Friday, February 20, 2009

Birthdays as Paid Holidays for Philly Cops?

I was sort of casually thumbing through the latest version of The Economist while waiting to go grab lunch with a neighbor when I did a double-take at the end of an article about Philadelphia's fiscal woes:

"The mayor wants to eliminate birthdays as paid holidays for police officers."
http://www.economist.com/world/unitedstates/displaystory.cfm?story_id=13109707

Eliminate? I had no idea this policy existed in the first place. What a total joke.

I can still remember how childish it seemed to me when a peer of mine complained about having to do homework on his birthday...in the 3rd grade! Yes, even then, the teacher had to sit down with him the next day to explain that while your birthday may be oh-so-special to you, you also need to remember that no one else cares about it, and if no one ever had to do anything on their birthday, we'd have to do without a lot of vital services and products when we needed them.

Believe me, I'm not going to start railing against taxpayer dollars paying for leave days (I earn 2.5 a month and I'm unabashedly going to use them until the active duty days are done). I also realize that whoever negotiated for this could have probably just asked for another day of paid leave each year and it might not have sounded so frivolous.

But still, c'mon! Even military and other public employees who earn leave have to request the days off via the chain of command (this prevents people from taking leave during critical periods where they're needed...all leave chits still have to be routed at least through the Executive Officer, or XO).

Birthdays?!?!? For grown, armed men in uniforms?!?! I mean, I had to check and then re-check this article to make sure I'd read it right before posting, for fear that I might've somehow misinterpreted it.

I hope Mayor Nutter achieves his goal of reversing this.

2 comments:

Matt said...

Yup. I am in Philly as I write. As someone who personally and politically believes in the necessity of government "spending" -- ie federal and state support for entitlements and social services -- this is the exact kind of ridiculousness that gives creedence to any conservative argument about the wastefulness of government.

The New Englander said...

Matt,

I love the distinction between good and bad gov't spending...and, of course, it's not just about what lends credence legitimately, but what can be turned around and exploited by the Sean Hannity crowd to make people want to lump all gov't spending in this category...

Fight the power!

-gp