March 19, 2018

The vacation two step

Generally, my vacations are pretty sedate. Too, when I request the time off, it’s not a big affair. I put in my request, it’s almost always approved as requested, and I take my vacation. The only time it seems to go off the rails is when I get close to my anniversary date, the day I was hired, which for me, indicates the end of my calendar year. Since I’m a full-time employee, I have to use my 4 weeks of vacation by this date or lose it. And I have to admit, I’m not really interested in giving up earned money. I can’t really imagine there’s anyone that would with a smile on their face.

A little over 3 weeks ago I went to my immediate supervisor to talk about when I was going to take this last bit of vacation. Going over the calendar and necessities, we determined the best time to go was the last week of this month. It incurred the fewest problems with personnel, hours and responsibilities. The only wrinkle was, it’s one of the busier weeks of the year in the retail business. The week before Easter is sort of a big deal selling week, like the weeks before Thanksgiving, Labor Day and Christmas. Lots of buying, selling, an “All Hands On Deck” sort of situation.

All well and good, or so I thought. Last week incurred a new wrinkle. This coming Monday was supposed to be our quarterly inventory. Since I’m one of the few in the department that can competently help with it, my presence is usually required. It’s an unwritten rule that vacations don’t coincide with inventory. So, being the nice guy I am, I agreed to re-schedule a day of my vacation and come to work that day. Essentially be on vacation, come in, work, then go back on vacation. Great….right? Plans can be made, we can go away, stop the mail, hit the road and then come back. My wife and I haven’t had a decent vacation in nearly 9 years. We’re due!

So come this morning a co-worker comes into the department and says hey, I have good news and bad news. So I say…let’s have the bad news first. He replies. No inventory on Monday! (Apparently, the good news was the same thing)  Em…well that’s not necessarily bad news, except I’m now scheduled to work on a day I don’t have to be there. No problem says the guy in charge for the week. He goes and changes the schedule, giving me a full week’s vacation. Yipee! Yeah…not so fast hoss. The phone in the department rings about 5 minutes later. It’s the store manager. He’s not pleased that I have not only requested next week off but that I have every intention of taking it. “Is there any way you can take the time off the week after Easter?” [I was pretty sure I’d been on that merry-go-round already.]  I replied if that would satisfy him and the necessities of the store, I was fine with it, except that my co-worker needed 3 days off of that week as vacation as well. Evidently, that didn’t bother him. He was only interested in having as many warm bodies for next week as he could. So in the space of about an hour, I went from having a bifurcated vacation to a full vacation, to a relocated vacation. At least I didn’t have to give up the vacation day at the end of this week.