Today was a very cold day. Temperatures reached -18 F in Middleton with wind chills well below that. As I write this it is currently -15 F with a wind chill of -36 F.
This cold weather was predicted and last Thursday my employer sent out an email stating that we could take the day off if we felt it best. They also stated this day could be made up throughout the week, we could use Paid Time Off (PTO) or we could take it unpaid. I decided to stay home today and I will take the day unpaid.
As soon as I knew it was going to be this cold I decided I wasn’t going to go into work. Any time the weather is described as “life-threatening” I regard that as a sign to only travel if necessary. I did however have to decide whether or not to use a PTO day or not. I eventually decided to take the day unpaid. My first reason for this is because I can make up the shortfall using overtime hours later. My second reason is that I only have a finite number of vacation days and I they are very valuable for me. Our policy is written to discourage using unpaid days off to extend vacations. This was a chance to have an extra day off using an unpaid day with the blessing of the company.
I knew that I didn’t want to waste this day so I made a list of things to accomplish or at least work on. I did some studying for my next insurance exam (see my Goals page). I put away my laundry and did my dishes. I also watched a movie (The Good, The Bad, The Weird). More importantly I spent minimal time on Facebook, Reddit and the like. I felt like I had a productive day. In the end I was very happy that I decided to stay home.
I will feel this day off in my next paycheck but I will survive. I have a nice cushion and this January is a 3 payday month. Would you have taken the day off in this scenario?