Alzheimer center and other general geriatric services.

The hospital has a modest reputation with physicians, a high level of nurse staffing, and a worse-than-expected relative death rate. The facility has:

738 beds
68,829 ER visits
38,327 patients admitted
467,101 outpatient visits
19,675 inpatient surgeries
117 full-time and 27 part-time physicians and dentists
1,257 full-time and 333 part-time registered nurses
20 full-time and four part-time licensed practical nurses

Of patients visiting the hospital, 76 percent said they would definitely recommend the hospital to friends or family, while only 5 percent said they probably or definitely would not.

Valley Lutheran Hospital – Located in Mesa, this hospital’s inpatient geriatric offerings include elderly and disabled services, such as acute long-term care, skilled nursing care, and intermediate nursing care; and end-of-life services, such as Hospice, pain management, and palliative care. The facility also offers general outpatient geriatric services.

The hospital has an average level of nurse staffing and a worse-than-expected relative death rate. The facility has:

336 beds
49,089 ER visits
20,514 patients admitted
258,000 outpatient visits
6,238 inpatient surgeries
9,950 outpatient surgeries
605 full-time and 107 part-time registered nurses
21 full-time and five part-time licensed practical nurses

Of patients visiting the hospital, 66 percent said they would definitely recommend the hospital to friends or family, while only 7 percent said they probably or definitely would not.

Carondelet St. Mary’s Hospital – This hospital, located in Tucson, is accredited by the Joint Commission. The hospital offers inpatient end-of-life services, such as Hospice, pain management, and palliative care, as well as general outpatient geriatric services.

The hospital has an average level of nurse staffing and an as-expected relative death rate. The facility has:

429 beds
51,489 ER visits
17,578 patients admitted
227,638 outpatient visits
4,458 inpatient surgeries
3,790 outpatient surgeries
560 full-time and 216 part-time registered nurses
16 full-time and 10 part-time licensed vocational nurses

Of patients visiting the hospital, 53 percent said they would definitely recommend it to friends or family, while 12 percent said they probably or definitely would not.

Scottsdale Healthcare Osborn Medical Center – Located in Scottsdale, this hospital offers such inpatient geriatric service

Manage Your Boss

Manage Your Boss – And Get Ahead!

It’s clear there are a number of common issues faced by business people across totally unrelated industries and environments. This series was created to provide some perspective and guidance to executives as they negotiate their way up the corporate ladder.

In 2001, I started the consulting and coaching practice, which came to known as The Business Success I’d just finished working with a very large multinational firm owned by one of the largest companies in the world. With 25 years as an executive in various industries across the US and Canada; I’d managed startups and overseen layoffs of thousands of people.

I had enough boardroom experience to be certain that many hassles faced by management today can be prevented.

Choose your Boss Wisely

The best Tip I can give anyone just entering business life
is, “choose your first job based upon the boss and not on
money or upward mobility prospects. How you learn the ropes
in the early years will set you up for life.” Once in, we
all learn that Tony Soprano, Miranda Priestly and Ebenezer
Scrooge have a few things in common. These fictional
characters, inhabiting the world of television, novels and
films, are the stereotype of a nightmare boss.

If any of them remind you of YOUR boss, you may be wondering what can be done to ‘manage’ her or him. As a business coach, hear the issue frequently mentioned, and it seems to be more prevalent each year. The relationship with the boss is a big concern for both recent hires and for individuals who’ve been with a company for a while.

New hires are often surprised to learn that the boss doesn’t seem to care a lot about their career aspirations. For many people who’ve worked for a company for a longer term, these lofty expectations for how the boss should behave don’t diminish over time. The expectations are, in fact, a big part of job dissatisfaction. For the more experienced, the relationship with the boss is viewed from the point of view of the individual’s aspirations for professional growth through promotions, increased compensation, bonuses, and perks.

Reality Check

And so you want to learn how to ‘manage the beast’. Can you? Should you? Who can help you learn how to do it?

If you are thinking about getting a coach to help you develop a strategy to deal with your boss, let me save you the time and money with some straightforward advice: Yes – you can manage your boss. In fact you’ll get farther ahead if you learn how to use your boss’ quirks to YOUR advantage.

Here are a ‘Top 10′ of Tips and Secrets I’ve seen used very
effectively by managers over the years. I put it together
with the help of Barry Agnew, a very good friend. Agnew is
one of the finest marketing and sales promotion guru’s I’ve
ever met. Anyone seeking new ideas would be wise to talk to
him. Email me for his contact info.

Working Smarter

John’s Tip #1: Results = Rewards. There will be times it
seems that form and process are the most important things
in your company and consequently to your boss. They aren’t.

Over thirty years, I don’t recall a single person getting a
monster bonus at year’s end or awesome promotion for
following the company’s process better than the rest of us.
Over the long run, great rewards and promotions go to the
one who gives great results.

