For many years now, I have been able to please myself when I took holidays and how long for. I didn’t have to book time off with anyone, nor get permission from anyone or make sure my holidays didn’t clash with others. Not so now.
Yesterday I was informed that I have 2 weeks to take off before the end of the fiscal year ie end of March. You’d think that wouldn’t be a problem, just pick two weeks and off I go. Not so simple my friends. Firstly, I have a stock take in the middle of this three month period, halfway through february; thus it as been suggested to me that I don’t take the week leading up to or the week following said stocktake. That takes two weeks out.
Additionally, most of my staff have lots of hours still left on their holiday quotas to fit; seeing as they are all part time staff working 4 hour/5.5 hour/9 hour/12 hour contracts, when one of them takes time off, the impact is huge. For example, if my 4 hour contract girl takes her 12 hours owing, that means she won’t be fulfilling her saturday shift for 3 weeks.
My assistant manager, who has worked here since the dawn of time, has more holiday than me, meaning she also still has a week to take! Somehow, we have got to fit all this in. And there can be no more than one person off in the store at any given time, we just don’t have the staff to cover. It is a logistical nightmare in the making.
And to add to all this, I have to getthe OK from my regional manager to take my weeks off as there can’t be too many store managers off at the same time! Which means that I can’t book something at a good price, then book the time off work, no no no: I have to get permission first, then book the time off on our calendar and then the rest of my staff can have their time off.
My second issue with this whole holiday thing is that the sponteneity has been removed from it. Now I have to think about where I want to go and what I might want to do. Do I want to take both weeks off together, or take one week here and another there? Or shall I take a 10 day holiday abroad then the remaining days visiting friends in the UK or a few days break somewhere? Do I want to sit on a beach/swim in the sea, or do I want to be doing something?
I’ll be honest here and say I am not a waterbaby, so sitting by a beach or swimming in the sea daily is not really on my list of things to do. That said, I do like a lovely beach view to look at. I do like to relax on holiday, it being one of the few times I get to read. But I also like to see things, go places, travel around, meet people.
It’s all about the journey for me, I love the travel part whether that’s flying or trains, the people I meet and less about the destination. I want to go back to the States and have thought about one of the long distance Amtrak lines across the country such as the California Zephyr that begins in Chicago and ends in San Fransisco. I’ve also wanted to go to Washington DC for a long time, plus I have friends in Colorado that I could catch up with and a friend in LA (if she’s actually going to be in LA at the time).
Although we will be heading towards spring by time I take my holiday, it will still be cold in many cities where I might have considered a city break. I don’t know about you guys but for me, staying in one place for two weeks can get tiresome; I would rather visit a city for two or three days having picked a small number of things there I specifically want to do, leaving me opportunity to return and see the many other things that city has to offer at a later date.
My day off today is going to be spent thinking about where I want to go, how much money I will have to spend and if I want two weeks off together or spread it out. Exciting 🙂