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All PTO is Created Equal on a Mid-Week July 4th

Posted by Jeff Pelliccio on Jun 27, 2018 9:00:00 AM

In ICS insights

The Fourth of July is on a Wednesday? Really, universe? If you feel let down by the fates responsible for this year's mid-week independence celebration, you're not alone. Workers all over the country are mourning the freebie long weekend that's only supposed to take up one PTO day. That's not even considering the agony of deciding to forego a long weekend or giving up two precious vacation days. 

Travel in the Bizarre Universe of a Wednesday Holiday

If your company only gives employees the 4th off, you don't get a long weekend, even if the holiday falls on a Tuesday or Thursday. Unless you can now get two extra days off, a weekend away is supremely difficult. 

One upside is that, if you're stuck at home, you now have a random hump day break. You can power through two days before a happy hour sends you off to a nice mid-week staycation. If you're feeling industrious, use the day off to catch up on chores around the house (yeah, right!) before heading out to watch fireworks.

Another consideration is that mid-year may be the perfect time for a long weekend away. No one is going to be stressed out about formal dinners and holiday decorations in the middle of summer. Even if you go to relatives to celebrate, how hard is it to fire up the grill and bun some hot dogs?

Unless you're an hourly employee or consultant, you're getting paid whether you take off one day or the whole week. So, ask yourself how much time you need to rejuvenate and feel good about work again. Some workers may choose to take off the entire week to enjoy the nicer weather and spend time with kids on their summer break.

The truth is, even if you're a 1099 contractor who only gets paid for hours worked, the allure of a sunny beach and copious amount of your favorite beverage are a hard combo to turn down.

Limited Wednesday Revelry?

So, let's look at the other side of the coin. How do you make the most of a Wednesday frenzy to get in all your celebrating but still make it to the office the next morning? The secret is - go to as many BBQs as early in the day as possible. No matter how much beer you drink before six o'clock in the evening, you have enough time to sober up. Anyway, there aren't going to be that many people in the office Thursday morning anyway.

Which Long Weekend Do You Take?

Another unwanted choice is whether to take off the weekend before or after Wednesday, July 4th.  PTO on July 5th and 6th gives you time to recover from the revelry and drive home. However, if you are the one hosting travelers or play a significant part in holiday preparations, you may need to arrive early to get ready for the big day. Also, consider the probability that hotel rates will be cheaper the prior weekend since those following tradition will likely take PTO after Independence Day.

Like anything else, if you look for an upside, you'll find one. It's a problem you won't face again until 2029, thanks to a handy leap year in 2024, which skips the next Wednesday, July 4th.

ICS wishes you all a Happy Fourth of July no matter what days you decide to celebrate!