Our company has the policy — as so many do, I’m sure — of vacation rollover; our particular policy states that you can roll over half of what you earn in a year. For instance, I get two weeks every year, so at the end of 2008, I can carry one week over into 2009. No doubt that I managed to carry some over from 2007 (yet how, I’m not sure, as I thought I’d burned it all at figgy’s birth), but I’m standing here in the ashes of 2008 with another free day staring me down in the face — use me or lose me! And there I go, thinking I’ll come back in tomorrow to get a little done while other folks are out. The motivation is that the sooner I get the work done, the earlier I can leave, and thus the more Friday I’ll have left.
The demotivating factor, of course, is that I’m coming in on a day off to do work someone else should have done as well as work I’ll do better knowing that no one’s going to visit me at my desk. And yet, in the midst of all the hand-shaking congratulations and end-of-year hugs today (I am, after all, not the only one with vacation to burn; most of the other folks I’m not going to see again until next year), I can’t honestly say that I’m completely envious. I’d love to have the time off of course, but finding your own enjoyment in the job is its own reward.
Mental gymnastics: I used to browse surplus and pawn sites on the web and conduct enough research to know that one of my particular dream jobs would be to work in a museum. Someone, after all, has done the research to write up the little exhibit blurbs, selected and sought the exhibits themselves, and grouped them in logical ways. I find myself in the same position at work sometimes; I get an odd thrill of excitement at digging through dusty vendor manuals and catalogs (I’m usually mildly claustrophobic except when surrounded by high shelves and musty paper), the longer the better, knowing that some nugget of information is out there that will make ordering our parts much easier. Everyone wants to feel important, after all, and the difference is in how you perceive the importance of your task. So it’s off to work tomorrow, and on to more mysteries unraveled.