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View Poll Results: Do you need to use personal time off for FIRST Robotics?
No, my company recognizes the value of FIRST 27 17.53%
Yes, but a professional development program would make my company realize the value of FIRST. 24 15.58%
Yes, and a professional development program would do nothing to change my comapny's opinion. 103 66.88%
Voters: 154. You may not vote on this poll

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Unread 06-09-2018, 10:35 AM
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Mentor PTO

This question was brought on by this thread.

Do you need to use personal time off to mentor your team? Volunteer/work with your team at events? Or for anything else relating to FIRST Robotics?

If you do need to take PTO, do you believe you would still need to do so if there were a professional development program offered through an accredited university for your mentor tasks? It would also be very helpful for you to provide the name of your company and additional details if possible.
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Unread 06-09-2018, 10:52 AM
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Re: Mentor PTO

Yes. 12 vacation days this year towards events, and the team intentionally meets in the evenings so mentors don't need to take time off work for meetings. I doubt any professional development course would help.
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Unread 06-09-2018, 11:20 AM
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Re: Mentor PTO

Not sure how it is with others within my company but I've been fortunate enough to have a manager who "gets it" and has allowed me to take the days without burning PTO. As long as my work is done I'm good. Plus he sees the benefit that FIRST has toward careers, the leadership experience is worth it in his eyes.

Officially, our company does give everyone 1 "volunteer day" that you can use for what ever organization that you want.
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Unread 06-09-2018, 11:23 AM
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Re: Mentor PTO

I'm an intern so I don't get PTO so I'm just not getting paid for the time missed for IRI.
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Unread 06-09-2018, 11:39 AM
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Re: Mentor PTO

I'm always taking a half day off for demos and other events here and there plus with my 12 hr shift and every other 3 day weekend I'm using two days of PTO for Friday and Saturday then rush home to work ast 5am Sunday because it always lands on my weekend. I bet I'm in the teens for the year too like John with the days of PTO used for FRC, and we too meet in the evening.
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Unread 06-09-2018, 12:14 PM
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Re: Mentor PTO

There needs to be another option on this poll.

No/Yes, my company provides some of the PTO I use for robotics

SunPower gives all its employees 3 days of VTO(volunteer time off) each year for volunteer work. During the season I take at least 12 days off for robotics, 2 days for Monday holidays the school has off but work does not, 1-3 days each for our 3 Regionals(~6 days), and 4-5 days for Champs. The VTO helps, but I'm still eating ~9 days worth of PTO each season. I would like to have more but it is better than nothing.
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Unread 06-09-2018, 12:50 PM
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Re: Mentor PTO

Quote:
Originally Posted by RoboChair View Post
There needs to be another option on this poll.

No/Yes, my company provides some of the PTO I use for robotics

SunPower gives all its employees 3 days of VTO(volunteer time off) each year for volunteer work. During the season I take at least 12 days off for robotics, 2 days for Monday holidays the school has off but work does not, 1-3 days each for our 3 Regionals(~6 days), and 4-5 days for Champs. The VTO helps, but I'm still eating ~9 days worth of PTO each season. I would like to have more but it is better than nothing.
I thought about adding that option but then decided against it. My logic was that if you're using any significant amount of PTO to mentor FIRST teams you'd fall into the category that you need to use PTO. In my current job search I'm placing a high value on companies that recognize the value of FIRST Robotics with their volunteering policies.
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Unread 06-09-2018, 01:13 PM
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Re: Mentor PTO

And here I thought this thread would be about mentors with a second output shaft for powering a separate mechanism using the same motors. Silly me
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Unread 06-09-2018, 01:40 PM
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Re: Mentor PTO

Currently, half time (sometimes). If the event is directly sponsored by the Air Force or DoD, then itís up to the supervisor. My supervisor granted me a free day of leave for a regional. Iíll take it.
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Unread 06-09-2018, 01:56 PM
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Re: Mentor PTO

I forgot to mention ay my current employer the are two technicians on my crew that mentor teams. Fortunately we compete on different events week 2 and 5. But when there is a conflict one of us must call in sick because they only allow one person to use PTO per day.
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Unread 06-09-2018, 02:03 PM
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Re: Mentor PTO

Chronicling my post-college years:

The car dealership: My personal time, and occasionally an extra day around Championship that was just unpaid leave. Only once did I get pushback, and that was more because I was leaving at the end of the month (car sales managers live and die by the end of the month, while my job wasn't). Car dealerships, frequently owned by salespeople that grew to management and eventually ownership, are highly sales-driven and culturally disinclined to close (except, for some, on Sundays) or do a lot of time off.

InventoryLab: Their policy was "reasonable time off". No issues getting anything approved.

AndyMark: ...do you have to ask? Andy is a firm believer that volunteering at events and getting face time with teams is a good reflection on the company (as is working the AndyMark booth when there is one, obviously). I'm not saying you can jet off to work any event anywhere on the clock. But look in my signature between Championship 2016 and CAGE Match 2017.

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Unread 06-09-2018, 02:34 PM
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Re: Mentor PTO

I use PTO if I'm missing a full day. Probably 5 or 6 a year, including one or two for full build days during school vacation.

I stopped asking my boss if it's ok to take a day off since he always looked confused that I'd even ask. He's very European and must assume I work the same 20ish hour work week he does.

Working in academia has its perks.
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Unread 06-09-2018, 05:00 PM
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Re: Mentor PTO

Vacation days. An accredited whatever will not help. I'm not at work, I better be dieing or on vacation.
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Unread 06-09-2018, 05:10 PM
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Re: Mentor PTO

Quote:
Originally Posted by AriMB View Post
And here I thought this thread would be about mentors with a second output shaft for powering a separate mechanism using the same motors. Silly me
^^ This.

I haven't done the math, but I'm pretty sure I use more of my personal leave to mentor and take the team to demos and events than everything else combined. Fortunately, my supervisors would rather have me spread it out than take off most of December like some of my co-workers.
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Unread 06-09-2018, 05:34 PM
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Re: Mentor PTO

I'd actually like to hear from any mentors who work in HR for their respective companies about this. HR tends to control these policies or have a heavy influence on them.

It's not as hopeless of a cause as the results so far might make people think. Getting the right message in front of the right person is all it takes.
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