Workcation: The New StaycationWorkcation: The New Staycation
I just got back from my staycation, which is the holiday destination to debark at when you're not going anywhere. (I was <a href="http://www.informationweek.com/blog/main/archives/2008/08/to_my_son_on_th.html">watching my son</a>, in the stretch between camp and back-to-school.) The week turned out to be a bit more active than I'd expected, though, and it morphed into -- here's the new word I've coined -- a workcation. You know: time off, but BlackBerry close at hand.
September 9, 2008
I just got back from my staycation, which is the holiday destination to debark at when you're not going anywhere. (I was watching my son, in the stretch between camp and back-to-school.) The week turned out to be a bit more active than I'd expected, though, and it morphed into -- here's the new word I've coined -- a workcation. You know: time off, but BlackBerry close at hand.Hey, I'm not complaining. A workcation is still way better than a permacation, which is what you get when you've been suddenly and involuntarily downsized from your vocation.
The thing is, if you have a job -- any job, but particularly if you have a good job -- one has by now internalized the new reality that 24/7 isn't just a catchphrase. It's how one takes a decent salary and expands the workload so that you're really making just pennies an hour! True, one can always shut off one's BlackBerry. But if I have a hard time doing that at 11 p.m. on weeknights, how am I going to withdraw from the cloud for a whole week? I know, you're probably thinking, 'Wolfe, you are one big suck-up, posting about how you've always got your head up your boss's BlackBerry.' Me, I prefer to preserve my dignity and consider that it's actually not all that terrible to have to dive into a few fire drills. You may be reminded of the old saying that the cemeteries are filled with people who thought they were indispensable. Still, while drawing breath, I think that one should contribute what one can, when one can, and be glad for the opportunity. The other angle is that there's a difference between plain old jobs -- where one should maintain the dignity of off-time distance -- and callings, which require more in the way of commitment. For example, the priesthood and the military are more than just jobs; they're ways of life. Journalism (assuming, dear reader, that you agree that what we attempt to do here is worthy of that lofty designation) also at least aspires to being a calling. Clearly, if you're in engineering or IT, you know what I'm talking about. If you make your living around technology, you got involved as the natural extension of a childhood spent pulling apart transistor radios (my case) or VCRs (you younger folks). What company you're associated with has less bearing on anything than your family realizes; you're pretty much always thinking about tech stuff, even if it's just fixing something for your gadget-clueless neighbors. (And don't even talk to me about helping people with their PCs!) So, as that soup guy on Seinfeld might put it, "No cation for you!" Where are you relaxing? Please leave a comment below, or shoot me an e-mail directly at [email protected]. Like this blog? Subscribe to its RSS feed, here. For a mobile experience, follow my daily observations on Twitter. Check out my tech videos on this YouTube channel.
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