“Hello….is there anybody in there?” – Pink Floyd, Comfortably Numb
I just returned from a week long vacation at an incredibly beautiful and peaceful location.
And I’m stressed out of my mind.
As you may, or may not know, Mrs. Lawrence and I own our own separate businesses. Mine can be described as “busy”, whereas hers kicks ass. I’m a one man show with, at last count, over 1700 customers in my database. At any given time, Mrs. Lawrence rocks 4-5 additional employees and cranks out multiple “beautiful” customers daily. Sounds like we could both use and enjoy a break every now and then, right? Well, she loves it and I don’t. You see, I’ve always been a “glass half empty” person, and Mrs. Lawrence always has a “full glass”. In other words, I always look towards the negative side of things and she’s always the positive one. I suppose it’s why we work so well together….except maybe when it comes to vacations.
In typical fashion, I enjoyed the first few days of our trip, in spite of the rain. The very heavy rain. The monsoon-like rain. And then, in typical fashion, I began to stress. Stress about the return from our vacation. Because……I knew what was coming.
Since we sandwiched the week long vacation between our normally “closed” days, we arrived home three full days before we had to return to work. I figured I’d get a jump on things so I sneaked into my office early Saturday morning to check on things and fire up some equipment which had been shut down prior to leaving. That’s when I saw the bright red LED on my phone system flashing “67”. Sixty-seven messages and still three days before I reopen. Better check them now.
Ten regular hang-ups without a message. Thirteen irregular hang-ups with heavy sighs or expletives. Twenty-four normal “Hey Jim, give me a call when you get back” type messages. Eleven “hey Jim, I know you’re on vacation but….” messages. Five totally unintelligible messages. And four messages, all in succession, of someone saying “Hello?” for the full 30 seconds each, after listening to the “we’re closed for vacation” recording.
Add all that to the multiple email messages saying “I know you’re on vacation, but I have an emergency and I know you check your email, so please call me”. (Which explains why, after my first year in business, I corrected the mistake of publicizing my cell phone number.)
Now I know what you’re all thinking. You’re thinking that an awful lot of people would be thrilled to have the means and ability to take even one vacation. I understand that and empathize. It’s just me, being me.
Now if you’ll excuse me, I have to begin early preparations for my next vacation. In November. Another stressful week.