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author's profile photo Matt Fraser

Benefits of Working for the Holidays

Ok, technically today is not a holiday for my office. However, this short (three-day) work week between Christmas and New Year's might as well be a holiday, as almost everyone else is gone. Hey, the temptation to get eleven straight days off for the cost of only three vacation days is pretty strong. So, yeah, it's a ghost town in here.

In practical terms, that means Getting Things Done without interruptions, catching up on some perennially-behind-schedule projects (support packs! upgrades!) without needing to take time out to answer user questions (why can't I download to Excel from SAPGUI??!!! umm, because your Windows permissions are wrong? not my problem, dude, call the help desk). It means, also, catching up on SCN moderation tasks that I'm also constantly behind on, and maybe along the way actually attempting to answer a question or two (I never seem to have time for this anymore).

Do I miss the constant chatter and social interaction of my colleagues dropping by my cube? Sure. But I also love the quiet and uninterrupted peace of being able to actually focus on a task.

Besides, I took a couple extra days off last week, so I just had a six-day weekend, and I've got a four-day weekend coming up, with only three days of work between. What's not to like?

I hope everyone has been enjoying the season, whichever holiday it may or may not be for you (and whenever that may have been), and I look forward to re-engaging with you all in the new year.

Happy New Year!

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  • Dec 29, 2016 at 04:45 PM

    The client I'm with closed the doors and shut down the building this week. Turned back the thermostat and basically mothballed the bulidng from the 24th to the Jan 3rd. At least we can and do work remotely.

    I miss being in the building though. At this time of year it was great to be in the building when its as quiet as can be. With no neigbors usually, I could turn up the music and as you said, not be bothered by anyone. I often used it as a time to really clean the office (like actually move piles of papers and clean underneath them), and reorganize for the new year.

    It is nice to have a few days like that every year.

    Happy Holidays to everyone and a hopefully a great 2017!

    • Dec 29, 2016 at 05:13 PM

      My wife's office shuts down completely every year between Christmas and New Year's, so she always gets this week without it having to count against vacation. I very likely would have elected to work from home these three days, but my mother-in-law is currently visiting, and my home office doubles as the guest room when the murphy bed is let down. So, I don't have access to my desk or the desktop computer for much of the day, and -- ahem -- another reason to come in to the office? ;)

      That said, an HR director has scheduled a meeting for later this morning to talk about data warehousing and reporting strategies. :(

      • Dec 29, 2016 at 06:16 PM
        That said, an HR director has scheduled a meeting for later this morning to talk about data warehousing and reporting strategies

        There are special places resrved in the afterlife for people scheduling meetings this week.


  • Dec 29, 2016 at 07:45 PM


    Can you help me download to Excel from SAPGui on my phone so I can work during the break?

    Just kidding... Happy Holidays, Festivus & Friendsmas to all!

    • Dec 29, 2016 at 11:02 PM

      Indeed I can! The procedure is:

      1. On the phone, open the System Settings app
      2. Go into the General Settings section
      3. Click "Factory Reset"
      4. ...


      Happy Festivus for the Rest-of-us!

  • Dec 30, 2016 at 04:59 AM

    Happy Festivus! and Happy New Year!

  • Dec 30, 2016 at 02:18 PM

    The week between Christmas and New Years is one of my favorite times of the year to come into the office. It's quiet, 75% empty, my calendar is vacation... I plan for this week months ahead of time. I am at my most productive and I accomplish so much. The other 51 weeks all builds back up to this one.

  • Dec 30, 2016 at 03:49 PM

    solved the problem that has been nagging me since October, so it's been a truly good season for me and now am ready for all those year-end morsels coming next week.

    Happy 2017!


  • Jan 03, 2017 at 09:29 AM

    In practical terms, that means Getting Things Done without 

    This. ^^ I always loved working between the years, because - like Craig - I normally use it to clean my desk, file papers and write/update my system documentation.

    This year I got at least the second part done. Also my colleagues and me had a "end of the year" coffee break. :D

    First week of the new year is quiet, too. Normally. There are some projects in their final phase now or in their "after go-live, now the real testing began, what is this error?!" phase.

  • Jan 03, 2017 at 04:56 PM

    I needed to use up some vacation time that could not be carried over, so I was one of those tempted by 11 days off for the price of 4 (in our case of less generous corporate holidays). But now this week the whole office except for IT is on a furlough, so it's like a continuation of vacation. I feel bad for the others though, it was a really low thing for the management to do. Hope they get a special place in the afterlife too.

    • Jan 03, 2017 at 05:42 PM

      We've gone through furloughs here before. I wouldn't be so quick to call it a low thing to do, if the alternative is layoffs. In fact, for our next budget year (starting September 1), we are facing an historic budget shortfall, so layoffs at that time will be imminent if there isn't some drastic action. We're hoping management will again consider furloughs as an alternative to staffing cuts, because we can't really afford to lose anyone, at least not on my team. Furloughs hurt, but they're not as painful as losing your job entirely. That said, making staff take an entire week of furlough all at once, instead of spreading the days out, is pretty painful and yeah, that's really low. At least we got to spread them out (in my case it was 8 days spread over two years), though we didn't get to choose the days.

      • Jan 03, 2017 at 10:48 PM

        It's mostly the timing. I should've mentioned that the news about the furlough immediately followed the "Happy Holidays" email from some corporate honcho that painted a totally different picture.

        • Jan 03, 2017 at 11:57 PM

          Ah. Yeah, that's pretty insensitive.

        • Jan 10, 2017 at 09:13 AM

          Outch. :/

        • Jan 12, 2017 at 07:15 PM

          Well, we've just learned there will NOT be furloughs this year. Instead, sometime in the next two months a bunch of people will be warned that as of September their positions will be cut -- unless the legislature fixes our funding. However, that's not expected to occur until possibly July, so from March to July there will be a bunch of people who will probably get to keep their jobs, but who will "officially" be on notice of being laid off. How many of them are likely to proactively go find somewhere else to work? We're going to lose some to attrition this way for sure.

          And no, I don't anticipate my position, or even anyone on my team, to be in any danger this time around.

          • Jan 12, 2017 at 08:05 PM

            I wouldn't be surprised if our employees spent their furlough week looking for other jobs too.

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