SINGAPORE: A Reddit user endeavoured to crowdsource some answers to the question, “Is it difficult to take annual leave in Singapore?”, after coming back for the first time in nearly a decade.
He has kept close to his friend group here, staying close online through games and calls weekly, adding, “I was very excited for the trip, and told them the dates I would be there almost 10 months in advance. I requested they keep these dates free if they could.”
But, after an initial meet-up after his plane landed, they are yet to meet again.
“I felt like I had to fight and cajole and be the one to plan for them to have dinner with me one last time before i left.”
He acknowledges that life in Singapore can get really busy. But he is “wondering if I’m being silly to be hurt by the fact that not one of them was able to take annual leave to spend time with me. If the situations were reversed, I would’ve taken annual leave the second I knew the dates. Is this just a cultural thing?”
For context, he added in an edit, “This is going to be our only overseas trip for the next 5-10 years I think. I considered some of these people my best friends and I was dying to see their faces again. I was embarrassingly desperate. I just wanted to see them. I didn’t want just a catch up.”
Many people helped the post author by providing answers.
“Most people won’t take leave for a friend, even non-Singaporeans. Unless that person has ‘unlimited PTO’ (Paid Time Off). PTO is quite valuable to spend and usually people use it to travel. I think people would take PTO for their loved ones (e.g. parents taking PTO because son coming back overseas),” wrote one.
“My mom didn’t even take leave to be my witness for my marriage. I had to work around her availability. Goes to show how some people are really just workaholics,” chimed in another.
One offered a suggestion that the post author appreciated. “If really wanna bond, I’d have suggested a staycation or short trip overseas like bali to your group of friends – people would be more amenable to take annual leave for such things!”
“Most Singaporeans won’t take leave unless it’s to go overseas. If you wanna meet locally, gotta plan for evening/weekend meetups. Edit: the you being not important comments is not personal. We are all selfish by nature,” another added.
For context, another, added, “Just saying, for younger Singaporeans, they only have up to 14-18 days of leave. Most often it’s pretty precious for trips. Furthermore depending on their company culture, they might not be able to just take leave on a whim.”