Returning to work
I’ve been slacking off for the past 11 days; spending my days seeing relatives, lounging around in bed, eating too much and washing it down with a few drinks.
And thus, as I walk back to the office this morning it is hard not to feel refreshed and ready to tackle the world again. This is probably the same as I feel on the way back from any normal holiday; but the difference with Christmas is that you sort of expect everyone to feel exactly the same.
After all, it was Christmas and surely that means we’ve all had a nice week off. This is of course not true as many people have been toiling away whilst I’ve been off eating. This got me thinking of the different categories of local government Christmas worker:
1) The project completer: Sometimes it can be difficult to get things done whilst there are other people in the office ‘distracting’ you with work and other frippery. These people are machines between Christmas and New Year and you will return to a pile of reports, completed projects and plans for the New Year.
2) The e-mail hog: How many unread e-mails do you have right now? For those of you with over 500 unread e-mails stretching back for over six months the inbetweeny days are perfect e-mail clearing times. Colleagues beware; returning to work after this colleague has been at it all Christmas will mean multiple palmed off e-mails; many of which are 100% out of date.
3) The slacker: We might pretend otherwise but it is 100% true; some people opt to work between Christmas and New Year because it is easier to slack off, eat mince pies and generally get paid for three days of low stress work.
4) The holiday hoarder: Despite the fact that most councils give their staff 25ish days holiday per year this member of staff will opt to work between Christmas and New Year in order to save the three days holiday to carry over to next year. This carrying over will continue year after year.
5) The crucial public servant: Despite the above joshing there are actually many staff members who have to work between Christmas and New Year because if they don’t crucial public services won’t be provided. This includes the street cleaners, social workers, facilities people, street gritters and many many more besides. These are the true local government heroes and deserve a special mention.
So for me, it might be a nice return after a bit of peace but for many others today is just the end of a long weekend.