This is a follow up to my previous post about how my lunch hour is a sacred time.
You have those who ignore or are ignorant to the fact that you cherish that brief hour of each day that you have to yourself. They look at your lunch hour as their social time. Or in the case of management you’re at your desk and can work so get it done before they go on their lunch hour(s).
There was another time in my life that I should have made sacred that I allowed work and others to intrude upon. It was my vacation time.
Yes I admit it, I allowed them to intrude.
For years my vacations meant I was worrying about who is back at the office screwing around with my department. When you are away from the office that’s the time for the other managers and subordinates to throw you under the bus.
At first when the only way to stay connected to the office was to find a telephone all I could do is imagine what was going on in my absence. Then the first day back, during my morning commute, I’d prepared myself for the worst case scenario, which usually came true.
A few years into managing I received my first company Blackberry and company laptop with an air card. Now I’m taking the office with me to the hotel room. My wife really loved that. (That’s sarcasm in case you didn’t know.)
Now I didn’t have to imagine what was going on back at the office, I was getting first hand reports on all the horrors that would be waiting for me when I returned.
From there the technology just got better or maybe I should say worse. Technology that was to free up my time just made the chain to my desk longer and heavier.
Co-workers, subordinates, bosses, customers, and suppliers expected me to act like I was at the office even when on vacation, even when I was on “my” time.
Soon there was no “my” time it was “company” time.
My favorite email opening line was “I know you’re on vacation but…..”
I would think why don’t they just write what they really mean. “I know you are on vacation but I don’t give a rat’s ass. I got my problems and I need you to solve them. So screw you, your family, and your vacation. Solve my problem.”
I thank God I was able to put those days behind me.
I still check my emails when I’m on vacation. Old habits die hard, but it is mainly to clean out the ninety nine percent of useless junk that I get from both internal and external sources. It saves me from having to sift through it all when I return to the office.
The one percent that may matter, well I look at it this way.
The sender sees my “out of office” reply. It says I’m not in the office, I not checking my emails while I am out of the office and I will not respond to them until I return. If that’s not good enough here is someone else you can contact.
Screw you if you don’t read it and then go to someone else.
It’s my vacation.
© Otis P Smith and About the Groove, 2016. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Otis P Smith and About the Groove with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.