Overheard on CNN.com: No job, no time, no vacation
September 5th, 2011
04:45 PM ET

Overheard on CNN.com: No job, no time, no vacation

Comments of the Day:

"Remember when the work day was 9-5?"–fugunancy

"Fareed Zakaria is completely out of touch with reality. Anyone in the U.S. who takes a vacation will be promptly fired. I know for a fact that I'll never take a vacation again for the rest of my working life."–WeirdMN

Hey, America: Take a vacation!

On this Labor Day weekend, columnist Fareed Zakaria urged Americans to take a break, saying that working longer, harder hours does not make for greater productivity. While some CNN.com readers agreed, many more expressed frustration, whether it was because they had no job, because they had no vacation or because they were afraid to use the time they had.

JB said: "It's not that I don't want to take vacation, but that I need a larger severance package. Many of us at my office view vacation as a safety net against layoffs. There have been several, and the severance package is 'generous' from the company perspective, but not if you have put in 10, 15 and 20 years for the company. There is nothing about getting laid off that makes it generous."

Steve Gastin said, "Wish I could get a job after two years of unemployment. Fifteen million unemployed have had enough vacation and are itching for work."  Swestey said, "No kidding. Maybe Fareed is stressed out and overworked, but there are plenty of Americans who do not even have jobs (or at least decent ones). Live in the real world for a while, Fareed."

Holly said, "It's not that we don't want a vacation. We can't afford them. It takes me a full year to earn five days off. Believe me, if vacation time were forthcoming, more Americans would take it." Bill said, "13 days of vacation? I wish. I am fortunate enough to get one week. I know of many other people who get none at all."

Burt said, "Not only do Americans get fewer vacation days, we also tend not to take our full two weeks at one time, because someone at the office might steal our job when we’re gone, or we might appear to be dispensable and then get fired upon return to work. You know, out of sight, out of mind, out of work. ..."

Fierce Texas wildfire destroys 300 homes

Wildfires during devastating drought in Texas have killed two and destroyed hundreds of homes. Dozens of fires are burning across the state, the Texas Forest Service said Monday. Many CNN.com readers attributed the drought and fires to global climate change.

LaughingMan7 said, "The irony of Texas is that we drive the biggest trucks, have the worst drought, and are the most doubtful of global warming."

endcrownsall asked, "Where's 'there is no such thing as global warming' Gov. Perry as his home state burns up?

maxhedroom said, "Making an idiotic statement like 'prayer circles are the solution' isn't going to help his cause. Focusing on the causes for climate change and possible solutions is what our elected officials should be doing."

globaldecay offered this timeline:

"1928 – Hugh Bennett warns soil practice leads to erosion. Bennett declared 'alarmist'.
1931 – Severe drought hits Southern Plains.
1934 – Great Dust Storms spread. Drought worst in U.S. history.
1935 – The 'Black Blizzard' hits, Congress declares soil erosion 'National Menace'.
1936 – Bennett’s plan implemented.
1970s – Scientists warn fossil fuel use will cause dust bowl scenario. Declared alarmist.
2011 – Texas declares worst drought in history, worst fire season ever.
2016 – ???"

GAK62 said, "While I agree that folks definitely should NOT be so callous about this tragedy, you are in denial if you think this isn't climate change. Texas had a summer like never before. Most cities had triple-digit temperatures 80 out of 90 days this summer. Wichita Falls had a high temperature of 124 this summer, and the Texas highway workers reported temperatures on the freeways around Dallas at 147! That is not normal! When are people gonna wake up and realize we are changing the Earth's weather?"

monah said, "I live in a small suburb outside of Austin. We have had three fires in our small town this summer, with the third one being yesterday. While I am not a Perry supporter, he didn't start these fires and has no control over them."

okkebas replied, "Monah, there are consequences for systematically slashing funding for park services, fire departments and the like. I'm not claiming that's the cause of the fire, but it sure doesn't help."

Small choices, saved lives: Near misses of 9/11

In response to a story about those who evaded death on 9/11 - and how doing so changed their lives - many CNN.com shared their own stories.

AJ57 said, "My uncle was a pilot (now retired) for AmericanAirlines, and he was scheduled to fly American Airlines Flight 11 on the morning of 9/11. He has an apple orchard that needed some work, so he switched days with his co-worker and friend. We finally got a hold of him in the late afternoon, and when we found out that he was safe, we all started sobbing. He didn't know what had happened until right before we called, since he was outside working. Two of his good friends died that day, and he felt terrible because he had asked to switch days. But he was also grateful to be alive."

PdfNinja said, "A friend of my dad's was in NYC that day, and they planned to go to the top of the WTC that morning for a spectacular view. But someone in his group had a different idea. 'We can come back later. 'It's not like the building won't be standing tomorrow.' So they are alive today."

RickOPKS said, "The opposite also holds. The young man who handled my small brokerage account didn't work in the WTC, nor did he visit there often. He went there that morning to meet a friend for coffee and died in the disaster."

bookldy209 said, "Because of a company merger, one of our very good friends, a middle manager for a financial firm in tower 2, was fired a month prior. At the time, he thought it was the worst day of his life, but now counts his blessings. Today he teaches high school English in NYC."

MC1r said, "I still have my boarding pass for United Flight 175. I was visiting Boston for a long weekend. I switched to an earlier flight (Monday night) because I'm a night owl, and I didn't want to get up early Tuesday morning. I was awakened early Tuesday by my panicked brother trying to find me, thinking I was on that flight. We'll all remember that morning forever."

