Recently I was closing out the year and trying to determine what to do with the vacation time that I had left over. I've tried to take more of my vacation in the last couple of years, but since I usually save it for the winter, if I don't get enough ski days in, I end up with extra. I have quite a few days, and was planning on skiing with the family a day or two this week, and wanted to be sure I had coverage for SQLServerCentral. So I checked with my boss to see what the coverage possibilities were.
I found out that other than me, everyone in my team had scheduled this week off between Christmas and New Years, and many had last week off as well. In other words, I was the holiday coverage. Christmas isn't a big deal since we don't run a newsletter that day, but New Years is a bit of a pain, and if I want to ski, I've got to pull double duty the day before as well as work when we get home.
I don't mean to complain, since I could have requested some time off, but I didn't. I also have a few days scheduled off the first week of January for a ski break, and then a belated honeymoon later in the month, so I'm not overly concerned about working this week.
In most companies, it seems that departments tend to rotate the holiday coverage so that one person doesn't get stuck working on all the days off. That's typically what my managers have arranged in the past and it's worked well. There have been a few times, usually when I've worked in restaurants, when that wasn't the case and the junior members of the team worked Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Years.
On twitter this week I saw a few people actually noting that their companies had actually tried to schedule some downtime over this Christmas weekend to take advantage of the fact that most of the rest of the company wouldn't be working. While I'd hate to be someone stuck working, I can understand that those 24x7 systems still need maintenance and holidays are a good time to take them down.
If you have to work on a holiday, I'd be sure that you ask, and negotiate, the right to get at least a day and a half off, or maybe even two for each you work. It's an imposition and while those of us supporting systems might understand the need, our families often don't and they would appreciate some compensation for the holiday missed. I'd also make sure that you note the holiday you worked, and use that to ensure you're not working on the next holiday.
The Voice of the DBA Podcasts
My apologies today. I had a microphone failure, so the podcast did not get done as planned. Look for them to continue tomorrow.