I get four weeks of vacation a year. It’s not a lot, especially now that I have a family that I want to spend lots of time with. But you make do with what you have, right?
My problem isn’t so much the lack of time I have to use, it’s the time I have to spend up-front before I can leave the office. That’s what I’m going through right now, so I can spend 2.5 weeks in the UK (and another week in San Francisco on a conference, pretty much as soon as I get back).
There is never a "good time" to be away from Critical Mass — something is always happening. And I fear that this might be a worse time than usual to be gone.
In all my years here, I think I’ve had maybe three or four vacations where I didn’t worry about being away. Mind you, all but one of those were when I wasn’t as responsible for deliverables as I am now. Back then, I was at the bottom of the totem pole, so my work could be easily transferred to others.
(The only other one was two years ago, when Jim ran the show while I was gone. I’ve never returned feeling so relaxed before.)
Towards the other end of the pole, it’s a lot harder. Yes, there is delegation involved. But I’ve already delegated a lot of things — you can’t really delegate more work to someone who’s already 100% tasked on other work you already delegated to them earlier in the year.
Add to that the ongoing problem of me being the sole point of contact for a variety of issues and deliverables. Now I have to pass them all off to other people. It worries me that I’m going to miss something, and I’m going to burden someone needlessly to figure out what I was trying to do (or what I meant to say).
I’m not sure how to correct this, either. Short of having someone literally transcribe my every day. Or copy every single email I have into a shared folder somewhere (I keep almost all my emails for tracking purposes). But even that doesn’t quite cover it.
I suppose you could just let things rot while you’re out. (Don’t laugh — it’s happened to me before.) Not that I think it’s truly a valid option.
I hate going on vacation. Because it means I’m a burden to someone else, and I always feel like I’m forgetting to do something.