A couple months back my bossman came by and said, “CV, I think you should take some time off.”
Not wasting a beat, I said, “Woo hoo, I’m outta here mother f…wait…are you saying I should take a few days or are you saying I should take time off, find a new job, because your job won’t be here when you get back?”
Bossman, with a bit of a bewildered look (maybe it was my just about to slip the F-bomb that caused it) said, “Geez CV stop being so paranoid, I need you to take some time off because you have way too many PTO hours and Chief Money Bags (CFO) said we need to get the PTO hours down. So figure out when you can take some time, let me know and have fun.”
Phew…while I may bitch about this job from here to there…and back…I do have a big ass mortgage (small actual ass mind you – unlike many of my male coworkers) and need the gig.
PTO, or Paid Time Off, is one of the many benefits our HR team has bestowed on us. See, long ago people used to get Sick Time and Vacation Time. Generally speaking no one took sick time. Not because we were some uber healthy society. No, because like today, people had too much work to do and couldn’t take the time away, so they just brought the plague to the office with them. Kinda like they bring leftover candy at Halloween. Only the plague kills you and the candy just gives you Type II Diabetes. But, I digress…
See, nowadays there’s this thing called PTO which is time that you can use for whatever – holidays, vacations, time to decompress, time to get healthy if you do have the plague (yeah no one uses it for this still…damn them) or time to go interview for a new job. Being paid by your current employer to look for and land a new gig…I love this country!
So, I set off, calendar in hand, er…on computer screen to find some time that would be good. Hmmm, it’s summer, the kids are off from school, maybe we should load up the Family Truckster and hit the road like the Griswold’s!
I rang up Mrs. CV for a quick consult, “can’t do that week because of #2’s week at camp. Oh and week 4 won’t work because we have your niece twice removed’s b-day party to go to. I can’t get off work in July, because everyone else has requested it already. We have your mother’s retirement party in early August. Then, the kids have to go back to school. So, that leaves the last 2 weeks in June.”
“Wait, they start in mid-August? That’s bull shit! What happened to after Labor Day? That’s when WE always started and it was good enough for us!”
Mrs. CV, “Well, you know with all the budget cuts in California they’re messing with the schedule so they can have furlough days.”
“Wait, so they start early, then they take a week off here and a week off there for furloughs? What’s the friggin difference? Why not start after Labor Day and take no miscellaneous weeks off? Same. Damn. Thing!”
Mrs. CV, “Look I’m not the Superintendent, put in for your 2 weeks during the last couple weeks in June. I’ve gotta get my nails done and meet the girls for wine…it is Thursday you know.”
“Hey bossman, I’m going to take off the last 2 weeks in June. That cool?”
Bossman, “2 weeks? Together?”
Me, “ummm yeah, I thought we’d load up the Family Truckster and see America!”
Bossman, “That’ll be a nightmare. But, it will be your nightmare so go for it. I trust you’ll be available if I need you? I promise not to bug you, but you know we have that big project coming and well…I know you’ll help out if necessary.”
Bossman, “ok it’s set! Have fun and tell Mrs. CV hi for me.”
Flash forward to the end of June (er back since I’m writing this in July…whatever). The Family Truckster is loaded (sans dead Grandma on the roof) and we’re off!
WAIT! I almost forgot my Out Of Office message on my email and voicemail.
<clickity click click click as I log into my remote mail>
Damn, what’s my password again? Shit I need to change it already? Ok, where are those password rules again? Must have, can’t have, what’s a fucking captcha?
Dear colleagues: I’m on vacation, sucks to be you!
Nah, can’t do that.
Dear colleagues: For the next two weeks I’ll be on PTO and won’t have access to email. If this is urgent please contact Bossman. Otherwise, I’ll get back to you when I return.
“Hey kids, let’s sing!
On the Road Again….I just can’t wait to get on the road again.”
Kid 2, “Dad! Shut up!”
Hmmm, maybe that’s too “old school” for them. I’ve got it!
“Hey, I just met your Mom,
I know this is crazy,
But, I’m the Dad,
So Call Me Maybe!”
Kid 1, “Holy crap is this going to go on the whole time?”
“CV, that’s your cell phone.”
“Hmmm, it’s Bossman…better get it…big project you know.”
Yeah, no prob…we’re just singing tunes while heading down the Interstate.”
I glance in rearview mirror and I all I see is 4 teenage eyes rolling.
“Yeah, it’s located on the shared drive…yeah, in the file called “CV’s cool stuff”. Yeah, it’s kinda like my miscellaneous kitchen drawer file. Awesome, glad you found it…see ya in a couple weeks.”
A week into the vacation and all is going well. Only 1 major and 2 minor fights, but we’re still married and both kids have heart beats…Success!
Ok, gonna steel a glance at my email…after all, I haven’t looked yet!
479 Unread Emails? Holy Schnicke!
What’s this? One from Cubicle George marked Urgent, “Please Read and Respond Immediately”.
Must resist! But, what if it’s really important?
My Inner voice: CV has anything he’s ever done been really important?
No, but that makes the odds good that this will the first time. Can’t resist!
Hi CV. Ummm, yeah, I saw your out of office…I hope your vacation is going splendidly! Listen, I know your OOO said you’d not have access to email, but I thought I’d try anyway incase you do have access and are reading it. If so, call me ASAP. Thanks and you should really go check out Death Valley, it’s hot but really neat…and hot. Ok so, bye. Call me. ASAP. Bye.
Fuck that, I’m not calling him. Screw it. I know I shouldn’t have checked email.
Wait, there’s another from George. And, the subject is:
CV I need to escalate this! CALL ME!
“I’m the Dad…So Call Me Maybe!” <giggle…shakes head…get a grip>
Hi CV, I saw your OOO said if it was an emergency to call Bossman. So, I’m giving you a heads up that I called him. Yeah, so he’s on it. Not happy, but he’s on it. By the way, turns out it wasn’t such a big deal afterward. Like most things when you’re out for a week or so they just go away. Any who, bossman saved the day. So, did you go to Death Valley? If you need to know of a great Persian restaurant in Utah, let me know, I’ll give you directions. It’s the BEST!
Persian restaurant? WTF? God he’s a dumbass. Ok well, better put the iPhone away before the Mrs. sees me.
What’s that…a message from Bossman? <Click>
Hey CV, sorry to disturb, but I tried to call again and it went to voicemail. You musta been in Death Valley. George said that’s where you were going. Bloody hot there. Why the fuck would you go there? Anyway, I’ve resolved his crisis. Why did I hire George in the first place and didn’t you interview him? Why didn’t you warn me about him?!
P.S. And, when you get back come see me right away…we need to talk about your future here.
Shit! Freaking George. I’m gonna need a vacation after my vacation to wind down. I knew I should’ve taken PTO to look for a new job.
P.S. My future here? Given the way we do performance reviews I think I’m scroomed (screwed + doomed = scroomed). Keep reading…I’ll keep you posted on my future…