Ad Agency Gives Workers 500 Hours Paid Time Off To “Pursue Their Passions”

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Kare11.comAnother summer racing by; so many plans, so little time, but this summer is different for Janie Waldron. While her neighbors toil at their jobs, Waldron has been home most of the summer transforming her simple Linden Hills yard into a showplace, complete with rock wall, stepping path and a rain garden. Now the clincher: She did it while earning her full salary and benefits from her employer. The gift giver seems delighted with the reaction of his employees. “I think people were stunned more than anything else,” says Stuart D’Rozario, president and executive creative director at Minneapolis advertising agency Barrie, D’Rozario, Murphy. Last spring, as the agency headed toward a cyclical lull in business, the agency partners gathered their employees and gave them something quite remarkable — time. D’Rozario’s message to his workers: “You have 500 hours of your life back, figure out what you’re passionate about and go and do it.” BDM’s workers were told the 500 paid hours were theirs to use. The one option they weren’t afforded was to do nothing. Instead, they were told to seek out something they’d always wanted to do, but hadn’t had the time. With her 500 paid hours, Kim Schmitt, the agency’s finance controller, spent her summer volunteering at Sundown, a shelter in Hugo for horses neglected and abused. BDM account director Andrew Langdell designed a hands-free dog leash he hopes to market. Mary Pastika, an agency project manager, made pottery and furniture. Art and creative director Steve Rudasics — who commutes to the agency from Seattle — instead stayed home for the summer recording on video moments with his three children.

“Pursue your passions.” Thats cute. “Passions.” Who the fuck has passions? I have shit that I like. I like boozing, donuts, wings, prescription pain killers, internet porn, and watching TV shows entire seasons at a time on demand or Netflix. Am I passionate about that shit? I guess so. I don’t fucking know. I mean if you gave me 20 days off thats definitely how I’d spend my time. Don’t try to tell me thats “doing nothing.” Thats the shit that I enjoy. Passion is defined as a strong liking or desire for or devotion to some activity or object.  I promise you I’m just as devoted to all my gluttonous lazy shit as the advertising hippies who like to hike in the mountains or backpack through Europe or whatever. I mean look at that chick Kim Schmitt. She decided to spend her 500 hours with a bunch of dead horses. I think we can all agree booze and Netflix is more enjoyable than dead fucking horses.

And Steve Rudasics don’t think you’re fooling anybody with this “stayed home to record video moments with your children.” That dude was on the KFC Passions Plan for a month and occasionally uploaded some pictures of his kids to facebook to cover his tracks. Because no matter what your definition of “passions” is, I think we can all agree middle aged men with 3 kids sure as fuck ain’t passionate about their families.

 

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