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The Vacation Dilemma Expand / Collapse
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Posted Friday, April 26, 2013 7:12 AM
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lrbrister 44677 (4/26/2013)
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.


Definitely agree with this. I'd also add that you should devote the week before the vacation to making sure you are not leaving loose ends.

On a practical level in my experience I find that very little of my usual work actually gets done in the time I'm off because even with good documentation, clear communication etc it still takes time to bring someone up-to-speed with what's going on in a project and that "time" is often longer than my vacation.


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Post #1446967
Posted Friday, April 26, 2013 7:14 AM
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Vacations are wonderful! Or at least, they should be. Unless you are the boss, then it is management's responsibility to have adequate coverage for vacation time. Many workers get two weeks or more of vacation each year. Management should not plan for all employees to work 52 weeks. They should plan for 50 weeks (with two weeks vacation) minus holidays, minus weekends, minus a handful of sick days.

As I am also a project manager in IT, I feel the pain of the folks who don't want to leave things to others. My projects are my babies. However, my current boss (who's last day with the company is today) developed our team so that everyone has a backup. Now we are take vacations reasonably without stressing too much about work. Of course some of us still keep on e-mail and will call in for emergencies (guilty!) but at least we aren't expected to work 60 hours the weeks before and after a week off.

My wife, on the other hand, is in accounting and whenever she wants to take off, she feels that she has to bust her tail beforehand to get everything 'ahead'. The multi-billion dollar company she works for could hire more people but that would make too much sense...

John
Post #1446971
Posted Friday, April 26, 2013 7:30 AM
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At the place I'm working at now, vacations are a very foreign concept to me . I'm pretty much not allowed to take vacations, not because the workload is immense (on the contrary, it's usually completely absent!), but because management is absolutely terrified that the servers will go down for some reason or another while I'm out. Although I could give very simple, to-the-point instructions on how to get things up and running in short order, they refuse to "take their chances" by letting me go on vacation.

Solution? I'm quitting. Next Monday, I'm off to a company that actually has people I could cross-train to handle some things, with a generous vacation policy. I'm thoroughly happy for the change




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Post #1446985
Posted Friday, April 26, 2013 7:32 AM
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Thank you all. I'm going on vacation today, and I fell better after reading your posts
Post #1446988
Posted Friday, April 26, 2013 7:45 AM


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I've worked for the same place now for over 22 years and the philosophy here has always been your earned the vacation so you need to take it. They limit the number of days we can carry over to try and force you to take it. I've never had a manager deny me vacation. On some critical projects I've been asked to shift my days and if I can't I work with one of my colleges to get them up to speed to take over while I'm gone.

Two weeks of vacation is not enough time for the entire year. I have 25 days now and I use them all each year. That's one of the thing I think about when I do get frustrated and think of leaving. I know I won't get that from the start any where else.

If the place you work at would crumble if you took a vacation, I would find a different job. You have either made the situation that way or you don't have competent coworkers.

Life is to short not to take your vacation.
Post #1447000
Posted Friday, April 26, 2013 8:26 AM


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There's already so much posted that I'm not sure my thoughts will help, but...

1. I recently went on a cruise for a week and with data rates being about $1.20 per minute (that's the bulk rate) I was completely out of contact.
Everyone reading this should try it - I haven't been completely untethered in years.

In preparation: I had two meetings scheduled for my whole group so they all knew what my responsibilities are - and I had my manager make it a mandatory in-person on-site for the whole group.

My director came by to give me a "Good job!" because of this.

2. Either return on Saturday or take Monday off. Getting back from vacation unloading the car at night then getting up in the morning is a bad plan - you don't feel rested that way.
You should feel rested when you return from vacation. (And I have a smart energetic three year old, so that's difficult enough!)

3. Optimally you should take Monday off anyway.
If Monday is a holiday take Tuesday off.
It just seems to throw people off - they think you're getting back after the weekend so it can wait for you Monday - then they realize you aren't there and THEY have to handle it.
( And yes, they knew my schedule weeks in advance )

FWIW,
-Chris C.
Post #1447031
Posted Friday, April 26, 2013 9:53 AM
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Steve Jones - SSC Editor (6/13/2008)
Good to see that lots of people need to take their vacation, but I'm wondering for those of you that didn't answer, do you do extra work because of vacation?


Yes Steve, after over 40 years ijn the field I learned there is work to do before and after a vacation. The work before is to delegate what needs to be done while I am out, and the work after is to be briefed on what happened and what is next. While out, I am out.

M.


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Post #1447071
Posted Friday, April 26, 2013 3:04 PM
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Work to Live. Do the best you possibly can while working. Then take your earned and deserved time off.
Never Live to Work. ON your death bed you will have one big regret; NOT spending enough time with those you love.
Post #1447174
Posted Monday, April 29, 2013 6:10 AM


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Perfect timing. I have two weeks to work before leaving on a golf trip. I detest electronics on the golf course - even those supposedly designed to improve my game - so I will leave my "smart" phone behind.
Post #1447467
Posted Monday, April 29, 2013 7:31 AM
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For years I took my vacation at the Pennsic War. A week or ten days in the Middle Ages, no cell phone, no computer, just battles and parties and a glimpse of Valhalla. Several years ago a company called Mystic Mail established a sort of cyber-cafe in the food court area, so those who had to check in with work or pay bills could still get away.
Ok, I told myself, I can check the banking, ensure there are no emergency e-mails, and get back to my vacation...
Sure.
The sad reality is, Mystic Mail makes Pennsic possible for a lot of us, because if we couldn't be available to work, we couldn't get the time off. But it does detract from the brain rest that the War used to be.

Time was I would measure how long I'd been there by how often I found myself designing code in my head. Day 1--still working...Day 3--not quite able to remember the requirements...Day 5--not quite able to remember what a database is...Day 7--what is this code? Some manner of cipher? Day 9--weary, rested, and ready to get back to it, having thought only of how to flank the opposing army in the Woods Battle or how to find the camp hosting the Men Without Pants party...

Alas...
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