“It feels good to be back from vacation. Mostly it’s because I grew up in America, and Dutch vacations seem so long. Back in America, you’re lucky to get two weeks off in a row. In the Netherlands, if your summer break is less than three weeks, people think there’s something wrong with you. And – judging by the average Dutch summer weather – they may be right.
“And then my boss told me about vacation pay. Yes, they were also giving me 8% of my annual salary to spend on my vacation. They not only wanted to me out of the office – they were bribing me to stay away! And this was not just a perk of my particular job. This was nationwide. I remember thinking, ‘What an awful deal for the employers! Who allowed this deal to go through? Were they stoned? And what about the stereotypical Dutch stinginess? This deal is so generous it feels like going to an ATM that keeps spitting out cash to say ‘Thanks for choosing our bank’.”