Posted tagged ‘holiday’

Annual leave it out

July 5, 2011

Holidays are not a sign of weaknessUnless you don’t have children or anything to do with them, you’ll know that the summer holidays are fast approaching. Those hot, exciting days which seemed to last forever when we were children seemed to speed up rapidly as we got older, before once again dragging on for an eternity as our children demand entertainment in order to keep them from each others throats until term time rolls round once more.

With this in mind I have the full intention of taking some annual leave in the next few months, if only for Mrs. WLLG’s sanity. I have no idea what we will do during this time of two parents – money is too tight for any holiday and even day trips are stretching it – but I’m hoping just by being there I’m doing something good for the whole family. I might even enjoy it myself.

This whole thing got me thinking about annual leave, and my changing opinions of how best to manage it over the years. From my first job to my latest one, managing my annual leave has been a bit of a stuggle for me, and I’m only just beginning to get to grips with it and strike something close to a balance of sorts; from discussion with colleagues it’s something that many of them also don’t feel as if they have got it quite right.

When I began my working life I found myself surrounded by some passionate, dedicated officers who would tell me to do as they said, not as they did. They thought nothing of walking into the office at 7.30am (obstensibly to “beat the traffic”) and not leave it again until at least 8.00pm. Lunch breaks happened at the desk or in meetings, and e-mails from them would greet me each morning having been sent at midnight or over the weekend. Of course, this had the knock-on effect of them rarely taking any annual leave and losing whatever was left come end of year.

(more…)

Returning to work

January 4, 2011

The transition from one to the other... Easier said than done

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.

(more…)

The Giant Awakens

September 2, 2010

The seasons, like the slide into obscurity for Big Brother contestants, are immutable and inexorable.  They have not changed for generations, although Al Gore is on a one man mission to convince us all through the wonder that is PowerPoint that things will never be the same again (not that I’m disagreeing with him, but a PowerPoint presentation?!).

Still; hot, wet, cold, wet, windy or wet, the British seasons generally roll around in the same manner on an annual basis, vaguely matching the months they fall in.  We are coming to the end of summer time at the moment, and therefore life in local government can once again begin anew.

You see, it’s a curious phenomenon that occurs in the public sector – life stops for the summer holidays.  I’m not saying everything grinds to a halt while we take a six week siesta, but much of the work simply slows down significantly and only begins again when the first 4×4 Chelsea Tractors are spotted at 8.30am and the volume of mobile phone music increases significantly on every form of public transport. (more…)