Saturday, November 17, 2007

To be (a team player) or not to be (a team player)...that is the question.

So it's thanksgiving next week. I've been looking forward to this for 9 months. I'm not typically one to take this week off for vacation, but due to a minor issue around vacation balance (apparently, I am maxed-out and will loose 2 weeks of vacation this year unless I use it), I decided to go for it. Why not? Heck, I'm never home, I work hard, I deserve to stuff myself silly and sit in front of the fireplace sipping bailey’s and hot chocolate all week!! So, for the past 3 months, I've been planning to go skiing. Opening day at Beaver Creek is second to none! But as they say, even the best laid plans get undone. I got a call 2 days ago from one of the bosses asking me to be in Chicago on Tuesday for a major client meeting. And I mean MAJOR. And yes, you’re asking yourselves what client would be stupid enough to schedule an all-day meeting the Tuesday before Thanksgiving. I hear ya…makes zero sense to me too. Seeing as how I had already purchased tix for my vacation, and made a million other social commitments, I was none too happy. I mean, come on! The one time I decide to take vacation, and now I see it evaporating right in front of my eyes??? I am very much a team player. An “a-player” if you will. Everyone who knows me knows this. Conundrum...Should I cut my vacation short and be a team player? Or should I put my high heel down and throw a fit? (I actually haven't ever resorted to such childish behavior before...I swear!). I must confess that I was torn. For the past 10 years, I have 99 percent of the time put work before my personal life (a trail of failed relationships, missed spa appointments, and cancelled dinners prove it). I had been looking forward to my vacation, especially since I haven't had one all year. After much internal debate (read: torment), I decided to stand my ground. Yes, it is a MAJOR client meeting. Yes, I am a team player. But I must resist the temptation to ALWAYS be a team player. In the end, a nice compromise was reached...thanks to the almighty powers of telecom, I can dial in. The thought of being on a conference call all day is unappealing at best. But at least I can sit in my pjs in front of the fireplace. Food for thought: would YOU cut vacation short for work?


Consulting SME said...

I have come back from vacations, skipped them, called in, etc. Never made a difference. Sounds like the rest of the team needs to step up for you!

Anonymous said...

Oh you're calling in, sista!

Anonymous said...

whenever a client meeting interferes with my plans, I ALWAYS opt to dial in and stay on mute, with my headset on.
Works well when I'm at home. Not so well at dinner with a date I've constantly canceled on.

Anonymous said...

i've modified vacation plans to accomodate clients but they pay all the change fees for my tickets, etc. Usually because it so last minute the only tickets left to my destination are F class which I charge in without batting an eye. I sometimes charge in an "I'm sorry" dinner that I had with my travel companions.

I once had a client meeting in NYC on December 22 that I couldn't get out of and was none to happy about, as a compromise the firm flew me, my sister, Mom and Dad and put them all up in another hotel room on the company dime for me to attend the meeting.