John’s Tip #2 Face time works to your benefit. So your boss
is incompetent; & doesn’t have a clue about the company,
your job or even his own. Do you really have to waste more
your time meeting with him (or her)? Yes, absolutely. And
it’s not a waste.

It’s actually smart to spend time with your superior. Don’t
rely solely on email or voicemail. Your boss probably
receives too many electronic messages already. And while it
seems like efficient time management to communicate through
email or voicemail, it does little good for your career if
(s)he doesn’t know much about you beyond the role you

Go out of your way to talk to the boss about your
responsibilities and accomplishments in person. Leave it to
everyone else to fill up the boss’ in-boxes.

John’s Tip #3: A good listener is hard to find. Recognize
that all bosses expect to be heard and then have their
directions followed. So – “Listen, listen, listen. And
remember that you have two ears and one mouth for a good

Don’t be one of those misguided types who debates
everything they’re instructed to do. After the first 1 or 2
times, it doesn’t show anyone how smart you are. It just
becomes tiresome. If this is tough at times, keep in mind
that someone else in your company is ready and willing to
listen to the boss. Better it’s you.

Your Boss Works Late?

John’s Tip #4: Be there. If the boss is at work, it’ll be
much better for your career if you are there as well. This
isn’t particularly convenient if the boss has no personal
life, likes to work a lot of hours or thinks sleeping &
vacations are overrated. Nonetheless it’s usually effective
if you want to get ahead. Let t

Cutting Fuel

Cutting Fuel Costs During Vacation Time

With the price of gasoline on the rise again, families have cut down their travels during the summer. There has been an increase of those staying closer to home for vacations. Taking the new local vacation as the alternative to longer trips away from home. This is one way of fighting not only the higher gasoline prices, but also saving on various other expenses.

We all have places and attractions close to home that we never seem to have the time to get to because of our busy schedules. How many times has someone mentioned a local attraction, and you said “I’ve never been there. I have been meaning to go but just can’t find the time.” I know I have! The next time you hear yourself say things like this, start a list. Write down all of the places that you would like to visit that are within a day’s trip from your home. And begin considering them for vacation getaways.

Who said that you have to take all of your vacation time in weekly intervals? If you plan mini vacations you can get more of them in during the year. And if you stay closer to home because you only have a couple of days then you will not travel far from home and will save considerably on gasoline and accommodation expenses. Also, if you plan these during the weekdays, you can experience multiple discounts. The prices always go up on the weekends at hotels, restaurants, and attractions. Restaurants always have specials during the week for lunch and dinner, but these are not offered during the weekend. Certain attractions also offer discounts during the week to bring in guests during the slower times. Also by going during the week, you can sometimes have the place to yourself! This alone makes going during the week worth it! I don’t know about you, but I hate fighting the crowds anywhere, that is enough stress to almost eliminate the relaxation that I am attempting to accomplish during a vacation trip.

We can learn so much about our local communities by spending quality time at the places that are important to the culture. We may not be aware of the history or contributions that our local community has made to our current way of life. I know myself, I have lived in three different states and it would have been nice to have learned even more than I did about each community. It is very enriching personally to know about your area.

Volunteering is another one of those things that we never seem to get around to in our lives. Giving to others feeds something deep down in our souls that we neglect for the most part in our daily routines. Take some vacation time to volunteer at your local charities that are helping within your own community. You never know how volunteering can enrich your life and change your perspective.

Check on-line for any discounts or coupons. Many places have specials or coupons that you can print and use that may not be advertised anywhere else.

Sign up for newsletters from your chosen attractions, activities, and local clubs, to take advantage of special scheduled events. Like camping clubs, bike clubs, local festivals and fairs, etc.

Below are some suggestions to get your local vacation ideas started:

Check your local Chamber of Commerce for brochures or magazines of your local area.
Google your area and those within a day trip.
Check the local towns nearest you that you may not have ever visited.
Art and historical museums are fabulous afternoon trips. Take in a cafe lunch and you have made a day of it!
Historical attractions are a great way to learn of the communities contribution. A couple of examples would be: battle fields, grist mills, pioneer cabins, plantation homes, etc.
Check out the live music scene, there are a lot of night clubs that host local bands for only a small cover charge and you can control the expense of refreshments and snacks.
And don’t forget dinner theaters these can be a nice evening out and an experience that many of us have probably never tried.
Zoo’s and Aquariums can take an afternoon to go through, especially if you take the time to read all of the additional information that is made available about the attraction.
National parks are great for getting away and relieving the stress of the workaday routine. Get active, take a hike or mountain bike the trails. Find a group to go with and make it even more fun.
Sign up for charity events. Do one of the walks or get back on the bicycle and do a group ride.
Check out your local bike clubs and rails to trails to see if there is a bike path close to home. These can be great family vacations. Some of them are pretty level, with no hills and are great for taking the children on. Even the dog can go on his leash!