Since the holidays are coming up and all of us are planning to take a few days off to spend time with our friends and family, I feel this is a good opportunity to remind my readers that we Americans are pathetic at taking vacation. A recent CNN article found that Americans are in fact taking fewer vacation days than at any time in the past 40 years. Europeans, on the other hand, take approximately 5 weeks of vacation every year. That’s why Europeans always seem to be so happy, fashionable, and cultured. (It’s also possibly why that entire continent is suffering a crushing, seemingly endless recession, but I digress.)
Everyone deserves a vacation – you deserve some time off, and your colleagues deserve some time away from you. Christmas is a great excuse for that to happen. But it needs to happen more often.
That said, I see no reason for you not to irritate people as you’re planning your next vacation. How could using your vacation days possibly bother anyone? You’re about to find out.
Talk Incessantly About Your Upcoming Vacation!
You know how teenage girls often talk on the phone for hours about a topic they could probably have knocked out in 10 minutes? (Do girls still talk on the phone with each other? Or maybe I’m just extremely, depressingly old.) Well, now you can take a page out of their playbook, or diary or blog whatever it is girls are writing in these days. Bring up your impending vacation in every conversation you ever have – including ones you weren’t a part of and have to forcibly inject yourself into just so you can reiterate that you’re about to go somewhere better than everyone else you’re talking to. And you can do this with anything. The more you make every conversation about your kids (when they didn’t ask), or your physical ailments (when they didn’t ask), or your favorite television show (when they didn’t ask and possibly don’t watch it), the more people will find ways to be busy whenever you wander through the halls.
Go On Vacation Before You Actually Go On Vacation!
I’m pretty sure Congress is the big winner here, since they take 23.5 weeks of vacation every year (that’s true – look it up), and they generally use every legislative session to say they can’t get anything done because they’ve got another vacation coming up. Unfortunately for you, you probably don’t get half the year off. But that doesn’t mean you can’t take half the year off by wandering around and doing nothing on the week before and after your vacation. After all, how can you be expected to tie up business so quickly when you’ve got a vacation coming up – and how can you expect to work hard when you get back from a week of overindulging on Mai Tais?
Forget to Tell Your Clients That You’re Going on Vacation!
How can this possibly happen when you’ve spent every waking moment telling your colleagues that you’re heading on vacation? Easy! Just forget to set your email notification, and definitely don’t change your answering machine message. It’s as easy as forgetting to finish a sentence in an article like this one, which I’m about
So there you go! Now if you’ll excuse me, I have a vacation to plan. First I’m going to head to Russia and buy a refurbished Soviet-era tank. Then I’m going to the Maldives before they sink into the ocean; I hear they have some excellent dolphin-wrestling excursions, and I’ve always wanted to do that.