Outlook: Time Off as Appointment - effective or not?

Some managers in our company have adopted the practice of approving their subordinates' day off by making them to request a meeting in Outlook. That is, if I want to take a personal day off, I'm expected to send meeting request to my boss, who will either accept it, or decline. If he accepts, then my absence will be on his calendar as all-day meeting, however with availability=free and without reminder.

From my point of view, this practice clutters boss' calendar with appointments that in fact are not appointments; every now and then it comes up as "busy" rather than "free", which falsely makes calendar owner unavailable for the day; also, occasionally the reminder is set, which causes the alarm on boss' (synchronized) iphone to go off at midnight.

I wonder, are there good alternatives? i.e. some other practices that allow a manager to manage time off of his subordinates not pretending that they are appointments?
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Vadim RappAsked:
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tshearonCommented:
You can use sharepoint for this. Or a public folder calendar. Or why not do an all day event? The approval can just come from emails or some other form of communication. I agree with you on this, the way it is being done seems silly. But then again, if it is what your boss wants then oh well. Good luck with it!
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Vadim RappAuthor Commented:
We do use sharepoint calendar, in addition to this. This process is primarily to receive the approval.
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tshearonCommented:
In sharepoint can you not create a calendar that requires an approval for an entry to be placed on the calendar? I remember that you can for posting of documents. I'm betting this can be done with a calendar also. This way you can make the appointment for your time off and it can be approved or rejected by your boss. It will leave and electronic trail of the transaction as well.
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tshearonCommented:
Not sure of your sharepoint environment, but here is a related video.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B-mhM8YvPNo
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