June 10, 2015

I’d Rather be Working … on Holiday



 
It was some time ago when I started writing Your Life and Business stories and published them. They are about a “virtual company”. The main characters are: Ron (senior manager), John (team leader), Ruth (John’s deputy), Sam, Peter and Mike (team members), Helen (HR manager).

I’d like to publish all stories on this blog again and hope you enjoy reading them. As Plato said "There is no harm in repeating a good thing"...


Story 1:
The fact that executives can stay fit when they are on a tropical island has always intrigued John a lot; swimming, diving, and exercising on the beach. What could be healthier? Anyway, a week’s holiday is always better than a single day off.

A week later, he was sitting under a palm tree and looking at the ocean. It was 109°F. It was a typical lazy holiday afternoon. BEEP BEEP … John answered the mobile phone impatiently as if he were in the office. His boss, Ron, was calling. Ron wanted to know about deadlines for the new project. “How are you doing?” Ron asked at the end. “Oh, I am absolutely fine. It’s so peaceful here. It’s a great place to slow down,” John replied finishing the conversation. Then John began to think and wonder, “How is my team doing now? Can they finish the work I’ve given them recently? Maybe I should check my e-mail box before dinner.”

John’s holiday seemed idyllic in the beginning. The first two days, he had breakfast and read a newspaper at 7:30, drank the first fruit cocktail at 10:00, had lunch at 12:00, went to the beach at 14:00, drank the second fruit cocktail at 16:00, exercised on the beach or strolled in the park till dinner, and had dinner at 19:30. This was the holiday routine which he really enjoyed during those first days but then he felt he wanted to stay more connected with his team. He had started a new project some weeks ago and wanted to be informed about what was going on in the office. Being unplugged was becoming boring.

The next morning started with the usual breakfast ritual: scrambled eggs, sausages, and coffee. The morning was promising to be a good one but John felt a bit out of sorts because someone had taken his newspaper. He looked around and saw a sun tanned man in red shorts reading a newspaper. “That newspaper could be mine,” John supposed. He crossed over to the sun tanned man and asked him politely whether he had perhaps unknowingly taken his newspaper. The man was surprised at the question, yet he was ready to share his newspaper with John. John was confused but the man saved the situation. “Hi, my name is Bill. I am a chief executive from Chicago,” he said. “I needed to relax but I have had trouble doing so. You too?” John was very thankful for this lifeline and joined Bill’s table. “How are you doing now? Can you finally unplug your computer and enjoy your time here?” John asked. “Oh, yes!” Bill replied, “it was hard at the beginning as usual but then I simply put into effect a plan I have devised for these holiday trips. I’ve had almost no time for exploring new places before so now I plan every day of my holidays. I walk a lot, visit places of interest, and do sport. It’s amazing how great it is to have time for these activities. John was intrigued, it sounded so very easy. Bill said: “I am going to play tennis soon. Would you like to play with me?”

After breakfast John went to the hotel reception. “Where can I buy a tennis outfit?” John asked. An hour later he was playing tennis with Bill and thinking of the exciting days he was going to spend on the island. John realized that this was his time to relax and his team would do fine.

What would you suggest John?

Copyright © 2015 Olga Henggi, All Rights Reserved

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