Spill It: Do You Work When On Vacation?

I am at this very moment squeezed into a Prius with my husband, my brother, and my parents, hurtling toward my cousin’s wedding in South Carolina. Wheee!

We left early yesterday morning, spent the night in a cheap hotel, and will finally reach our destination later today. I’ll be returning either late Sunday or midday Monday.¬†Obviously, I am freaking the eff out about my to-do list.

I would typically lug my laptop along with me. I even got work done on my honeymoon, for god’s sakes! But I’m trying something new this time. It’s called: not working when you’re not at work. It is hard.

Of course, I’ll be able to check my email on my phone but, beyond that, I’m trying to control myself. We’ll see if I have a nervous breakdown.

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Clients Not Respecting Your Time? Sorry. That’s Your Fault


couple arguing over overtime

A dramatic reenactment of my marriage, by a woman way cuter than me, and a man not nearly as cute as my husband.

My husband and I are incredibly different people. I’m an antisocial introvert; he’s a social butterfly. I love fresh eggplant and tomatoes; he loves Slim Jims and energy drinks. I love cheesy dance music; he loves slacker rock. One thing we do have in common? We’re both ambitious workaholics.

What this means is that we often put our work before our relationship, and that’s a dangerous thing. I’m always working through the weekend, loath to do dinner with his family or go on day-long outings. I have a neverending to-do list, and leaving work behind for an exercise class or friendly happy hour makes me anxious. I also hate low-key, “relaxing” vacations. If I’m not doing something action-packed or hands-on, I’d rather be spending my time being productive.

Michael, meanwhile, is one of those insufferably rude smartphone addicts. He checks his e-mail and answers texts and phone calls when we’re out to dinner together… when we’re watching TV together… when we have company over. He lets both his employer and his clients walk all over him, responding to messages immediately, and working in his off hours (without additional pay). One time, while on a weekend trip in celebration of our three-year anniversary, he popped open his laptop and started doing some work for his full-time employer. Despite the fact that he had taken a vacation day. Despite the fact that he was supposed to be celebrating with me. I was livid.

Because — while I do find it difficult to step away — I force myself to do it way more than he does, for the sake of our relationship, and for the sake of my sanity. I don’t want to be perpetually connected. I don’t want to be held captive by my clients’ every whim (though I do all that I can to take care of them during my working hours). I want a healthy work/life balance, and I want my family to come first.

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Coffee Break: Working on the Weekend

We haven’t had a nice, long coffee break in awhile here.

I wanted to tell you about last weekend.

My husband left on Thursday night to hang with some old college friends for a few days. He wasn’t slated to come back until Sunday. I decided to use this time as a vacation for myself, and it ended up being the first time in awhile that I didn’t spend my weekend working.

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