While on vacation last week in the Outer Banks with family, we got to watching the Johnny Depp version of “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory.”
The movie itself is nowhere near as good as the original, but there was a particular scene when our protagonist, Charlie Bucket, is trying to decide whether he should take the final Golden Ticket he found in the chocolate bar and experience the chocolate factory tour, or sell it for money to help his poor family.
His grandfather, bedridden and essentially a background player for the entire movie, utters his only line of the movie, but it was a line that got me thinking.
Here’s the line:
“There’s plenty of money out there. They print more every day. But this ticket, there’s only five of them in the whole world, and that’s all there’s ever going to be. Only a dummy would give this up for something as common as money. Are you a dummy?”
According to the U.S Travel Association, Americans throw away $52.4 billion every year because they won’t take time off from work.
I don’t know how many days that translates to, but that is a staggering number, isn’t it? It means we are working for free when we fail to use our allotted vacation time.
The vacation time we are given is meant to be used for, well, vacation. A means to get away and experience relaxation and unplugging. A Golden Ticket, if you will.
And while some companies offer employees the ability to roll over their days, chances are high that those days get rolled over and, well, you get the point.
While sitting on a deck that overlooked the Atlantic Ocean, cold beer in hand, a sea breeze warm on my face, I struggled to think of a good reason why anyone would purposely skip on vacation days.
But it happens a lot.
So I wonder: Are we really that busy that we can’t pull ourselves away from our desks? Is our confidence in our colleagues so low that we would rather work than hand off tasks to be covered in our absence? Are we really that full of ourselves that only we can do the work the right way?
Everyone is busy.
But those who balance their time well tend to get more done. And part of that balancing of time is leaving work behind entirely when we take some time off.
There’s something to be said about not thinking about your job for an extended period of time. I’ve found it can lead to a renewed vigor and passion for your work; an opportunity to start over, in a sense.
It can brighten your outlook and remind you there is more to life than sitting behind a desk, forced to endure what can be a challenging day-to-day existence.
You owe it to yourself to get out and cash in those Golden Tickets you’ve been given.
Don’t be a dummy.