Accidental IT Pro #9: Holiday Subterfuge

Our accidental IT pro columnist returns. In today’s episode, Jason expounds the virtues of the four day working week and the related pitfalls of lying to your boss when you should be in the office.

Undercover holiday picture from Shutterstock

Damn it Lifehacker readers. I go on holiday for five minutes and when I come back here you are waiting for me, pretending to work while you trawl the internet for juicy gossip about who One Direction is dating and why Miley Cyrus’ tongue has gained sentience.

I’m afraid I don’t have any of the information you seek, sorry. I do, however, have another instalment of my nonsense for you to absorb. Strap in!

I’m curious to know other’s thoughts on this, as I know it’s a controversial opinion, but I truly believe that the sweetest part of a long weekend is not the extra day of rest at all, but the four-day week that comes immediately after it. Working for five days in a row is for suckers, is what I’m saying.[related title=”More Accidental IT Pro” tag=”accidental-it-pro” items=”7″]

I spent weeks planning out my holiday so that I could spend as much time as humanly possible in my pyjamas. It is hard work being lazy, let me tell you.

I took the Friday off under the pretense that it was the only day I could get a plane ticket to my island paradise, but in reality it was just to capitalise on a delicious pre-holiday four day week.

Then I got the phone call from my boss, and my plan began to veer away from its tropical destination and into the path of the colossal iceberg of unemployment.

“Hey, I need you to do up four proposals for me before the end of the day, I’ll email you all the information.”

This request would not have been met with any wild enthusiasm from me even if I wasn’t on the pretend first day of my holiday.

“Umm, I’m actually on my way to the airport at the moment, I’m not sure I’ll be able to help.”

The fix was in, and I went back to sleep. [clear]

I thought I would celebrate my holiday by having a lovely breakfast at a local café, deciding that anything with chorizo in it would absolutely hit the spot (as always), and hit the spot it did, until I saw on my phone that I had an email from my boss.

“On the way to the airport, or having breakfast at a café in your pyjamas?”

I froze as it dawned on me… it’s coming from inside the house.

From where I was sitting, half way through my second latte, I couldn’t see anyone I recognized. I had only two options:

  1. Lie.
  2. The cowardly option, I’ll admit. This would involve hedging my bets that my boss wasn’t actually in the café, and he had either driven past and glimpsed me, or one of his flying monkeys had spotted me walking in.

  3. Ignore him.
  4. Because I’m on holiday damn it.

Realising that ignoring the man that pays my salary probably isn’t the smoothest of moves, I resorted to thinking up a convincing lie. I replied to the email.

“Haha, just getting a bite to eat before I get on the plane, bags are packed and in the car!”

No response for the rest of the day.

I managed to stop thinking/caring about work entirely by Friday night, and boarded a leisurely mid-afternoon Saturday plane to where the grass is green and the girls are pretty. I was actually quite looking forward to some relative peace and quiet on my flight, so with Pokemon X still in its wrapping and my iPad filled to the brim with the first season of Breaking Bad (I know…), I set off on my adventure.

I won’t bore you with the details of how I beat the island prince in unarmed combat to become the heir to the throne, and the secret of how I broke the voodoo priest’s curse will go with me to my grave, but suffice it to say I had a wonderful and relaxing break.

But my plan for maximum pyjama-time had not yet run its full course.

The “only” flight I could get home would arrive on Monday morning. I got off the plane and went immediately into work looking exactly like I’d just stepped off a 20 hour flight, and was promptly not only sent home, but commended on my efforts to come into work in the first place. I then breathed a sigh of relief as my boss seemed to have forgotten the café fiasco.

I had a tough week catching up on work, but then again it was only four days long, which made everything better, and the best bit was yet to come. At the end of that week, almost as if I’d planned it perfectly, was the Melbourne Cup, complete with both Monday and Tuesday off.

Of course the one flaw in my plan, (which I have decided to call “The Bueller Gambit” in my memoirs) was that I was horrifically unprepared for the first full five day work week, which left me an empty husk of a man.

I’m also still catching up on that work a month or two later, and the next four day week isn’t until 2014.

I need a holiday.


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