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Dr John Hawkins

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Tar Pit

Posted on 2007/10/31 22:47:49 (October 2007).

[Wednesday 31st October]
The title comes from a good metaphor I heard at work the other day for a thorny and intractable problem or situation.

Morale is definitely at a low in Johnland. I am beginning to wonder if it is really just down to work, or if there are wider issues... but then I guess recently my life doesn't really consist of much more than work, so how much wider can it be? Perhaps it is the lack of width in itself which is at the root of the problem.

I sent a mail to my boss today telling him I was planning to take some holiday the week after next - having been pretty nose-to-the-grindstone for most of this year, I still have a full 15 days left to use, and apparently can only carry 5 over to next year.

To my surprise, for pretty much the first time in my career, my manager actually pushed back. Without specifically saying no, he said he had concerns about how I would get my end-of-the-month deliverables done, and who would fill in for me, etc, etc. He then very quickly followed up with another email saying that he didn't have the right to tell me when I could or couldn't take holiday. I responded by requesting a meeting with him later this week, wherein stern words will be had.

Towards the end of the day, as I was feeling a bit down in the dumps, I decided I needed to go out in order to cheer myself up a bit. Moreover what with it being Halloween I wasn't keen on staying in, on the off chance the local kids came begging (or trick or treating, or whatever you call it). So I arranged to meet up with Chie at the Whisky Society.

It was busy there this evening, but I rather enjoyed the lively atmosphere. We decided to have dinner there, and as there was a bit of a delay in our meals arriving (which didn't particularly bother me as I was happily quaffing whisky) we actually ate for free. What a fantastic standard of customer service this place has - really puts the rest of London to shame.

Upon getting back home we spent the remainder of the evening tidying up the flat, in preparation for Mum's visit the following day.

Comment 1

Employers and holidays are not my strong point.. They always seem to "push back" with all sorts of: "Well staffing is low that week" or "Can I just check with so-and-so about that?" I have to fight for every darn week! This year I wasn't even allowed two-weeks together. I had to take one; go in for a week; then get my second... And the annoying thing is, another person managed three-weeks off in a row...!! (I realise this is great fuel for Sheri's project!! :D :D )

Posted by Nigel at 2007/10/31 23:14:23.

Comment 2

I guess I had always been lucky up until now then Nigel - assuming I had given reasonable notice etc my previous managers had never had an issue with me taking time off...

Oh well, maybe this is just a reality of having a proper job on a project with real world impact, as opposed to the sort of blue sky, ivory tower projects I'd been involved in previously.

Posted by John at 2007/10/31 23:22:34.

Comment 3

Yes maybe I have been lucky as well but normally I never had problems with taking holidays... It must be a strange feeling, but on the other side he said that he's concerned about the job assigned to you, does he have ground to think that you might not finish it in time?

Posted by Lox at 2007/11/01 08:32:04.

Comment 4

Wonder why you had to tidy up for me coming, when you didn't do it for 18 years at home ...

Posted by John's Mum at 2007/11/01 10:33:34.

Comment 5

Wisky Society ? I'll have to consider it in the script.

As for the lack of width, well... you're English ! What more can I say ?!

Posted by Sheri at 2007/11/02 16:29:04.

Comment 6

Anyway, Cheer up, man !

(I hit my wife when I feel depressed. It helps.)

Posted by Sheri at 2007/11/02 16:34:35.

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