When Shel and I lived in the USA, I worked for the Utah Division of Youth Corrections. At that time I was a college graduate and I made 12 dollars an hour. I was thrilled to have a job and to have insurance and I loved my job. There were issues about budget (it seemed as though there were ALWAYS issues with budget) and so one of the things we were told at that time was that we would not be getting yearly wage increases.
I worked in a facility where stressed out parents could come in with kids, meet with a counselor, and if the issues were too volatile or a resolution could not be reached and the families needed a time out, we would provide a very short term time out for the families by having the kids stay with us in the facility for a night or two. Of course, the most stressful times for families was always around the holidays and the facility was usually filled to capacity around this time of the year. For staff this meant that getting a day off on a holiday was highly unlikely. In all the time I worked for the division I worked on either Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Year's Day - or all three. It was just how the cookie crumbled. It was something I hated, but it was "life", there just wasn't another option.
When we moved to Canada I got a job in the Education sector. Schools close on all the holidays and so all of a sudden I had Thanksgiving off, Christmas off, New Year's Day off in addition to the vacation days I accumulated each year.
For the school I work for until you have worked seven years you accumulate 15 days off per year. This year a new contract was signed and now after five years of employment you earn 20 days off per year. 20 days off per year is a MONTH of vacation. I earn a MONTH of vacation! I can't believe what a thrill it is to say that. I am more excited to use it, especially now that the adoptions are complete and we can get passports for the boys and travel to visit family and friends who live far away.
When I was in Utah I visited with friends who still work for the State of Utah. They still have a freeze on wage increases. They still have to work on holidays.
Granted in every job there are things I have loved and things I have hated. I will always cherish the years I worked in Utah for the things I learned and the friendships I have made that have lasted many, many years and will last my lifetime. Now I will use some of my vacation days to visit my friends who work all the time! Oh Happy Day.