I don't like thinking that way. I like to let people do their jobs out of my way (and I like to keep out of theirs). My primary responsibilities and yours are not the same and I'd like to trust you to just DO yours without my intervention.
Do you know the primary cause of employees not rising to their responsibilities? No, not incompetence (although that plays a role). Absenteeism.
Yes, you may get 26 days of leave a year**, half vacation, half sick, but that doesn't mean at the end of the year your balances should be 0. With vacation, maybe, but you really should have some brains and try to husband your sick leave. Also, bosses get very suspicious of leave taken on Mondays and Fridays. So here's the advice:
- Regarding vacation leave: request it, don't demand it. If all your peers will be on vacation, don't assume you'll get that week off as well. Unless you want your employer to think: "Hmmm. We really can manage without all of them. Why don't we try that, since budgets are getting slashed."
- Regarding sick leave: it gets annoying when you always get sick on a day that makes a weekend a long weekend. Soon you'll be asked for a doctor's note, even when you just need to stay home a day or two to recover from a cold that doesn't require a prescipriton.
- If you do have leave, don't let assignments be late and completed after you return. Finish them before the two weeks in the Bahamas.
- If you have children or pets or a chronically ill spouse, while it's reasonable to request leave to care for ill children, pets, or spouse, it also behooves you to befriend a few neighbors. Really. Suck up a bit. Do you want to be beholden to your cranky neighbor lady or your not-cranky-but-really-really-tired boss who just wishes someone wouldn't always leave her with finishing up subordinates' jobs.
I have no expecttation that anyone will take this advice. But really, if you have a new boss, and need to keep your job, these might be suggestions to follow.
*Assume you are a GS-5 to GS-11 and you report to me. Yes, I know you don't, really. But trust me when I tell you, what I'm about to say might actually benefit you. Might keep you employed. Might keep you from eviction or foreclosure or just being that totally annoying crying drunk at the bar who is so totally not getting laid except by a serial killer.
**Assuming a first, second, or third year employee. After that, you get more leave than that if you work for the feds. If you've made it until your fourth year, you haven't annoyed the living shit out of me with leave abuse, so you clearly figured it out. But even so, think about what I'm writing here.