I’ve grown up reading Tom Clancy and probably most of you have at least seen Red October, so this book caught my eye when browsing used books for a recent trip. It’s a fairly human look at what’s involved in sailing on a Trident missile submarine…
Would I want unlimited time off? It’s an interesting question. I think I might like something more like a minimum time off, or perhaps an allowance, with the tracking and offer to work with employees that need more. There are problems with unlimited vacation, and it’s often because of poor management and social pressure of colleagues.
Or, of course, workaholic syndrome, which is common in the technology industry.
Really, I’ve never had an issue with technology, personally. I work mostly the stated hours, but because I’m productive, I never have had problems with managers if I come late or leave early. To be fair, that’s my experience, and if everyone acted as I did, perhaps that would be problematic.
At Red Gate, I’ve been able to take days off for something, usually skiing, as I want. Actually, I usually only take a partial day off, and have to work part of the day to be sure the SQLServerCentral newsletter is prepped and going out. Or answering email, dealing with site issues, etc. I’ve even taken meetings on the road, or halfway to the mountains, pulling over to chat.
The last few years I’ve not wanted to deal with that and typically book a day off in our HR system and plan to be away. If things break, I ignore them. Or someone else needs to be ready to handle them since I’ve taken vacation and I’m not going to be pushed into working when I have booked time off.
The downside of this, which is more specific to my job, is that I have daily things that need handling, like the SSC site. As a result, if I take a day off, that usually means I’m putting in more time before the holiday to prep things. I’ve never done that as a DBA or developer. I had deadlines, but I didn’t work extra because of vacation, unless I had put myself behind.
If someone else sends an unrealistic schedule, I’m not killing myself, or skipping vacation.
It’s a tough question, and I need to think more about it. The pieces linked above are interesting and worth reading.