Company: The Motley Fool.
Company: The Motley Fool.
Number of employees: 250.
Every month, the Motley Fool draws the name of one employee, and sends them packing on a two-week paid vacation the company calls The Fool’s Errand.
“Some people are excited and immediately start cheering,” said Lee Burbage, head of the company’s human resources department. “Others are sitting there like ‘Please, please don’t pick me. I have too much to do this month.’ ”
One employee went to New Orleans to help victims of Hurricane Katrina during his weeks off. Another used the free time to write a song.
Dayana Yochim, a senior producer at the financial services firm, went to fiddle camp.
“When my name was called, I immediately ran out of the room and got in my car,” Yochim said. “I was ready.”
She headed straight for Lawrence, Kan., where she spent 11 days taking one-on-one fiddle lessons, participating in jam sessions and learning contra dancing.
“I got my chops back faster than I would have if I had just taken weekly lessons,” said Yochim, who used to play the violin as a child.
All 250 employees, including 10 who work remotely and 12 who work in London, are included in the drawing.
“It’s a fun forced sabbatical,” Burbage said. “But it also has a hidden business purpose: It ensures that we can survive without any given employee. If you’re the only person who has the password to a particular spreadsheet, we’re in trouble. This helps us find those points of failure.”
Max Keeler, vice president of business processes, used his time off to catch up with friends, practice his guitar and learn a new programming language.
“The great thing was that I could take my time,” Keeler said. “I slept in, I took long lunches, I read on the Metro. There was no pressure to do anything.”
Employees cannot be chosen twice for the Fool’s Errand. But if that ever changes, Yochim is ready.
“Next up: carnie camp,” she said. “I want to learn how to breathe fire.”
SuperFan badge holders consistently post smart, timely comments about Washington area sports and teams.
Culture Connoisseur Badge
Culture Connoisseurs consistently offer thought-provoking, timely comments on the arts, lifestyle and entertainment.
Fact Checker Badge
Fact Checkers contribute questions, information and facts to The Fact Checker.
Washingtologists consistently post thought-provoking, timely comments on events, communities, and trends in the Washington area.
Post Writer Badge
This commenter is a Washington Post editor, reporter or producer.
Post Forum Badge
Post Forum members consistently offer thought-provoking, timely comments on politics, national and international affairs.
Weather Watcher Badge
Weather Watchers consistently offer thought-provoking, timely comments on climates and forecasts.
World Watcher Badge
World Watchers consistently offer thought-provoking, timely comments on international affairs.
Post Contributor Badge
This commenter is a Washington Post contributor. Post contributors aren’t staff, but may write articles or columns. In some cases, contributors are sources or experts quoted in a story.
Washington Post reporters or editors recommend this comment or reader post.
You must be logged in to report a comment.
You must be logged in to recommend a comment.
Comments our editors find particularly useful or relevant are displayed in Top Comments, as are comments by users with these badges: . Replies to those posts appear here, as well as posts by staff writers.
All comments are posted in the All Comments tab.
To pause and restart automatic updates, click "Live" or "Paused". If paused, you'll be notified of the number of additional comments that have come in.
More ways to get us