DEAR HARRIETTE: I have lots of vacation time left that I cannot roll over. I only realized it the other day, and it’s already almost the end of the year.
I asked my boss if I can take time off right now, and she said it’s the worst possible time because other people are already out of the office.
Should I try to get her to roll over the time to early next year anyway?
It’s not fair that I lose my time. I wasn’t negligent; we have been working double time recently because the workload has increased dramatically. I suppose it is my fault, but I’m not getting a raise this year. I want to at least get the time that I deserve.
— Time Off
DEAR TIME OFF: Even though you have been busy doing your job, it is also your responsibility to request time off in a timely manner.
Your company policy may be ironclad, but it is worth appealing to your boss’s sensitivities. Request a meeting and plead your case. You really are sorry that you did not ask for the time off earlier.
Point out what you have been doing and that time has slipped by. Ask if there is any way for you to take some days off in January or February.
What you don’t want to do is take the time without approval. Times are tough now, and companies appreciate team members who are all in. Hopefully your commitment will inspire them to support you.
If you are seething inside about not getting those days that you earned this year, make a plan for next year so that you don’t find yourself in this situation again. You can put reminders on your calendar for when to request time off. This is your responsibility, not your boss’s.
DEAR HARRIETTE: I am a poet and a college student. I was thinking of giving my family and friends poetry written specifically for them for Christmas.
That may sound corny, but I think it’s better than nothing, or some cheap thing that I might be able to buy for them. I don’t have disposable income, so I really can’t do much in terms of purchased gifts.
My plan is to put the poem on fancy paper in a frame to make it nice. And, as I said, each person would get their own poem. What do you think about that?
DEAR POETRY: Your creative idea for gifting poetry to your loved ones is sweet. If you do take the time and package the poems beautifully, your gift recipients should be happy.
The more personal and positive you make the poetry and overall presentation, the more likely they will be touched by your thoughtfulness and the time you took to honor them.
For anyone who responds in a snide or rude way, ignore them.
(Harriette Cole is a lifestylist and founder of DREAMLEAPERS, an initiative to help people access and activate their dreams. You can send questions to email@example.com or c/o Andrews McMeel Syndication, 1130 Walnut St., Kansas City, MO 64106.)