Tuesday, September 25, 2007

He's on vacation, leave him alone!

Have you ever had this work exprience: a really awful emergency arises at work, and everyone knows exactly who can deal with it: a person who's on vacation. By the time that person returns to work, it may be toooo late. What have you done when faced wth this dilemma?

Most experienced people know that in a real emergency, a work call could interrupt their vacation. I know one guy who charged his entire vacation -- family expenses and all -- to his company after they made him spend hours every day on the phone. I also know a guy who was careful not to be interrupted:

When I was working at Exxon Office Systems, in September 1984, Exxon gave clear and unambiguous notice that they were planning to fold the Office Systems division. We all knew that there was only one last hope, that the officers of the company could quickly present an appealing plan to improve our division. To do this, they needed the director of Engineering, who was on vacation. All anyone knew was that he was on some sort of boat, somewhere in the Pacific. Nobody bothered him with this crisis. They just couldn't figure out how to find him.

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