I have grown accustomed to the question “do you get any days off?” The short answer is “No”. Actually, the long answer is “No” as well. I work 8 hours every day, no days off.
This does not bother me for several reasons. First, Tyler and I have the flexibilty to change our shift schedule to fit our plans for the day. The flexibility means that work does not interfere with my ability to explore and experience Olympos.
Second, the rest of the staff all work from sunrise to well after sunset, every day. The only time they take off is for family obligations. I’m amazed by the Turkish work ethic, especially in the tourist industry.
Third, the work is anything but demanding. I read, chat, think, and occasionally restock the shelves with beer. My skin could use a break from the sun anyway (thank you Irish roots), so I’m happy to have a reason to stay in the shade.
You see, we are approaching high season; there are always new guests checking in and checking out, needing help with their air conditioning or wanting to know where to hike. This is the hospitality industry, there is no time to be taken off. Or so I thought…
Daniel, Adam, and Heinz have been staying here for what seems like an eternity. They’re like the brothers I never had (photos to come). They keep me company during my shifts and help me with my inability to create a good playlist. On my time off, I join them on bike rides or hit the beach in search of Hussein selling stuffed mussels. Today they decided it was time to leave Olympos and continue their travels. Tomorrow, they will depart on a 4-day/3-night Gulet Cruise up the Turquoise Coast to Fethiye.
I have been dying to do this cruise, but I was hesitant because I’d be going alone…and on this type of excursion, your company makes or breaks the trip. But with the three stooges going, I found myself with great cruise company. Drama-free and full of sarcasm, laughter, and great music.
I asked the manager if I could have a few days off to join them. After thinking about it for a minute, he asked if that would enable me to stay a few extra days in June, when it’s much much busier. Without hesitation, I said absolutely.
And that’s how you get time off in Turkey. Negotiate around your “temporary” work schedule – I am much more valuable during high season than low season. So for a very very discounted price (another benefit of being “Staff”), I’ll be sailing on a wooden yacht for the next 4 days. The itinerary is a dream come true: exploring St. Nicholas Island, kayaking over Sunken ruins, possibly Paragliding off the cliffs above Oludeniz, and marveling at the gorgeous coast. Pinch me, I’m dreaming.