Wednesday, March 18, 2009

furlough begins

The state of Maryland has struggled financially for some time now. For the past two years, all departments at the University of Maryland have been required to return a certain percentage of their annual budgets to the state in attempt to ease the financial strain. Luckily, except for a three-year period (2001-2004) when UMD salaried employees failed to receive merit and cost-of-living increases, I have been relatively unaffected by the state's financial woes. But this year is a bit different. Of course, all types of raises this year or possibly for a few years are out of the question. And now most state employees must take a certain number of furlough days before June 2, 2009.

I am taking my first furlough day today. And I resolve to not read even one work-related email today. I will take the rest of my furlough days at the end of May when Brad and I are in San Diego and I won't have access to a computer and therefore won't be tempted to check my email, when I may run the risk of reading and replying to work-related requests. Don't let my "out of office" automated email response fool you. As long as I have access to a computer, I typically still read and respond to work emails on breaks. The automated response is simply my excuse to put off time-consuming tasks until I return to work.

I am very thankful to still be employed right now. I can handle a few furlough days.

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