Wednesday, April 8, 2009
Money, vacation and death
Recently I had a death in the family, nothing that is particularly fun or good news, but not unexpected due to a long time of illness. Thus it came as little shock to me but was generally some sad news.
However, in the company rules, there are vacation days that come into place when a death in the family has occurred (the length depends on the closeness to the relative in question, a cousin yields none), but since the funeral took place in Sweden and I did not really have the possibility to take go there for the funeral. Even I thought it would be a little tasteless to take the vacation days just to sit at home, chill and play Resident Evil 5, so I talked to the HR person and told him of the situation and asked if it was possible to take those days at a more suitable family related time, something to which he said was ok.
I didn't think more about it and save the days for the next time I go home to visit the family, but today the HR person came up to me and sneaked an envelope in my hand whispering that "this is how we do it in Japan and according to company rules", the enveloped contained 10,000 yen (aprox. $100 USD). The interesting thing here is that I had produced no evidence at all about this death in the family and they asked for none either, probably because it was for a Swedish relative.
Now, the closer the family member, the more money and more vacation days I realized after checking through the rules, so I have been toying with the thought of casually telling the HR rep that almost my whole family (which would include a large number of siblings I don't have) passed away in a freak spontaneous combustion accident and that I would like the money and vacation immediately to grieve together with my "remaining" brother and mother in a resort in the Bahamas for a couple of weeks.
I dunno, maybe this would be pushing the goodwill of the company...?