A whole bunch about us you may have never wanted to know.

Monday, December 31, 2007

Moving to Germany ...

Paul's Christmas break was VERY short indeed. In fact, he only got off half of Christmas Eve, all of Christmas and was back at work the next day. It barely even seemed like a break ... especially since our girls were throwing up on Christmas Eve! In any case, the holiday seemed so short this year. Today Paul is at work, although he does get New Year's Day off. I think after that his next holiday off is Memorial Day!!!

When I worked doing public relations for SAP (a big software company), we worked with a bunch of co-workers in Germany where SAP is based. Needless to say, they get A LOT more holidays there than we do here! It seems at least once a month -- sometimes more -- they said they weren't going to be in the office because it was a "bank holiday." That's right -- if the banks were closed, then they didn't work. And the banks seemed to be closed a lot.

One of the women nearly died when she found out that I was working up until my baby was born, and therefore working AFTER my due date. She said that in Germany they get a year off of maternity leave, and much of it is paid. HELLO! With Tyler I hadn't even worked at the company for a year yet, so the HR personnel informed me that my job may or may not be waiting for me when I returned! Fortunately I knew that my manager wouldn't replace me, but legally she could have. And even at that I had off only six weeks with him, with only 1 1/2 days paid disability. Six weeks! Do you realize how short that is with a baby?!?

When I was pregnant with Zachary they had improved their HR skills, AND I had been there a year, so they said I could take up to four months off (the three required by the Family Medical Leave Act plus an additional one required by the state of Oregon, where our other main office was located). Turns out I didn't come back after the four months, but the company still cashed out my personal time off I had accrued during maternity leave. So, I felt very blessed with that company.

Paul's not so lucky. First of all, he gets no maternity leave at all! ;) I guess that's a given. At his last company he got a week of paternity leave, but he has to use vacation for any paternity leave now. Working for a small company has its advantages, but there are definite disadvantages as well. I guess having to work Christmas Eve is one of them. And seeing as we don't speak a lick of German, I guess we'll stay put for now.

1 comment:

Hilary said...

Lee can make lots of money flying overseas, so let me know if you want to go 50/50 on a "German for Dummies" book! :)