Challenging Holidays

Something I have realised over the past few days is that I don’t deal well with office holiday time.

In the past few weeks most of my bosses and colleagues have been in and out at various times taking holidays with their families. Not having children of our own my husband and I are not constrained to taking holidays during the expensive ‘high-season’: so we don’t. This is great for us financially but, I have realised, very unsettling for me emotionally.

The challenges I am facing are as follows:

  • Who will be in the office on any given day? Who will I have to talk to? Who will be there to share the phone calls? Who will be there to ask questions of if I get stuck? Our company operates a flexible working policy so this is a problem at the best of times, but seems to have been heightened with the extended periods people are away over the holidays.
  • How do I respond to angry clients on other colleagues’ jobs? There have been a number of customers who don’t seem to understand that people commonly take holidays at this time of year and that they won’t be contactable whilst they are away.
  • When people say that they will be checking emails whilst they are away, how many emails is acceptable? I really struggle with this one. I would much prefer a clear-cut: ‘yes, I am working’ or ‘no, I am on holiday’.
  • How am I supposed to get any of my work done?! I spend so much time responding to emails about other jobs or answering phone calls with random queries or new enquiries there would be very few hours left in the day to do my own work if I weren’t autistic. Being autistic it takes me at least half an hour, if not an hour, to get back into my work after being distracted by the phone or email; therefore it doesn’t take many of these for me to lose a whole day to other things.

Currently my main thoughts on a coping strategy is to hide in bed until everyone returns in September!

Are there others out there who struggle at this time of year?

What aspects are particularly stressful for you?

How do you/your workplace manage it?

Any suggestions welcome!

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