You awake to a foreign sound. Your mind is wandering around questioning who you are, where you are, and what are you supposed to do next. You grumble around trying to defeat this noise terrorist and have intentions of only doing so with clinched fists. The intruder is located. You then make a mental note to change your alarm clock sound to something less violent. Your brain finally grasps the reality of your situation. Vacation is over.
The endless battle of “Future Self” and “Present Self” leaves me baffled; as if there is some bizarre version of my brain that questions why I decided 2 weeks ago to say “I’ll worry about that when I get back from vacation”.
The only problem with taking PTO days is often times you make your workload doesn’t follow suit. Piles and piles of emails and voicemails are anxiously awaiting your return and all of them will be marked “URGENT! PLEASE READ 1st!!!:
When returning to the office after extended leave one might feel that a blindfold and cigarette are needed. It’s not the end of the world just the end of your era of peace. The slightest items will greatly annoy you and your new favorite phrases will be “I should never have taken that many days off” and “I should have taken more days off.”
How will you make it through the day? Through the week!? The month?! Eek gads, queue the violins!
Calm down, you’re not the first to have ever experienced such “tragedy” and complaining about it to another coworker isn’t going to get you anywhere. They don’t care that you took some fancy pants vacation to the mountains/beach/amusement park and had the greatest time of your life and now you’re “paying for it” with your workload. They have probably been stuck in the hell you left behind and are looking to unload all the latest gossip with a dash of “You suck because I had to _______ for _____.”
No one bought you a welcome back gift. No one is throwing a party in favor of your “triumphant” return. Most didn’t even know you were even gone. It’s time to warp your mind back into “office mode” and put your nose to the grind in order to do your part to make the world turn.
It is best to make a positive impact on your return. Convince your peers that the building nearly crumbled to the ground while you were out and thankfully you’ve returned to keep it alive. If they see the opposite, they may already realize your expense being expendable.
Within a few days or weeks, you’ll be back to the normal churn of things, looking forward to your next vacation and, once in scope, procrastinating all items to be completed once you return.