Staff Bytes

OIT Fights Stress Through Travel

Alex Berry (Infrastructure) on Robben Island on the coast of Capetown, South Africa, where Nelson Mandela was imprisoned.

Vacation is vitally important to one's mental health. Unfortunately, the United States is one of the world's industrialized leaders in shortest vacations per employee, about 10 vacation days taken per year. In fact, the US is the only industrialized country that doesn't mandate paid vacation time. Although work always seems so important, being able to recharge your batteries can dramatically improve your productivity.

According to a 2009 study, while the US still ranks #1 in Global Competitiveness, our gross domestic product (GDP) is only slightly higher than countries who take significantly more vacation. Take France, for instance. Their GDP per hours worked as a percentage of the US is 98.2%. But the French take an average of 40 vacation days a year and only work a 37-hour work week (our national average is 41 hours a week). Therefore, the French are dramatically more productive per hour worked than we are. Finnish workers also take 40 days of vacation and Finland ranks 6th on the Global Competitiveness scale. Austrians average 38 vacation days a year, Swedes are at 36, and even the Japanese, with their reputation for hard work, average 35 vacation days.

What does this mean? It means that other countries take longer vacations yet are producing more output per hour than the US. Stress, called the "New Tobacco" because of its effect on our bodies, is a major cause of our current problems. Vacations are one of the best ways to alleviate stress.

With that in mind, we decided to celebrate some of this year's vacations taken by OIT employees. In this fiscal year, OIT employees domestically visited Alabama, Alaska, California, Colorado, Florida, Georgia (mountains), Hawaii, Indiana, Louisiana, Maryland, New York, North Carolina, Oregon, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Virginia, and Washington D.C. We vacationed abroad in Argentina, Bermuda, British Virgin Islands, Costa Rica, Dominican Republic, Germany, Greece, Ireland, Jamaica, Mexico, South Africa, and Turkey!

Some of the interesting vacation tales included staying with a family that had eight kids, watching the Olympics at the beach, going to Buenos Aires to buy shoes, speeding to New Orleans, visiting the prison that held Nelson Mandela, catching 10 different fish in one day, and receiving a call for an Emory interview while walking through the streets of Edinburgh.

Of course, several respondents to our question about where you went in 2012 said "nowhere" and that's the point of this article. Don't be a "nowhere" person this year. Don't be afraid to plan, save, and go. It's worth the effort.

Susan Greene Addition

Susan Greene holding her newest grandson!

Susan Greene's (PMO) second grandson was born last week! Parker Irving Latterman was born on 08/08/12 at 1:20 p.m. He weighed 7.4 lbs and was 20 inches long. Momma Caroline and Daddy Jeremy are doing is Nana Susan!

Scott Swann Addition

Baby Daisy with her mother Miranda.

Scott Swann's (PMO) daughter and son-in-law, Miranda and Mike Haley, had their first child August 2, 2012 at 12:09 a.m. Her name is Daisy Haley and she was 7 lbs., 6 oz. and 20 inches long. She was born in Emory Hospital Midtown. Scott took some time off to help the parents and he's just now catching up on lost sleep. His new granddaughter is healthy and beautiful!

Solomon Ties the Knot

Tanjalon is a very happy bride!

Tanjalon Solomon (Enterprise Applications) and Ron Lewis were married in holy matrimony on May 26, 2012 in Flowery Branch, GA. The venue was a real tribute to the couple's love of nature, privacy, great food, entertaining and enjoying friends and family.

The three-day event kicked off with a fish-fry hosted at their home, a rehearsal dinner on a Lake Lanier party boat, and of course concluded with a beautiful ceremony and party, where the happy couple did "The Wobble." (NOTE: the video is an example of the dance, not actual video from the ceremony. Looks like fun!)

Tanjalon and Ron met while working in the Atlanta area and dated for seven years. Ron’s son, Brandon, was the best man and his daughter, Ciara, was videographer at their wedding. Tanjalon's sister and nieces were the bridesmaids and her brothers were the groomsmen. The couple spent their honeymoon in Aruba.

Repeat Champs!

Wade Moricle (left) has captained the Euclid Avenue Yacht Club team to three league titles.

Yacht Yacht repeated as Atlanta / Decatur Dart Association champions last month, winning their third title in 25 seasons. Captained by Wade Moricle (Integration), the final match was contested with considerable drama.

In a match-up of the league's top-two teams, the lead changed hands six times during the match. In the decisive game, Justin Stewart of the Yacht Yacht needed three bulls and a triple-16 on his final turn to wrest the lead away and he scored exactly that.

The Adda Cup, weighing 75 pounds, will be presented to the Euclid Avenue Yacht Club (the team's home bar) in September, where it will remain on display for many months ahead.