Wednesday, November 26, 2008

A Fable for Our Time

I work at a computer company during the weekdays. Employees of the client companies call us to make sure that their computers and blackberries are working so that they can keep working , not only in the office, but from home or on the road, wherever they are.

They call from being on vacation at some beach resort because they are having a problem logging into their work, and I wonder: What is the meaning of the word vacation? I thought that was when you unplugged, went to the beach to swim or sail, take leisurely walks and pick up shells, or sip on a fruit and rum drink or a cold beer while watching the sunset. Silly me.

Seems like some people forgot that part about having some play time. Being always on call is the price some people are willing to pay for the ability to climb that corporate ladder.

Recently a woman called and reported having a problem logging in. Said she is on vacation at her mother's house and can't get into her mother's computer. I informed her that since it was not a company computer, I could not do anything for her.

I said "Maybe your mother locked her computer so that you would go back downstairs and talk to her." She said, "Maybe you're right. I'll forget about logging in for now and go talk to mom."

Years ago, I worked for a man who said that he just viewed holidays as an interruption in the normal flow of business.

Of course that is the point. He didn't miss it, he just didn't like it. Holidays are meant to take us away from normal business so that we can rest, rejuvenate, celebrate life and then return to business. Holidays are a grace period for our soul as well as our body.

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