Richard Branson's Virgin Atlantic offers employees unlimited vacation time. He may want to rethink that now.
Branson, as you likely know, is rich--like filthy, stinkin' own-your-own tropical island rich. In fact, he does own Necker Island, in the British Virgin Islands.
He takes a lot of vacations--or perhaps trips is the more apt word, as it's not really clear to me when he's working versus not working. Regardless, he writes about them on his personal blog on Virgin.
Recently, one of these expeditions went badly. Here's what happened.
Branson traveled with friends to the Cayman Islands, where one of his goals was to swim with stingrays.
"We joined renowned ocean conservationist Guy Harvey to see the rays up close at Stingray City Sandbar," Branson wrote, and they were "surrounded by stingray, as well as stunning coral reefs and tropical fish."
Then, he learned the hard way why a lot of people don't go swimming with stingrays.
"Suddenly I felt a painful sensation on my wrist - they have one heck of a painful kiss!" Branson wrote. "Rays are actually part of the shark family, so I've now been kissed by a shark.
How badly does it hurt? Branson doesn't really go into detail, but every commentary I can find says it hurts a lot.
The pain "comes from a powerful toxin secreted by the animal's tail," marine biologist Chris Lowe told NPR in 2014. "That toxin causes blood vessels to constrict, reducing blood flow. ... It causes this intense pain sensation -- a throbbing, kind of aching pain sensation. And it literally takes hours to go away."
Next up, Branson says that he managed to walk into a bulletproof glass door that he didn't realize was there--and cut himself badly enough to require three stitches. He includes a photo of himself in "a makeshift operating theatre, where I was given three stitches."
Other than that, just a typical Branson-style vacation, with famous celebrities (actress Jamie Lee Curtis made an appearance), tennis with Anna Kournikova and other legends on a tour in the Caymans, and beautiful topless models swimming in the clear aquamarine.
(Branson includes a photo of one such woman in his blog post... it's taken from a distance and it's kind of arty--but I'm going to just go ahead and warn you it might be a little NSFW.)
Hey, he's still vacationing in a tropical paradise and having a great time. And if Branson is a few days getting back to work--or recovering from his vacation injuries--there's probably no ramification.
Not the same for entrepreneurs and wage-slaves, right? So I think the moral is: work hard, take vacations, and laugh about it all when things go wrong.