Understanding Our Vacation Schedule

Few shops afford themselves the luxury of time off. This is so American. The average American picture framer takes one and one half weeks of vacation time per year. We Americans feel that if we take any time off from framing that we will loose business and money. This is all part of the American work ethic. We are a nation of immigrants who came to America from all over the world for a better life and opportunity. Our families arrived with the clothes on their backs and if lucky, a few gold coins sewn into their clothing linings. They worked two to three jobs so their kids would have a better life. Therefore, the creation of the American work ethic.


Now most European get six weeks a year vacation time. I subscribe to that! For over 25 years I have closed my picture framing store for six weeks. Three weeks after Christmas (Southern Hemisphere trips) and the last week of July and the first two weeks of July. (Asian trips). My picture frame employees also got 6 weeks paid vacation plus bonuses for each vacation.

Things have changed a bit. Oakland has a new mandatory sick leave policy. Each picture framing employee accrues an hour of sick leave for each 30 hours they work. A full time picture framing employee earns roughly 9 days a year paid sick leave. It is a use it or loose it policy. Combined with 6 weeks paid vacation, that is 8 weeks paid per year. I promised them 4 weeks vacation but told my picture framers that six was a bonus. Well, their vacation time is now 4 weeks a year. I will still take my six weeks but they will open and operate our picture framing store for each of the last weeks of my vacations.

My vacations are never for business purposes. No framer wants an IRS audit. never had one. My accountant says I pay my taxes so computers aren’t interested in me.

Travelling around the worl though has shown me that picture framing as we know it is really an American market considering the selection and choices. The few Asian frame store I have run across have about 30 very narrow moulding choices. Here it is in the thousands.


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