"I want, I want, I want ... but that's crazy"

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Busy season

The busy season is in full swing for me. It's not the holidays, per se; it's the end-of-the-year-scramble-to-get-vacation-time-used-up-before-the-company-takes-it-away season. And I get slammed on it.

I start out in November the same as everyone else - with piles of unused vacation time that has to be used up before the end of the year. It's a "use it or lose it" policy. The problem is that there's no time for everyone to take their time. So the calendar fills up with a week here and two weeks there for everyone else in the office, while I'm left scrambling to take an hour here and there just to use it up. That's how it is every year. Everyone else gets weeks of vacation - I get an hour at a time. Why? Because I'm the one who knows how to do everyone else's job.

I've spent two weeks picking up extra work for one reporter on vacation for two weeks, then I get the next week picking up the work for the other reporter on vacation. The news editor goes and I don't have to do her job, because she works night shifts and with my kids at home, at least they don't put me on that. BUT the other desk person who takes over her jobs does ONLY her job, so I do HIS and MINE.

Then we have a reporter back from vacation but in a bit of a scrape with the law. It's not a big thing, but the county prosecutor's decided she can't access his records anymore. Guess who that duty goes to. Yep, that's right. Me.

And all the while, the editor's taking off whole days and afternoons to use up his vacation time.

I can't get a day off because it takes two people to make up for the absence, but I make up for the absence of two people - while doing my own work as well. And in all that, I can manage to pull it off in under 40 hours so I can squeeze out one or two more "vacation" hours on my check.


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