Friday, May 1, 2009
May not Work
Every year, journalists tell us how ridiculous France looks, because of all the working time lost in May.
Certainly, May 1st is a holiday (labour day).
Certainly, May 8th is a holiday (victory 1945).
Usually, Ascension day (a Thursday) falls in May.
Often, Pentecost Monday also falls in May.
Combine this with the very common habit of "bridging" to the nearest weekend when a holiday falls on Tuesday or Thursday & you might end up with 7 days off in May.
The nearest to this in the last few years was 2007, when May 1st & 8th were Tuesdays, and both Ascension & Pentecost were in May. This gave a probable 6 days lost in May (or gained – depending which side of the fence you are on) plus April 30th, which you can count or not, depending what you are trying to prove.
There was only one complete working week that May.
Self-flagellation over May, like over the 35-hour week, has become a national ritual.
But, of course, Ascension & Pentecost don't always fall in May.
Not everybody "makes the bridge".
When May 1st & 8th fall on a Monday, Wednesday or Friday, there is no "bridge".
When they fall on a Saturday or Sunday, they are lost (or gained) with no compensation.
I didn't check, but I suppose there could be Mays with zero holidays.
I don't remember any journalists talking about that.
Parting thot: "Vacation is what you take when you can't take what you've been taking any longer." - anon