An American Work Vacation for Me

I have three weeks off. It’s because I didn’t take much vacation this year and I can’t roll over the days to next year.

Here's where I want to be on my vacation. I'm pretty sure this island lacks cellular coverage

So, I’m catching up on projects around the house and working, as in “work work.”

Yes, the work I’m supposed to be off from right now.

Last week, just before we were about to launch a new video – 5 ,4, 3, 2, abort, ABORT – my manager asked for a major change  – one he and others could have caught early in the review process.

This led to a week of my time tweaking it and the programmers devoting another week to the changes. I like my manager, great guy, but the bummer of this change is that it won’t make much of a difference for the end user, and I now have to shepherd and review the project during my vacation.

Part of this is my fault. I have a hard time making a clean break from work. I have to come down slowly and wean myself off it like a junkie breaking a habit. But technology, limited resources in our department, and the economy are the pushers.

And one device stands out as the villain of my story.

Blackberry, oh Blackberry, the enemy and destroyer of vacations. Blackberry, oh Blackberry.

What a turd of a device at times and savior when I need it. I want to fling it like a rock across a glassy pond. Watch it bounce off the payment and explode into a thousand shards of plastic. But then there are days I want to marry it, be its mate. I love you, little BB.

Future generations will discover piles of these buried in landfills, plastic dinosaur bones

Blackberry, oh Blackberry, you tease. I try not to look at my email, but I can’t help it. I’m Pavlov’s dog and run when the ringer sounds or red light flashes. Email, must read now. Bark. Bark. Must read now. [Drool everywhere.] Why did I read that now? I’m such a stupid f**K. It could have waited. Where’s my bowl of food?

Now I imagine you reading this and thinking, “Why doesn’t someone else do the work while you’re gone?”

Good question, O Wise Reader. I have several answers for you.

First, no one knows the content like I do and they’re buried with their own work and planning for their own vacations. Second, we have limited resources. Over the years, we’ve been told “do more with less.” It’s all about maximizing production and working ourselves to the bone, which ties into my third answer to your question, the economy. Yes, if you don’t do more with less and work every minute of the day and beyond, there is someone unemployed who will. And if you’re thinking of getting another job, don’t.

“There ain’t none to be had, Mister,” said the imaginary hobo by the bus stop.

I guess I shouldn’t feel too sorry for myself. I have a very good job and according to this Yahoo!/CNNMoney article, $34.3 billion in vacation days to go unused this year, a good percentage of Americans don’t use many of the vacation days they earn. At least I get to take my days with some work sprinkled in.

So, bring on the holidays, Xbox madness, and day trips with my daughter to places unknown, like a lake with a smooth surface, perfect for skipping stones.

6 thoughts on “An American Work Vacation for Me

  1. Dear Mr.Madman of Workworkshire,

    We have 3 blackberry’s in our house, red lights flashing and beeping left, right and center!

    When Lauren works a weekend they have been told not to send out emails because the directors of the firm use blackberry’s and they are also there personnel phones, they can’t be disturbed during their “downtime”. Seems a crazy way to run a business to me!

    I hope you wean yourself away from work sooner rather than later and get some quality xbox time in kicking @onlyz’s arse!

    Sir Sean

    • Maddest of the Mad,

      3 BBs? You have only two hands last time I checked. Did you grow a third or did you learn to type with your toes like a monkey? I could see you doing that.

      I want to work at Lauren’s company. Out management emails all the time on the weekends. They’ve been emailing me this week on vacation. And I’ve actually ignored some.

      OnlyZ is going to get a hurting on the game. He’ll be moaning about not having the right car, the right engine. Excuses, excuses.


  2. This royally sucks. You need to be approaching this differently. If you are on vacation you DO need to head to a place where your phone wont work – that way you really ARE on vacation.

    I can assure you, this mess you CALL a vacation, isn’t. It’s called telecommuting. And the idea of an Aussie not taking his allotted vacation leave is laughable. What’s going on over there?! Do I need to come over there and sort the country out?

    You people need to get your priorities in order…. Remember, work to live, not the other way around! 🙂

    • Princess Karyn of Australia,

      Yes, it does suck. Oh, how I want to live in Australia where they take vacations. I hope that never changes for you and your country.

      Thanks for setting me straight. I thought it was live to work. Oops. My bad.


  3. I want to move to Australia revel in that HUGE cultural difference! Being self employed, I’m so guilty of NEVER truly taking time off and not checking calls and emails. I’m afraid of loosing precious business and also a pile of work that I can’t manage when I return to it. In fact, I have quite a phobia of work (chores or real work) piling up and getting away from me. Looks like I need to find that island without cell phone service.

    • Princess Margie of the Valley,

      You and I can move together. I can’t wait to go. I’m buying a couple koalas the minute I get their and putting some poisonous creature on the barbie.

      I feel for you being self-employed. It’s got to be hard. Clients don’t get the whole vacation thing for the self-employed.

      See you at at the airport.


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