I read a Boston.com blog post today about a couple of recent surveys that found that big groups of Americans either can’t unplug from the office while on vacation, or that they feel guilty doing so.
I am not one of those people.
As I described a few posts ago, I love planning our vacations….second only to actually taking them. And regardless of whether our trips take us an hour — or 10 — away, I’m off the grid. No blackberry, no conference calls, no quick check-ins with the office. (And despite having a smartphone, I also cut way back on personal email/Facebook, and usually don’t make any phone calls.)
Granted, I’ve come around to this practice after spending too many past Christmas Eves working from my parents’ kitchen table while also trying to cook the feast of the seven fishes/wrap gifts/dip into the egg nog. Vacation time — even the generous amount that I get — is too short and too valuable to muck it up with office baloney.
In my office, at least among the managers and directors, that attitude makes me kind of a dinosaur. (I have been asked in the past to give hotel phone numbers, “just in case of emergency.” I refused.) As one co-worker was preparing last week for a fantastic, tropical vacation, she told me that she’d be checking in from time to time because she “can’t just totally disconnect.”
I tried not to judge her, just as I hope I’m not being judged when I turn off my Blackberry and leave it resting on the kitchen counter when I pack up the car and head toward 95 or hop in a cab to the airport.
I said I tried. I can’t say I succeeded. But am I the one who’s outside the norm here?
Maybe. But I hope not.