Because the web is a structure that leads to random, unexpected places, i wound up reading an article talking about “How to do Vacation Right“. It’s kinda long, but here, let me summarize it for you:
- Be an Orphan.
This is surprisingly useful. In truth, what you really need are no discernible ties to any form of family. No elderly parents to visit, no nieces having significant life ceremonies, nothing that might result in you having to schedule any of your precious two weeks time off on a pull out sofa somewhere in South Dakota. Screw ’em all, you’re going to spend the total of your time in Bali.
- Work at a job that’s mundane.
This is also critical. Otherwise, you’d realize that you’re part of a team working at a frantic pace just to keep up with competition or to deliver a product that has a massive dependency graph. i mean, yes, you had to schedule this time off six months ago because that’s when you found out your widowed Mom’s knee surgery date, but hey, “It’s a vacation”. It’s not like the project will rapidly change in the course of a week considering that there’s only 12 weeks to design, code, test, fix, document, package and release it. i mean, sure, while you’re at work you’re putting in 60 hour weeks to meet that goal, i’m sure the other two folks on your already tightly constrained team will carefully note and document everything for you, and give you the time to get “back up to speed” come Monday after your red-eye.
- Don’t be a useful asset
Here’s a fun one! Send all your mail to the archive while you’re away! i’m sure that there’s nothing important from bosses, customers, employees or anyone who might be seriously blocked that might need your attention. They’ll be totally understanding when, after two weeks and things have gone from “being on fire” to “smoldering piles of ash”, they wonder why the <expletive> you didn’t answer their plea for help because “You needed to unwind”. Granted, the company lawyer may also disagree, but hey, i’m sure his mail is in your archive too.
- Be Unreachable
Sometimes, being useless takes extra effort that puts you right into the “arrogant” category. By being completely “off-line” your also totally unreachable. You might be the only person who could fix a critical problem, but those Mai-Tai’s aren’t going to drink themselves. With any luck, most of your desk will still be in the box when the foreclosure folks pack it away.
- Be a white upper class guy.
Let’s face it, if you’re packing up for a 7 week vacation from your position as a CEO for some tech startup where you plan on being “off-line” and completely unreachable from the company you supposedly oversee, you’re privileged, and have probably been privileged for quite some time. Good for you!
Granted, for the rest of us, the way we do vacations is probably “make the most of the three or so hours you get away from screaming family or crowds to grab a nap somewhere”. That or convince your sister’s family that you’ve got a business call you have to make two days before you go back to work, so you can have a day to do laundry and buy groceries for the week, and another to drink yourself at least one good night’s sleep.