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Back to IBM, creative vacation scheduling

August 31, 2005

As we come to the Labor Day break (at least here in the States) it’s time for some to take time off. So, I though I’d comment on it to lighten up from the news of the world.

I’ve worked here for a number of years, more now than any other company, but it’s still the 8th company I’ve been employed by. In no other company has the scheduling of vacation been as creative as here. I’ve observed a number of trends.

First, let’s note that you start with 3 weeks vacation. My first job entitled me to 1, so it was precious to me. I had to plan to get the most out of it a broke new hire could get. The old schoolers here get European quantity time for vacation, so there is lots to play with.

The first trend I’ll call the “creative” schedulers. They always save their time by working around a holiday to “save days”. It’s a pretty good scheme. One can extend the time you have by adding the public holidays to your time off.

The other side of the coin I’ll call the “avoiders”. They purposely work while the “creatives” are off. This way the miss the creatives both coming and going. To them, it’s like getting 2 vacations even though one of them is taken at the office. Not that they goof off, they just get to avoid either people or craziness, and seem to enjoy it. I’ll give you an example, things slow down before a public holiday and it can take time to crank up right after, so the workload can be less. Conversely, let me point out that with fewer people in the office, if the brown hits the fan, guess who has to cover and let the scrambling begin.

The next category is the “travelers”. This one is not unique to any company or country. It’s what it sounds like, tacking vacation on to a business trip to enjoy a place you might not travel too. Let’s see, if you take time off with a business trip, over a public holiday it’s a twofer. Take your family and it’s really a good deal.

Then there are the “Fridays”. These are the folks that will take every Friday of say August or December off and work 4 day weeks for a month, guess they aren’t making plans to travel overseas that year. Tough to do in 3 days and see anything.

So pick you strategy and enjoy. For those that work hard, time off is good to recharge the batteries.

Finally, over the course of my employment at various companies, I’ve observed some that are like Wally in Dilbert. They are mostly on vacation whether at work or away. Ever worked with one of those?

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From → humor, ibm

2 Comments
  1. hahaha – great analysis John. i’ve been all of the above at one time or another, but i love a hybrid – one week doing something longer, than a month of Fridays.

    only problem is that working for yourself, you have to remember to take vacation 😉

  2. isn’t that the truth. i worked for my self for 5 years and you can get sucked in to working too much real easily.

    never pictured you as wally though.

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