Last Updated Dec 26, 2007 7:38 AM EST
Back when I worked in cubicle-land, I never could understand why people took vacation days the week between Christmas and New Years. I realize that they're trying to use the two holidays to get an extended vacation, but it's still a waste of good vacation days, because being at work during the holiday week is pretty much like a free vacation.
The place where I last worked (for about six years) was, under normal conditions, full of stressed-out managers, screaming executives, and fearful employees. A normal U.S. office workplace, in other words. Over the holiday week, though, this hotbed of high pressure was actually pleasant and fun.
Because the rest of the world was on vacation, no work was going to get done, so more than half the offices were empty. People wandered in a 10am and left at 2:30, after taking a 2 hour lunch. Everyone was relaxed, happy and conversational. There were stacks of free Christmas cookies by the coffee-maker. You could have real conversations. It was as good as a vacation day, but as far as salary was concerned, you "worked," so you got paid.
The way I see it, the purpose of a vacation day is to get away from the insanity of work and take a mental break. Why would anyone want to take a mental break from a (temporarily) relaxed workplace full of happy, friendly people?
The only downside was that, when everyone returned to work on January 2nd, it was back to the tension of the daily grind, which seemed all the more wearing in contrast to the fun times the week before.
But then, I'm probably not telling you anything that you don't already know.
So, if you're working today -- I salute you! Have a Christmas cookie on me.