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Take A Break, Not A Beeper

The dog days of summer have finally arrived, and many of my friends and colleagues are looking forward to taking some time off, as I am sure most of you are, too. But I've noticed something different on the past few vacations my family and I have taken together.

You see, along with the fishing rods and the tennis rackets, I've noticed that laptops, pagers, and cellular phones have become necessary gear for a successful vacation. Many more Americans are taking them along on trips away from home in order to keep in touch with the office and stay on top of a fast-moving, ever-increasing workload.

Working through a vacation is nothing new. We work hard so that we can play hard. But in recent years, the boundary between work and play has become less apparent as modern technology has raised the competitive stakes in the work force. Deadlines occur in minutes, rather than days, and information travels in even less time. So staying connected has become a national obsession.

Evidence of this is cropping up at vacation spots everywhere. Disneyland, for example, is expecting nearly as many visitors to their business center as to Cinderella's Castle this summer. And Yosemite National Park recently installed more telephone lines at their local lodge in anticipation of those hikers who may need to access their e-mail.

There's nothing like the way a few days off to see the grandparents, or a visit to the Grand Canyon, or a week at the beach, can revitalize and restore the spirit. Lest we forget that a summer vacation can be a productive time for things BESIDES work.

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