Postponing a holiday for work

One of the things I am usually really careful about is ensuring that I take my holidays on time with my family.

I do not generally make much of a song and dance about it, but I do work very hard and very long hours. Although I try to get away from the client offices before 7pm each night, I usually end up doing more work back in the hotel. On top of commuting times at the head and tail of each week, this means the hours really add up and you need to ensure you get your holidays.

Every now and then though things do not go to plan. There is too much to do and something has to give. You miss the odd thing here and there and stuff you thought was being done a certain way or by a certain time you belatedly discover wasn’t. Also, sometimes you have not been told the whole story (things are kept back). You have to remember to keep asking the same questions and lookimg for evidence before putting to much reliance on what you are told. You would think I would have learnt that by now.

Unfortunately, this week is when a number of such gaps caught up with me. No doubt exacerbated by my various laptop problems and ill health last month which took me out of the loop for a while and left me scrambling to catch up.

Thus, I left the client office later than usual on Friday and did not get home until close to midnight. (Thanks to a colleague for dropping me off at a station on their way home that saved me a trip into and across London to get to the right train which would have seen me getting home after midnight.)

I have hyperglycemia and have to eat regular meals but this also got messed up on Friday. The railway station cafes were closed and there was no food available on the train! Fortunately (odd though it may sound) I had so much work to do, I upgraded to first-class, got my laptop out and worked on the train so intensively that I almost missed my stop two hours later. My wife took pity on me and prepared some food for me. A midnight feast!

One of my daughter’s has gone off on a school skiing trip to Austria (and this is a state school! – never did anything like that in my day). My other daughter was expecting some much needed individual attention on a half-term holiday. Breaking the news that I had to work over the weekend and on the Monday (if not more) was not a fun thing to do. My wife and daughter were not best pleased with me. To their credit (and my undying gratitude) they did get over it and switched to being sympathetic towards me understanding that this was the last thing I had wanted to do.

So, I worked very hard on Saturday as did one of my team (thank goodness) who supported me a lot. We used the Windows Net meeting software so we could see what each other was doing and talk through updates together.

Today, Sunday, I have a conference call at 10.30 to see if what we produced yesterday was good enough. I did not sleep last night and am dreading the call in case I find I have gone off in completely the wrong direction and have to start-over or at least have a lot of updates to do.

Fingers crossed. With a bit of luck, only a few minor tweaks will be needed and I can spend some time relaxing today. Tomorrow, I have to go back to London for a couple of meetings and IF things go well, I shall then be able to go off on a belated and shortened holiday.

3 thoughts on “Postponing a holiday for work

  1. Made it home by 7pm on Monday so not much of a day off!! Having worked solidly for 8 days including some very long days, I was ready for a rest. Slept better but spent too much time on Tuesday worrying about whether I had done enough (times like this, you really wonder a about the benefits of the 9-to-5 job where you have no responsibilities). Now Wednesday and at last starting to enjoy myself. I am mostly an optimist person and pretty upbeat about most things where I know I have technical capability to get things done.

    We had planned to go away for the week but under the circumstance, have decided to stay at home and make the best of things. Plenty of time for holidays later in the year (I hope).

  2. Yesterday was another long day for myself and a colleague. We used remote desktop technology so that we could discuss work in progress on each other’s computer. Finally finished around 10pm.

    Had to get up this morning before 5am to make sure got down to London well before 9am.

    Two meetings on the topic and more changes. Now waiting for boss to come out of highest-level meeting to let me know if I can at last go off on holiday (did not sound that positive earlier).

  3. I wasn’t lucky. Although the content has provided great background for my bosses on the project, I don’t have exactly the right slides for the audience involved so I have a lot of updates to do. Oh well …

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