I got an email from someone the other day who said she was taking a “semi-vacation” day. I don’t know about you guys, but when I think of vacation I think of sand, sun, and adult beverages with umbrellas. There’s nothing “semi” about it. And one thing is for sure, you’re not getting an Email from me.
Truth be told, I’m not really as good at this as I’d like to be. But this got me thinking (momentarily). Why was she compelled to qualify her time-off as “semi”? Maybe to unload some guilt, maybe just to act the martyr. I see this behavior all the time, though. How often have you heard some semblance of “I’m going to be on vacation next week, but I’ll be plugged in.” Plugged in? W…T…F. Some will say, “it’s just easier to stay connected because it’ll otherwise be too much to come back to.” That sounds like death by a thousand pin-pricks to me. Masochism!
Why do we feel this way? Are we required to justify our time away from the office? Do we really feel guilty or are we just playing the game? Does this make us feel weak? Are we afraid someone will take our jobs if we’re gone? Unfortunately, senior leaders in the organization – the ones who are supposed to set the tone – are typically the ones most apt to act this way. Which means it’s an endless cycle.
So help break the cycle. Next time you go on vacation, recite the following to anyone who will listen:
1) I’m not going to be in the office for the next [insert time frame] because I’m taking some well-deserved vacation time.
b) I worked really hard to wrap up open items and loose ends before signing off
3) I’m pretty sure anything that comes up between now and then can wait until I get back
4) I’m going to put my Blackberry in my sock drawer and won’t hear it ring, buzz, or vibrate at all
5) None of this means I don’t love my job, it just means I also love my life
f) It’s important that I really disconnect from this place so I can totally recharge and come back with a bang – ready to be productive and fully engaged in what I hope will be a long career here
7) I’m grateful that you care enough about my health and well-being to let me take this uninterrupted rest
8) Thanks so much for your patience and understanding…and then…
Image Credit: Elect Wellness