A Glitch In Time

| Edmonton, Alberta, Canada | Working | January 21, 2013

(One day, the boss calls me into her office for a meeting. Note: this takes place in late April.)

Boss: “Yes, I’d like to figure out who all’s taking what for vacation days this year so we don’t run into any conflicts.”

Me: “Sounds good to me!”

(I rattle off a few dates that I’m thinking about taking for my summer vacation.)

Boss: “Oh, I’m sorry. You can’t have any time off in the summer. We get so busy broadcasting from all the summer events that we need all hands on deck.”

Me: “Oh… okay. I prefer autumn, anyway.”

Boss: “Nope. It’s municipal elections this year, and we need all available personnel to cover the elections.”

Me: “But the election is just the last two weeks in September. Surely, a week at the start of September, or a week off in October—”

Boss: “NO! We need EVERYONE around for the ENTIRE autumn to cover the election!”

Me: “Um, okay. Well, then, looks like I’ll be taking a super-long Christmas vacation.”

Boss: “I’d rather you not. I prefer winter, and I always take all my vacation time in the winter.”

Me: “Isn’t that the purpose of this meeting, to get this sorted out and make sure there are no conflicts? Tell me what days you’re taking off in the winter, and I can work around you.”

Boss: “Well, I’m not going to know for sure what days I’m going to want until November or so, so for the purposes of planning, let’s say I’m taking the entire winter off.”

Me: “So, let me get this straight: spring is done, and now you’re sitting here telling me I can’t take any time off in summer, fall, or winter?”

Boss: “Looks that way.”

Me: “Well, then… looks like I’m not taking a vacation this year.”

(For the next two weeks, my boss boasted to her fellow department heads about my strong work ethic and how I’d resolved not to take a vacation in this very busy year. And the finale? At the end of the year, my boss’s boss and HR ordered me to take all of December off, because I had so much unused vacation time!)

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