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Respect a Person’s Time Off

August 28, 2015 1 comment

There are some professions that lend themselves into making a person always “on call.”  Doctors and priests are the best traditional examples of this type of career such that they need to be ready to do their duty at any given time and without notice, for you don’t usually plan or you can’t usually predict when an emergency strikes.  In other words there are some professions that will require you to always be working, in a manner of speaking.  And you will go do your job even off the clock, whether it’s convenient for you or not, out of a sense of duty.  In this day and age this concept applies to other professions as well, like if you’re in IT or the military or the police, to cite some examples.

People are still people, and for as long as we have humans doing these professions, they will need a break.  There will always be some urgent and critical situation that needs to be dealt with accordingly.  There will never be that “perfect time when nothing happens” and thus you can go on a break.  If your profession continues to be a valid excuse to be pulled away from your vacation time, or worse, you willingly allow yourself to be dragged back into work when you’re away and when you don’t have to, then you will never be able to go on a break again.  In such a scenario, the only time when you’ll be able to go on a break is when you finally leave the organization – or you die, whichever comes first.

Work becomes extremely personal if you can no longer distinguish when your professional time ends and when your personal time begins, when the space between your career and your life outside of it becomes a complete blur.  In such a scenario, there’s that danger that you will no longer enjoy what you’re doing.  In fact in such a scenario you might no longer enjoy living as well, for lack of any life balance at all.

It’s still important to be there for the people that need you.  However it’s just as important for you to be there for yourself.  You will not be able to be there for others if you don’t have the energy to do so.  And you won’t have the energy to do so if people don’t give you a break, or you don’t give yourself a break.

Respect the sanctity of vacation time.  Don’t bother people during their time off, and love yourself enough not to be bothered during your own time off.  There will always be some reason to get pulled back; unless that reason is literally a life-or-death matter, there should be no good reason to deny others or deny yourself some time off, something that we all not just deserve but also need.

Speaking for myself, the day I notice that there are too frequent disruptions during the rare times I go on vacation, is the day that will make me seriously reconsider my apprehensions about boredom and unemployment; some professions just aren’t worth it.

Categories: Ideas and Philosophy