Pearl Drops By With A Question..

Today Pearl from Interesting Observations is guest posting here at the blog. I was lucky enough to meet Pearl via the US Blogs Community, I love her blog, and she was also one of the first people I thought of when I considered asking for guest posters.

I am supposedly on a vacation this week! Just before the Labor day on September 3rd, which falls on a Monday this year, taking a week off means it essentially saves me some time and make up a nice ten day vacation. In the few days before leading up to this much sought after time I switched into sort of a crunch mode and did what I normally do in a week. I was able to finish most of the lose ends to all the projects I was working on and even cleaned up the desk of extra papers, tidied up the place and re-arranged pictures and what not. Prepared my to-do list for the week I go back to work. Updated the boss on all of the projects.

Yesterday (Tuesday) meaning the 2nd official vacation day, my boss calls me on my cell phone! I see his name on the screen and froze up! My heart started sinking for a few seconds. No I don’t hate my boss. As a matter of fact, I’ve got the best boss you could ask for. When I am there, he hardly ever comes over to my little cube and bother. But its only when I am NOT there that he panics! Why is that? I was in a fix for a few seconds if I should or should not answer the phone!

I decided I couldn’t answer his call and let it to voice mail. At the time he called I was about to order my lunch – was with a few friends at a diner on the shore – good hour and a half away from home. Only listened to the message after my lunch. Turns out he was panicking because of some adverse impact in employment inquiry from the feds. I could feel the tension in his voice but I was not going to cut my vacation short and go into office to help him out, even if I was closer to the office. I returned his call after lunch and although he apologized for disturbing me on vacation, he started asking other questions relating to a project I had worked on. It is a difficult situation for me, I hate to receive phone calls of this nature while I am on vacation, but at the same time I do not want to be rude and unreachable because after all its just a matter of two weeks and after the vacation, we will have to spend most of my days at the job!

So what would you do if you were in a similar situation? I can’t think of anything other than what I did although there is that uncomfortable feeling about all of this, not just that he called, also that if I was there, he wouldn’t be so tense about it. But as I was rationalising, I would do everything possible to not have to call him while he is on vacation. Although he leaves his cell phone, hotel phone numbers with the entire team when he is away!

And how about if you are a boss, would you call up your employee on vacation? Under what circumstance you absolutely would call up your employee?
And if not, why not?

Thanks Pearl for allowing me to post this, and thanks for taking the time to write it. Me personally, I would never interrupt an employee’s holiday unless it was a matter of extreme urgency. However my Dad is the employer and he genuinely wants his employees to call him when he’s away if there are any issues – he has trouble getting them to do this.

What do the rest of my readers think? What would you do in a situation like that?

I’ll be back tomorrow with an update on all things Snoskred. How’s the move going? Has Snoskred managed to stay organised in the midst of chaos? Is her desktop cluttered with icons again? How did the back light tower of the Ute (pick up truck for ye Americans) get broken? Has Snoskred managed to go for a beack walk yet? All these questions and possibly more will be answered in tomorrow’s post. ;)

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9 thoughts on “Pearl Drops By With A Question..

  1. I hate being rung while on holiday. I’m in middle management and on call 24/7 so having a holiday means not getting called. I resent it even if only for a simple question and yes, I consider both days of the weekend my holiday…

    As a manager, therefore, I really think more than twice before interrupting an employee’s holiday. And if it can be done via email all the better.

    It really is a last resort. (which it probably is when they ring me… it just doesn’t feel that way).


  2. right, I am sure it was his last resort too… but for some reason it didn’t feel that way! I am in the middle management myself, and this is the director who reports to the CEO of the agency! So most of the projects are urgent.. and I remember being called on the Friday before New Years when the whole world is holidaying! at that time I was too quick to answer the phone but now I think twice!

  3. Hi Snos.. thanks for posting my question because as much as I want to know how people would handle the situation, I didn’t want to post it on my own blog….:) and of course its an honor to be writing for your lovely blog!

    PS: if you don’t mind putting a link in the post somewhere, might help someone find Interesting Observations ;)

  4. I’m thinking that since most people generally work about 48 or 49 weeks of the 52 in a year that an employer should really respect an employee’s vacation time – unless it was a matter of dire emergency, by which I mean nuclear war or something, and even then why bother unless they thought you could stop it. On the other hand, it is the responsibility of the employee to make sure as many loose ends are tied up as much as possible before going away for more than a day or so. Yet, then it is the responsibility of a good manager to make sure that the whole world does NOT rest on one employees shoulders and that the slack can be taken up by others. It’s not the employee’s fault if management has no backup plans or nobody cross-trained. Every employee is entitled to vacation so it is up to management to make sure the place doesn’t fall apart when one person is on vacation.

    If you are the employee and feel that you have honestly done all you can to ensure things run smoothly while you are away then you should not feel guilty going on vacation and telling your boss that you will be “unreachable” while on vacation, or that you will be leaving your cell phone/pager at home.

    Of course, each situation is different and each employee has to decide what is comfortable for themselves since they are the one having to live the rest of those weeks at their job. But it is a little unnerving to me how the lines are being blurred between work time and personal time.

  5. teeni you are so right in everything you said there! I happen to be getting along with the management and my director right now and they are very happy with me too, but these things can change in a split second if those boundaries are not followed!

    but i chuckled at your example of a nuclear war though :) yes, I believe its their responsibility to cross train employees… and the funny thing is that I went back this Tuesday after my vacation and within a day caught some kind of stomach virus and am again home sick :) and I could see the panic on his face that I had to leave early again!! but this time i didn’t really stop to think why!!

    Interesting Observations

  6. eek! Pearl, I’m so sorry.. I was so tired when I posted this last night, a big long day of moving stuff.. :)

    I fixed it now. ;)

    Thanks everyone for dropping by with comments! ;)


  7. I would try my hardest to NOT call an employee while they’re on vacation and would probably succeed. I do recall being a week into my maternity leave with a brand new baby when by boss called and asked if I could come in for my annual review! ummm, NO! I told him I could not and it would have to wait until I came back to work. I then called human resources and asked if he could do this and they assured me that he had no right to be calling me for that. It’s an annual review, he knew for a long time he needed to give it to me and he knew for nine months that I was going out on leave. He was a big jerk!

  8. thank you so much Snoskred :) I thought of not reminding you and create more work ‘coz you would be tired, but then thought of taking a chance since you seem to be more organized than I could ever imagine during a move!! :)

    Lynn…a week into maternity leave?
    thats such a shame!! I would be furious with that situation!!

  9. The silly thing is, I had the page open all ready to link to it, I just forgot. ;)

    Yesterday was the most tiring day so far of the move, and I have not been getting as much sleep as usual either – getting up really early to get stuff done.. :)


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