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The Vacation Dilemma Expand / Collapse
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Posted Friday, April 26, 2013 3:33 AM
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A few years ago I worked for a company and we had 2 DBA's. We both did other things and it was about half time work for each of us. As a saving the company decided to make one of us redundant and have only one DBA.
This was fine until the one DBA was sick or on holiday. We always planned our holidays so only one of us was off at any one time.
It came to a crisis when the DBA who was left, I was made redundant actually decided to leave and they had no DBA. He actually went back to Australia at two weeks notice.
Part of the vacation dilemma is companies are trying to save money all the time and hence cut what they see as an unnecessary overhead. Staff on the whole want to do a good job and work extra time to ensure that they do.
In my current role I am the only SQL specialist and if I am not available there is a big issue. Management do not seem to want to spend the money on staff or for that matter DR. There seems to be an attitude of do I need that just to keep going. The service we provide is business critical but this is still not seen as worth protecting. I am sure someone gets a bigger bonus because of this saving but it is not me.
Post #1446872
Posted Friday, April 26, 2013 5:11 AM


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Today's a bad day to ask this question. The guy in the next cubicle over has spent the last four months spearheading our biggest upgrade project of the year. In that time, he's done very little to keep anyone else in the loop, or delegate any responsibilities. So he's really the only one with complete knowledge of the project. He was told to have the test environment in place before he goes on vacation.

His vacation started today. Guess what day he scheduled the install of the test environment, which is the first major milestone in the project? Guess who gets to oversee the install of the test environment with almost zero exposure to the project to date?

So yeah... bad day to ask this question.

ron


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Post #1446899
Posted Friday, April 26, 2013 6:12 AM


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It's OK to let things get a little chaotic while you're away on vacation. You don't want to be one of the guys who take off for a week and no one notices.
Post #1446918
Posted Friday, April 26, 2013 6:14 AM


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I don't believe we should have to work extra time beforehand to get our promised vacation time unhampered by calls from work.

But when things don't work out that way, it should be a Large Indicator than your employer hasn't done his job when it comes to cross-training and arranging adequate staffing for scheduled employee leaves. That's HIS/HER job but so often they don't or won't do it, and the consequences are dumped onto the IT worker without another thought.

As workers we should never be penalized for an employer's lack of attention to this. Thinking that someone will always be on duty is wishful thinking and they deserve to have their noses rubbed in the fact. Maybe they'll a) change their planning routines or b) pay us a lot more since we're so indispensable.

I'm glad to see that most people are coming down so firmly on the side of taking their vacations and spending time with their families.


Sigerson

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Post #1446920
Posted Friday, April 26, 2013 6:31 AM
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As Sr Developer in the company I also have a lot of responsibilities.
And after 35 years in the industry I now realize...I need down time
So:
1. Have someone cross trained to fill in on critical items.
2. Having that person ready is not a last minute thing...have it in place
3. Set my email to vacation reply
4. If anyone actually calls refer then to the mission critical person (#1)
5. Take my vacation and completely forget about work.

Doing these things allows me to unwind and return ready to work at full speed...and not as a resentfull moaner.
Post #1446929
Posted Friday, April 26, 2013 6:40 AM


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You could argue that it's a great opportunity to give a bit more responsibility to some of the people you've hopefully been allowed to train up in your place.

I've been in a few situations where if I'm around people will needlessley defer to me (and honestly I might be arrogant enough to take over a bit) rather than breaking sweat when realistically they could probably muddle through.

Certainly tightens up their attention when you return and they've had some "problems".

Suddenly all those people that half heartedly listened to your concerns now take a lot more notice as they suddenly are enlightened to the significance of your problems which are a lot closer to their problems now.
Post #1446930
Posted Friday, April 26, 2013 6:55 AM


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The only extra work I do before going on vacation is to review and possible update any documentation for routine tasks that may need to get done while I'm out. So while I might check email once or twice a day, I'm pretty much unplugged...makes them appreciate me all the more when I get back

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Post #1446941
Posted Friday, April 26, 2013 7:02 AM


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The only prep work I tend to do is to make sure any projects I'm presently working on are at a safe stopping point.

I don't expect anything more than fire fighting while I'm gone, and when I get back, I pick up where I left off. I don't burn extra hours making up for the time off.

It's supposed to be time off, if nobody can cover for you, that isn't your fault.

Yes I bring my laptop, yes I have my smartphone. My boss will only pick it up when the fires are truly blazing and nobody else has any idea of what to do. In the past 6 years, while on one of the two vacations I take annualy, I have been called all of twice. Both times I was far from where I could immediately help, in one case my laptop was on the other side of Oahu, while I was attending my sister's wedding. I did my best to help, and they ultimately muddled through.

The thing is, in general, nobody is *THAT* necessary, and if they are, and they don't have a backup, then the business is being stupid.




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Post #1446947
Posted Friday, April 26, 2013 7:04 AM
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I've taken the same week vacation almost all my life. Before I go, I'll take the time to document some of my regular responsibilities, the status of my projects, open items, and troubleshooting steps for issues that normally fall to me. Some of that is just copying and pasting from the previous year's document. I'll send that off to my boss along with a little information about how to get me if he needs. Fortunately, he's had his own vacation ruined by interruptions, so he has never called me during one of mine.

Depending on where I'm going on vacation and how long I'll be gone, I may take my laptop with me. So far I haven't needed it. As far as email, I'll occasionally take a look at the email subjects but that's about it.




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Post #1446948
Posted Friday, April 26, 2013 7:10 AM
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Whats a vacation?
Post #1446964
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