Depending on who you’re talking to vacations are a) a luxury or, b) a necessity. I tend to be more of a ‘B’ student than an ‘A’ student, so I’m pretty sure you can see which side of the spectrum I sit on. Ahem…Vacations are an integral part of each and every year. Vacations give you something to look forward to when you’re logging your time-sheets. Vacations give you the opportunity to slow down and actually chill for a bit, recharge the proverbial battery so that you can ‘keep going and going and going and going and going’ when you get back to work. Vacations give you a glimpse of what life could be like when your rich and retired. Vacations are wonderful.
The problem with vacations, gosh, I feel dirty even writing that, BUT, the problem with vacations is that no matter how much you prepare for them, you are always, in one way or another, punished for taking time off.
- To get your team up to speed, you need to stay late to prepare a document that details all that needs to happen while you’re away. You need to prep your subordinates and supervisors, the client, and you need to prep your vendors. Essentially, everyone needs to know that while you’re gone, their work load will be hindered (sorry team).
- You stay late every night the week before trying to get as much done as possible to ensure that you’ve minimized the extra amount of work that is to be piled on your teammates. As much as this is a great thing to do for your colleagues, when you’re working 14 hour days leading into this vacation, good ole’ resentment sure does piles up.
- Shit doesn’t get done (sorry for swearing). Remember that detailed document you spent hours prepping? Remember that one? Well, it turns out that the team you briefed didn’t look at it once when you’re away. So, that carefully crafted step-by-step checklist of instructions was essentially a waste of time and your bosses/clients are uber mad that you left them. So, on top of the 14hr days you were working before your vacay, NOW you have to work 14hr days after your vacation. URGHHH
Based on the above, I think that everyone should do a few things to make the vacation process less stressful and more wonderful. Things like, helping out your colleagues, actually looking at their ‘away’ documents, and following up on tasks is a sure fire way to ensure everyone’s vacation experience is filled with a lot of ‘awesome’ and not a lot of ‘hair-pulling-torture’.