Tuesday, June 2, 2009

why i should never go on vacation...

everyone - from school teachers to dental hygienists to receptionists - knows what it’s like to plan a vacation, then prep for vacation (prep your workspace, office mates, boss…) then go on vacation, only to come back and find your desk piled high with files and sticky notes and pending items. you *knew* it was going to look like this when you got back. it makes you wonder why you even bothered to go on vacation in the first place. wouldn't it be better to just stay at work so that you can maintain the fragile balance of in and out box, emails, phone calls, and meetings?

i am now coming to the end of day two in the quest to find the surface of my desk (buried under sticky notes, emails, files that were taken out and not put back, requests, checks, misfiled deposit slips…) when i come into the office in the morning, it’s always with a mild feeling of dread as i anticipate the disaster that is my desk (no one will ever believe me that it once was spotless.) knowing that i have to slowly slosh my way through edits, requests, print jobs, bookkeeping, etc., makes me want to get back in my car and extend my vacation indefinitely (my bags remain unpacked, this wouldn’t be hard to do.) i know that there’s a theory about completing small tasks on the way towards achieving the larger goal, but just contemplating the small tasks makes me want to avoid them altogether.

someone once gave me some work-place advice which i've used as a mantra, no matter what i'm doing: make yourself invaluable. well, i guess if ever you want to know the level of your invaluableness, go away for a week and see how long it takes the office to descend into madness (when i returned to the office, not only was there no toner in the copier, there was no paper. c’mon kids….)

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