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It’s been a while since I’ve posted for the very good reason that I’m on currently on vacation. I’m not traveling or anything — it’s mostly been a catch-up-on-shop-projects and drink-a-lot-of-beer sort of thing. We’re getting ready for Trillium War, which is in a few days, and of course I’ve got my Deed of Arms to think about, but for the most part I’ve been pretty chill.

Not having a lot of work stress has helped. During the final couple of days before I left for my vacation we had a paperwork snafu at the office — a client got issued an invoice for an item they had been quoted for, but decided against buying. The error was entirely mine (I accidentally labelled a quote as “Please Invoice” instead of “Defunct”) and I apologized to the customer for the mix up. They hadn’t paid the invoice, so no harm no foul, but The Boss™ still raked me over the coals for it… and I ended up blowing up at him. Not majorly, but he wasn’t expecting it. And frankly, neither was I, which tells me how much the stress had been building up. But when I’m scrambling to juggle two people’s worth of work and something got dropped, it’s probably not the best approach to demand that I “come up with a plan to prevent this from ever happening again.” It turns out I had a plan, and that plan was “HIRE SOMEBODY!!! It’s been four months! I’ve been doing my job, and [insert name of former employee here]’s job, and it’s a goddamn miracle that more stuff hasn’t fallen through the cracks!”

Fortunately, The Boss™ recognized that I’ve been stressed out (I had actually been contemplating cancelling my vacation, since there was so much work to be done,) and later that day we were able to have a proper, respectful and (on my end) calmer discussion about it. Long story short, the day I get back from vacation will be the first day of work for the successful candidate which comes out of the series of interviews which are occurring in my absence. So hopefully I’ll be going back to a job where my workload is greatly reduced… which has also helped my worry level immensely.

I also came up with a protocol which would prevent me from obsessing about work while I was gone — I disabled my work email accounts on all my devices and committed to setting my iPhone to “Do Not Disturb” for most of the two and a half weeks I’m off. (When an iPhone is on “Do Not Disturb Mode” it will receive all calls, texts, and emails, but it won’t ring or vibrate when they come in. Even a voice-call to my private line will not cause it to ring unless your number is on a really short list of priority numbers… which basically means immediate family only.) Then I announced it on Facebook, which I haven’t been bothering to check more than once every couple of days. Heck, I’ve been leaving my iPhone on the bedside table most of the time… and anybody who knows me knows that is a major change in my behavior, since I’m typically tethered to my iPhone at all times, even when I’m not on call for work.

What’s my secret? What brought about this change from a work-obsessed, constantly-connected iPhone-cyborg to the laid-back, book-reading vacation-ite who’s finally getting around to writing this post?

Beer.

That’s right — I’m not just on a vacation, I’m on a beercation. We’ve got an excellent LCBO outlet about three blocks from our house, and they carry a large and constantly-changing stock of craft beers. Every couple of days I’ve been going over there, picking up ten or a dozen 16oz tins of whatever craft beers look interesting (usually two tins of each variety), bringing them home, putting them in the fridge, and then drinking them. I’ve been starting around five in the afternoons most days, which is when I start warming up the barbecue (since I’m home to do the cooking, we’ve been eating a lot of barbecue) and drinking about a beer an hour until it’s time for bed. I’ve even been taking notes. It’s been fun, I’ve been learning a lot about beer, and I’ve gotten to be half-in-the-bag most evenings for a week. And there’s been some really pleasant surprises.

In any case, I’m a lot more relaxed than I was, and I’ve getting a fair bit done around the house. I’m sure it’s been a bit of a relief for The Wife™ not to be living with a grumpy bastard, too. I’m just hoping that going back to work the day after Canada Day (my three-year anniversary at this job, by the way) won’t drive me right back into stress central.

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