DirtyO said, "My ex-boyfriend was supposed to be on Flight 77 that flew out of Dulles and crashed into the Pentagon. He got called into a meeting at work. His best friend was on the flight."

hitech111 said, "Yeah, life is kinda strange. My cousin took a later train because he and his wife decided on a little morning recreation. His firm lost hundreds of employees as the first plane came right through his office."

Geeshgirl said, "My friend had a similar incident, except she died because of the change in her routine. She usually arrived at Cantor at 10, but went in early that day. What if ..."

Do you feel your views align with these commenters' thoughts? Post a comment below or sound off on video.

Compiled by the CNN.com moderation staff. Some comments edited for length or clarity.

soundoff (28 Responses)
  1. mr sandyk

    Banasy I was so sorry to read you had lost a son. I cant imagine losing a child. we lived close to the pentagon, it was surreal. When we heard about the Twin Towers we were both were working we called each other we immediately wanted to go and help. Having the ability to help and not being able to was hard. I remember watching those images over and over that day.

    September 5, 2011 at 10:50 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Joey Isotta-Fraschini

    @ ramewe7337:
    Neither 9% nor 14% is the true unemployment figure.
    I believe that it is much higher.
    Probably very few government officials know how many are unemployed, if the figure is even calculated.
    People on welfare are not counted as "unemployed."
    People living with (and "off") relatives and friends are not counted as "unemployed."
    When the Great Depression began in 1929, the government was more honest than it is now.
    I don't trust any Democrats, Republicans, Independents, or officials claiming any other party to tell the truth about unemployment.
    I just hear people all the time saying, "nobody has any money...nobody has any money."
    Too many people don't have any money.
    Whom are they going to tax to pay for bridge and highway "jobs" if nobody has any money?

    September 5, 2011 at 11:15 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Dante's Lament

    @Joey: Bingo. There are people who aren't eligible and therefore aren't counted. If the jobs have stagnated then not many people are going to file.

    September 5, 2011 at 11:21 pm | Report abuse |
  4. fernace

    I was on my way to babysit my little 5 month old niece that morning! When I turned on the news, Good Morning America had Breaking News & showed the 1st tower on fire! Then, like a shark homing in on a seal, the 2nd plane rounded the corner & headed for the tower & hit! It was surreal!!

    September 6, 2011 at 12:40 am | Report abuse |
  5. Karen

    In response to GAK62's comment: "When are people gonna wake up and realize we are changing the Earth's weather?" Just because the earth's weather is changing, doesn't mean we are causing it. Did you know that Mars is also having global warming? Are we causing that too? Of course not. The sun is getting hotter, and that has far more effect on the earth than our tiny lifestyles.

    People seem to always couple the question of whether the earth is getting warmer with the assumption that we are the cause. But the surface of the earth is not a closed system – the very hot and turbulent core of the earth undergoes changes, and the earth is part of a solar system that undergoes changes too.

    September 6, 2011 at 2:00 am | Report abuse |
  6. fernace

    Yes, Karen alot of things factor into the weather patterns we've seen the past 5 years! But to discount the polutive gases we humans have sent into the atmosphere as "little lifestyles" is uninformed! Our co2 gases have caused a giant hole in the ozone layer, which was discovered in the mid-70s! That's not alarmist or silly pseudo-scientific theory; it is hard fact! Know what happens if the hole layer is destroyed!? Devastation, heat, no protection from the sun etc.! It's folly to think the damage we've done to the land mass, in the form of mountainous landfills of garbage, hasn't also happened to the atmosphere! The greenhouse effect is also real, not just scientific mumbo jumbo! If a cataclysmic volcano can change weather patterns for a decade, due to gases, pyroclastic ash etc., as it did in the 1600s , just think what human havoc can be wreaked through unregulated industrial smoke & carbon monoxide gases sent into the air for the last 200 years! Our life styles are 6 Billion strong, alot of damage!!

    September 6, 2011 at 5:42 am | Report abuse |
  7. fernace

    Whole, not "hole layer"! Thanks!

    September 6, 2011 at 5:47 am | Report abuse |
  8. Ywgwie malmsteen

    jobs are here folks it might be in the form of yard work but people feel its beneath them so screw you you f!?kin whiney ass lazy pieces of crap im helpin a guy out with some landscaping in the am just so we can go fishin in time! so america get off the federal teet and do something!

    September 6, 2011 at 6:21 am | Report abuse |
  9. Ywgwie malmsteen

    and that would be a third job under my belt and i aint cryin! fuc in lazy ass people in this country waitin for their free check is whats ruining thiS Great country! THANKS DEMS FOR MAKIN EVERYONE DEPENDENT ON UR FEDERAL DIME!

    September 6, 2011 at 6:35 am | Report abuse |
  10. @Ywgwie malmsteen

    Sure, blame everybody else because you're the yardboy for somebody better than you, you Tea Party tard! How are you working these 3 "jobs" when you're on here? Oh, and a tip: if you want people to take you seriously, try spell check and punctuation, moron.

    September 6, 2011 at 8:50 am | Report abuse |
  11. Ywgwie malmsteen

    F!?K U! ITS CALLED MOTIVATION DIK TARD! IM SURE YOU GOT UR CHECK ON THE 1st goin fishin after i work! loser

    September 6, 2011 at 10:29 am | Report abuse |
  12. fernace

    The real Yngwie Malmsteen is a bad ass guitarist who would never do yard work! At least pick a believable blog tag to post under! May I suggest angry, raging troll, lol!!

    September 6, 2011 at 3:57 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Ywgwie malmsteen

    Yngwie IS the best guitar player! and duh of course i wouldnt actually think that people would believe that i was just sayin that people need to have some self preservation and get off their lazy asses and you all know who you are

    September 6, 2011 at 9:51 pm | Report abuse |
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