The concept of a certain amount of paid days is very foreign to me. I'm used to working shift work. The way you would take off is find someone and go, "Hey John, could you take my shift I'll take your next weekend".
The fact that you only have a certain amount makes me afraid to use them. What if I run out? Also it seems my company is making you use them for everything. Let's say my car is broken or I have legitimate plans that will take all day (I have to find a lawyer for example and they only work business hours), my company makes you "waste" vacation time. If I used vacation time for all this "dumb but required" stuff, I would have no vacation. On the flip side nothing in my life will get done. Let's say I have to get a lot of things done and run out but would still like a week vacation (when it's obviously slow). Is there a such thing as unpaid time off?
I would gladly work in a place where you get no alloted vacation time and you simply told your manager "Hey, is it ok if I take off in a few days I have something to do". If nothing crazy is going on they let you, else they don't. The company doesn't pay you so there is no net loss. I look at a job, "Work for an hour, get paid for an hour. Don't work, don't get paid." Simple concept but it doesn't seem to exist in IT.