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The Vacation Dilemma Expand / Collapse
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Posted Thursday, June 12, 2008 8:58 PM


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Comments posted to this topic are about the item The Vacation Dilemma






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Post #516371
Posted Thursday, June 12, 2008 11:08 PM
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The week of june 23th, I will take off. One single week off work since I don't know when. This is causing major problems to a Project Manager for a project I'm currently working on. Well... can't I have a break? The PM was noticed long ago about my leave but still expected that testing on my code would be done that week at the customer's site.
Do your tests with the client alone, mister Project Manager, and I hope everything goes well! I will be doing good family time while you bite the dust when they ask why this or that does not what they expected.
I often work extra hours to get things done but a vacation when you can get it is untouchable.
Post #516412
Posted Thursday, June 12, 2008 11:27 PM


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Hi

From June/20 i will be on vacation for about 2 weeks. I have someone covering for me, but i like to handle the critical things myself so that iam not saddled by things done by some one else having a different idea on the whole thing. Not that they do a bad job.

Iam not against doing some extra work before vacation specially if it helps you later on. Also you will have some peace of mind during the vacation knowing well that you have covered important things.
For me its doing work before the vacation and not after...


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Post #516420
Posted Friday, June 13, 2008 12:46 AM
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My wife will have been away twice this year without me as I cannot get the length of time off from my new job and any odd days I do get I end up on email sorting things out. I really think that blackberry type devices are the worst thing ever invented some times....

But honestly, if you are working in any midsize+ organisation and you come back to any significant amount of work then you need to take a good long look at your colleagues and work out exactly what they do! :)

Post #516447
Posted Friday, June 13, 2008 1:07 AM
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Work will always continue to happen with or without you. But vacation is an exteremly important thing considering our hectic shcedules. This is something that you to owe to yourself and your family. I initally used to think that the sky would fall down if I take a vacation. But after taking a few week long breaks, I realised that everything was just fine at work!
And yes, you may need to make some preparations before you leave so that things do go on fine at work (like getting everyone upto date on what needs to be done in your absence). The last thing you want is your collegue to call you and ask you where the files are placed!
Post #516457
Posted Friday, June 13, 2008 1:21 AM
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Think IT is bad? try IT in the Mining industry. After a long time with very few vacations I finally cracked and went away - Funny thing happened - NOTHING - the world didn't stop turning and the crap was all waiting for me when i got back. I don't know about any one else, but I realised that i was somewhat conceited in thinking that I mattered so much.
Where I really mattered was with my family and THAT was what i was neglecting. Sure, I do some preparation before I leave, just to make my arrival back at work a bit less of a shock. But as a previous post stated - if there is a great pile waiting when you get back then you should be finding out what your co-workers do. Vacations also have the added benefit of making management stop taking me for granted.
Post #516461
Posted Friday, June 13, 2008 1:48 AM
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I'm afraid it's all abount managing expectations. Lots of industries have a set period of time each year when production shuts down. If the customer expects to have no deliveries during July and August, then they are content and can plan accordingly. As can the company you work for.

The trouble is, how many managers/sales people have the either a) the balls, or b) a relationship that allows expectations to be managed that is beneficial for both parties. Not very many, that's for sure. Usually, the customer dominates the relationship, managers go on holiday and the folk on the shop fall take the pain.

It would help if projects were seen to be delivered on time.

Great expectations .....

Post #516465
Posted Friday, June 13, 2008 3:57 AM
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I'm sort of heartened to see that some other respondents feel they have an adversarial relationship with sales staff/account managers and project managers! That stuff used to consume me - I believed them to be the most evil, greedy and selfish beings on the planet. (And if some sociological profiling is to be believed, they are!) The trouble is, without them, we don't have any work to do. But I do object to the expectation that I have to work harder to justify taking some leave. That's a human rights issue surely.
So how to strike the balance? That is a tough one as only you can do it - this means in all respects - e.g.
A/ not being a doormat for these bozos versus losing yourself a paying job through being unhelpful. This is about expectations - that means you have to communicate with them effectively about what you can and cannot deliver. Then they only have to be truthful with their customers to set the correct expectations (and that's their problem)

B/ do you live to work or work to live? What are we fighting for anyway? Most people can think of a bunch of things they'd rather be doing when they're at their desk. So make sure you're not waiting for retirement to get started on them. Set your work/life balance now and start working to achieve it.

C/ Political jingoism of the 80s promised us less work and more leisure time. (I thought they meant individually, not that 5% of the population would be jobless, broke and on the sofa watching satellite tv while the rest worked 60 hour weeks!) But again, no one's going to set the balance for us. The solution is to work smarter rather than longer and harking back to Steve's original question, this should include delegating. Hell, what is everyone else doing when they bring you more work?

Now that business needs to look more for sustainability and less for year on year growth, the overhead of running IT needs to be something that is efficient and requires less man hours - easy to say, much harder to do. But the right thing nevertheless.
Post #516515
Posted Friday, June 13, 2008 4:38 AM


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When it comes to vacations, priorities have to be in order. I don't say that to hurt anyone in the post BUT, as my father-in-law used to say to me, the company is not going to give you a kiss goodnight. I have made my family important and with that decision, work has to be less important. Some would think that by me saying this that I am not a dedicated empoloyee. Ask any of my past or current employer(s). That is far from the case BUT, when it comes time for me to take / need time off, no problem. I shut things down, and head for the door. As a father of 4 I can't let too many days go by or my children change size on me and I miss a whole personality phase.

I have been known to walk away from a very good job offer because they would not give me what I considered to be an adequate amount of vacation. However, having been in the industry for more years than I care to mention, and having the responsibilties of someone who is getting older, I need to have that time in order to take care of family needs. Many of those needs can't be taken care of at night or on the weekends.

As to being completely free when on vacation, well, I'm not sure that is possible in this industry. However, that is why I believe architecting a solid environment is so critical, so that we can go home at night, turn out the lights, forget about work and enjoy. The same with vacation. They are computers after all, they are supposed to work for us, not us work for them. ;)



David

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Post #516537
Posted Friday, June 13, 2008 4:41 AM
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It is a contractural issue.
Your employment contract says you spend x days per year in the office working for the company, and y days per year away from the office and not doing company work. If you are pressured to spend x+whatever days in the office your employer is breaking your employment contract.


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