Test case: my so-called vacation

August 4, 2008, 8:02 PM UTC
Fortune



Okay, I’m on Day One of about ten days off I’m going to try to take. I had the temerity to go out in the morning, have breakfast, do a little shopping. Got back. Thirty-eight message on my BlackBerry. That’s WITH the away-message on my e-mail. That’s okay. That’s what BBs are for. Don’t have to go to the office. Don’t have to get involved. Read the BB once a day. Keep the Gorgs away, know what I mean? Sure you do. 

About 30 messages into the drill, here it comes. “Bob wants you to reschedule the meeting scheduled for the 22nd,” it says. It’s from Bob’s assistant. You don’t need to know who Bob is. He’s a guy. We had a meeting that involved about sixteen people scheduled for the 22nd, when I’m well back, with time to spare to help make the meeting work out okay. “Bob wants to see if you can reschedule the meeting for the 14th,” the message goes on. Except, you know, I’m not really back until the 18th, which means that I have to either cut my vacation short or get involved in a lot of hooey while I’m supposed to be vacating. 

Bob knows very well that I am Out. And also that, in moving the meeting that required quite a bit of organizational effort, he is pulling me back In. Bob doesn’t care, though. He has very good reasons to move the meeting. And so he’s seeing if he can move it. It’s not personal. It’s business. 

But Bing’s Law is simple: Every minute of interruption on vacation requires an hour for the re-establishment of peace of mind. I am already mentally back in the game. It will already take me 1.2 hours to regain the Zone. And that’s before any adjudication. 

I call Oliver, who works for me, and tell him to take care of it. I will not cut my vacation short. Oliver is well-practiced and sage enough to handle whatever it turns out to be. I am now basically okay again, although after the delegation interaction it took me three hours and a nap to get over this incident and reclaim my position in vacationland.  

For the next week or two, I will check in with you guys now and then, mostly – unless something of interest to me intervenes – post on the question of how many friggin times my mind is going to be invaded during what is supposed to be my time off. 

Until then, have a good one, ladies and gentlemen. I’m gone. Until I’m not, of course.