When Days Off Aren’t…

Maybe I’m blowing this out of proportion, but one of the things that makes me absolutely apoplectic is getting calls from the office on vacation days. Ninety-nine times out of 100, I’ve planned these days in advance, have put a lid on whatever projects I happen to be working on and handed off key pieces of information to the guy who’s backstopping me for the day. The fact is there’s nothing I’m working on that’s so important that it can’t wait less than 24 hours until I’m back at my desk. I know this because A) I’m not highly graded enough to start or end a war by myself and B) My distinguished institution survived two and a quarter centuries before I started showing up at the office.

As a rule, I don’t ask much of my employer. All I’m really looking for is a regular pay check and health insurance, a reasonably predictable schedule, and a few days off here and there. Other than that, anything else that comes down the pike is pretty much just a perk. I appreciate those too, but I certainly don’t expect them. Does “not calling me for trivial and routine issues when I’m off” qualify as an unreasonable expectation? I mean had I happened to be gone on a two-week cruise they wouldn’t have called, why is taking a random day off though the week given any less consideration? Spending two hours on the phone going over things with the office pretty much defeats the point of taking the day off. I wonder how telling them I’m only taking six hours of vacation for the day since I was working the other two would go over.

I know it’s a recession out and making waves for your employer isn’t a great idea. That’s why I’m here ranting instead of in the boss’ office ranting, right? But still, if that little bit of consideration is a bridge too far, just let me know.

Editorial Note: This part of a continuing series of posts previously available on a now defunct website. They are appearing on http://www.jeffreytharp.com for the first time. This post has been time stamped to correspond to its original publication date.

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