To VLE or not?

My job deals a lot with educational institutions such as K-12 schools and school boards and higher education. We have a “busy” season and a “not so busy season”. Basically when they are not in school we do not have as many calls and emails coming in. That means that we have “VLE” or Voluntary Leave Early in which our workforce coordinator will put out an email saying anyone interested in leaving early (unpaid) to reply.

This will be my 3rd summer there coming up. The first summer I was moved to another project while we were in our not so busy season so I did not really experience it so much. Last summer I spent most of the summer trying rather unsuccessfully to balance between leaving early and trying to make sure that my paycheck was not affected to much. The reasons to leave early would be the usual: Just want to be somewhere other then being at work, wanting to get the apartment cleaned, wanting to be outside swimming, walking, hiking, etc, wanting to hang out with my boyfriend, friends, etc.

One of my co-workers was able to determine that if you leave early amounting to no more then 8 hours lost every 2 weeks it means that you would see no more then a -$20 loss on your paycheck. The problem is when do you take it? That all depends on a few things, most importantly, when it is offered. Sometimes though it is offered pretty much every day and basically once “applied” you had to leave whenever it was “granted” which could be an hour into your shift, a few hours in or even an hour or so before the end (I left 15 minutes early one day, hardly seemed worth it but it was).

So I spent most of the summer last week trying to balance my paycheck with wanting some extra time off without “paying for it”, no pun intended . I decided this time to try in the first week of the two that would be on a paycheck that if I VLE to see how many hours were missed and try in the second week to only apply if it would mean missing the other hours that would add up to 8. If that makes sense… So far it is not working so well.

I left 4 hours early last week on tuesday. So this week I am 10:30am – 6:30pm so I figured that if the VLE email came out between 12:30pm – 2:30pm, then I would apply since it usually takes him a few hours before he actually starts sending people home. So today it came out at 12:30 and I applied and got “approved” at 12:33pm. It kinda backfired on me. But hey whatever. Lesson learned. Be more careful next time.

So now begs the question, what should I do for the rest of my day off?

4 thoughts on “To VLE or not?

  1. Oh, out of curiosity what do you do for a living? I’m guessing you’re paid by the hour since getting off early can affect your paycheck?

    I totally get that feeling though. Sometimes, it really sucks when I end up being sick for a day because that takes two hours off my paycheck and well, that’s a lot of money I could be receiving. I don’t make much since it’s part-time so every dollar counts. Le sigh. Money can be so problematic. But self-health is important and sometimes, that means having a day with friends instead of a day of work.

    What do you normally do when you’re on a day off?

    1. I work in a call center, tech support for education products and software. I am definitely paid hourly, so when I VLE it affects my paycheck. At the same time I get tired easily, I get sick easily so sometimes leaving early helps with just getting some extra time to relax and not overwork myself.

      Every dollar counts for me as well. I recently was discharged from bankruptcy and paid off any other debt I had so my boyfriend and I are still living pay check to pay check and every penny (well technically Canada does not have the penny anymore, but I’m sure you catch my drift) counts.

      On a day off I like to read, catch up on reading blogs and websites that I enjoy and watching tv or movies on Netflix. I am hoping to get cable soon so I am trying to catch up on some series that I have missed some episodes or seasons.

  2. I like time off. I work 9s so I can get every other friday off, but I have no leave or ability to take leave for a while until I hit my 90 day mark with the new company. And if I work more hours than standard in a 2 week period, I don’t get paid for that either

    I think it would be fun to find a way to see how to break even if I was given the option to leave early. I hope you enjoyed your time off lol

  3. There are some definite bonuses and draw backs to being paid salary rather then hourly. I would say not getting paid for extra hours makes hourly a bit better for that but salary means you always know what you are getting and missing a day or two does not hurt you.

    It is fun to try and figure out how to leave early and not worry about breaking even. I did enjoy the time.

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