Have you ever really needed a vacation day, but didn’t have any? Fear not, frazzled friend, there is a plan.
First, consider momentarily those days when you worked like a person on meth. (The good meth, not the watered down stuff that my crackhead relatives say the kids are smokin these days. ) These are the days when we say “I gave my employer 110%” and, truthfully, you probably did.
It’s just a matter of math. Here are a few ways that good employees earn a vacation day at work:
Non-smokers: Smokers take an average of 1.75 hours a day for smoke breaks. Employers think that smokers only take the two ten minute breaks they’re given, but alas, they are mistaken. Smokers take roughly 10-15 minutes to coordinate their smoke break with friends, 5 -7 minutes to go to the bathroom first, 20 minutes of actual smoking, 5 minutes to get back in the building, and another 5 minutes finishing up their conversation in the hallway. Total: 52 minutes per smoke break x 2 breaks per day. And, really, who just smokes twice a day? lol….
Giving 110%: Think about it… if you give 110% for ten days, you have given your employer a whole extra day of work without getting paid for it.
So, let’s review. We have just discussed two common ways to earn a vacation day at work. Now, let’s discuss how to actually do it.
First, wear comfortable clothes, your favorite socks, and your most comfortable shoes that are still somewhat presentable.
Next, shower the night before so that you can sleep a few minutes longer the morning of your “vacation day”. Yes, your hair will not be as lovely, but one day of mediocre hair is worth it for such a lovely, relaxed day. Oh, and here’s a tip: shave your armpits over the bathroom sink in the morning. Use the washcloth to wash your face, then scrub your pits, shave, and voila! You’re freshly clean and prepped for deoderant.
Then, Go to work at your regular time. Check your messages, emails, etc. and cheerfully return calls and emails.
Turn on some great music. You may have to plan ahead for this and bring an iPod with earphones, but it’s so totally worth it.
Smelly goodness. Plan ahead and bring your favorite scenty candle or plug-in (if your office allows it). You will likely not be allowed to burn the candle, but it will still make your work area smell great.
Favorite things. Do all of your favorite things at work. Work on your favorite projects, organize your office, and maybe even bring in a favorite thing or two from home, like a new picture of your kids or the new mug your sister got you for your birthday.
Treat yourself. At lunch, instead of eating a warm egg salad sandwich at your desk while trying to return emails by typing one-handed, get out of the office. Get a pedicure, manicure, haircut, car wash, or car detail. Go shopping. Go for a walk. Meet a friend for a fun lunch at your favorite place.
Screen your calls. That’s right – you heard me say it. Don’t answer your phone unless you have caller ID and its your boss. Answer each call with an email, if possible. If not, call the main number and ask to leave a message. That’s right again – don’t talk directly to the person. Buy yourself some time by just leaving a message and starting a time-honored tradition of phone tag. Remember, this is your vacation day at work. You are going to control what you do and when you do it as much as humanly possible without getting fired.
Leave. Even if every single thing isn’t done, leave. Even if your phone rings at 4:59 (refer to phone screening above). Leave on time, enjoy a nice evening, and return the next day refreshed and relaxed from your vacation day at work.