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One Way To Have An Empty Email Box After Vacation (I Wouldn’t Recommend It)

June 27, 2016

Rodney, how was your vacation? The client didn’t end up calling you, did they?

Well, a couple of times.

Last week my family was in town for a reunion. We hold them every four or five years. My two brothers and their kids, my mother and her husband and then, most of my kids and grandkids, all spent four days, playing games, singing karaoke and eating lots of food. 

It was a blast. My 13 year old son wanted to know when we can have the next one. 

There was one slight hiccup in my personal involvement. My call center kept having issues. And, being the only one who does what I do, if it breaks, they call me. And if they call me because it’s broken, it doesn’t typically get fixed unless I coordinate the fixing of it. So, I spent much of the reunion like this.

(The shirts were made by my brother and stand for “Bliss By Choice.” Most of us actually chose to be named Bliss. It’s a long story for another day.) 

But, fortunately, most of the outages were issues with the client’s infrastructure. That means that while I have to be on the phone, there is very little I actually have to do. There’s lots of dead air time. During those times, I would use the mute button and go on visiting with my family. It didn’t really bug me, but it was hard on my family. My brother asked,

Is this how most of your calls go?

You know, it depends on what’s broken, but if it’s a problem on the client side, yeah, I just go about my day waiting on updates from them. It doesn’t really affect me much. 

Well, it’s pretty disconcerting for us. We never know when you are talking to us or talking on the phone.

Many of my updates while on outage calls were sent through email. So, I was in and out of my work email multiple times per day. It made it really easy to keep up on the random emails that we all get throughout the day. And as a consequence, I came back to work to an emptier mailbox than I left. 

Sure, it would be great to be able to put everything aside for the vacation and there are times I can do that. But, the way to not get frustrated with work/life balance is to simply refuse to give up your “life” when you also need to “work.”  

Rodney M Bliss is an author, columnist and IT Consultant. His blog updates every weekday at 7:00 AM Mountain Time. He lives in Pleasant Grove, UT with his lovely wife, thirteen children and grandchildren. 

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