Now THIS is ridiculous.

Monday, October 12, 2009

Way back in the early summer, I booked this entire week off from work in order to get ready for my wedding (which is happening THIS SATURDAY. That's right. Five days from RIGHTTHISMINUTE I'll be married up and well on my way to drunksville at the reception, getting down with my elderly uncles on the d-floor to Fishin' in the Dark.)

The plan was to take the last few days before the wedding off from work in order to get all psyched and prepared and finish last-minute tasks, chill out at home, perhaps get a massage or just spend a couple of days gearing up for what will arguably be the most important day of my life thus far.

As it turns out, I'm working tomorrow and Wednesday--I couldn't stomach the thought of taking a full two weeks off. And I'm feeling utterly guilty for taking off Thursday and Friday to get ready for the wedding, along with the honeymoon the following week.

I am by no means an abuser of vacation time. I have taken a whopping two vacation days this year, both of which were leftover vacation days I didn't get a chance to take in 2008, and I've taken perhaps two sick days (during which I worked from home, because I freak out about work, even when I'm hacking up a lung or toilet-bound for the day). The idea of calling in sick when I'm not on the verge of death is never an option.

Even despite the opposite of abusing my time-off privileges, I feel pretty horrible about requesting a total of eight days off to get ready for my wedding and enjoy my honeymoon. What is wrong with me?!

I'm paranoid that during those eight days, it will become apparent that I'm not necessary at the office, that the world does in fact continue to turn without me being there, and I'll come back to a pink slip.

I'm afraid clients will be upset if I'm not accessible to them for several days (although I'm giving everyone an alternate point of contact before I leave), or that projects will go off the rails.

I'm frightened I'll forget to brief my teams on some seemingly little detail that snowballs into a major issue and things will fall apart. I'm scared that people will be resentful of the fact that I'm off having fun in another country and will completely hate me when I return.

I feel like having this sort of anxiety over eight days' vacation is a little bit excessive. The fact that I realize I have a problem is something, right? Admitting it is the first step, and all that?

Does anyone else feel this kind of stress before taking a vacation? I don't know how European people are able to take six weeks off each year and not freak out about it, because frankly, a week and a half is driving me absolutely batty.

My name is Amy, and I'm a guiltoholic.

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  1. I too need my daily quota of guilt to get through the day. Not dissimilar to three well-rounded meals, 8 glasses of water, 30 minutes of rigorous exercise, my basket of guilt must be filled. In fact, when I got married (I also took 2 weeks vacation - one before and one after) I was frantically answering work emails on the day of my rehearsal party. I sat crouched in the backseat of my car at my soon-to-be in-laws home, trying to type emails as fast as I could while keping my head low as not be seen. And on my honeymoon - to Paris - I took my BlackBerry, desperately checking it whenever I could. And, looking back, I regret all of this immensely. So, take a word of advice from a been-there. No babies will bleed when you go away. When you return, people will be thrilled to see you - they don't have to fill in for you any more. And, no one, not a single soul, will think about you nearly as much as you will think about them. Seriously. Set yourself up for memories that you can be proud of - not resentment towards either yourself or your job. Trust me, that feeling sticks around. And, hey, congrats :)

  2. Thanks Collette! I know I'll be BlackBerrying during my rehearsal too--the only reason I won't be online in Paris is my phone won't work overseas. I'll try to take your advice :)

  3. I feel it too... in our industry we are told to be always available always working...

    But it's a bad way to be. If you don't take your vacation and sick days, you get worn out and your performance drops. That's when you get the pink slip.

    It may not seem like it, but taking your vacation days is actually doing a favour to your company in the long run! They need you happy and rested so you can do your best, and vacation is the best way to do it!

    And no one would dare begrudge you barely 2 weeks for your wedding and honeymoon!

    I think you may have a guilt problem!

    Don't worry about taking the time off. You deserve it and your team & projects will be fine without you. Get your ducks in a row and then relax! You can worry about work once you get back!


  4. PS.

    Ditch the crackberry!

    DO NOT bring it with you on your special days! It's not worth it!

    This is a great opportunity to break your habit/addiction to it and start fresh. Save your sanity!

    From one ad gal to another, I believe in you!

  5. I wish I could say yes! I get that way about class... but not at all work. If I take a vacay day I am NO where near my computer!!! unless for the typical facebook and blogger checking!

    At least you care about what you do! I wish I did!

  6. @Ginger I know you're picking up what I'm putting down too :) You're totally right, when I come back I'll be fresh and rarin' to go!

    @AdorablyDistracted Ha, I'm the opposite! I'd skip classes all the time and waste tons of time but with work I hate missing even a day.

  7. I was the same way when I quit my old job... I could get myself not to care anymore. I was still putting in extra hours and doing things someone who was leaving in 2 weeks shouldn't have to do. Like show up on time.

    Here's to being stupidly dedicated.

  8. I hope the wedding is a success! All the best in your new life together...

  9. @Jeney it's hard to fake it when your heart isn't in it, that's for sure. I do love my job, and I'm lucky about that, but I have been in crappy jobs that made me wonder why I bothered to show up at all.

    @NSEB thanks for the nice wishes!