Out of the office

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How do you handle your business responsibilities when it’s time for a vacation?

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October 7, 2021

I’m a huge proponent of taking time away from the office and actually unplugging — no emails, no meetings, no phone calls. I get there may be an emergency you need to address, but a working vacation is simply an oxymoron. But how do you feel when you’re contacting a customer, vendor, service company, etc., and get an out-of-office reply? Do you get irritated? Is it no big deal to you? Maybe you set a reminder to email again next week?

I recently watched a video on Entrepreneur.com where Grant Cardone, president of Cardone Enterprises, called being unreachable on vacation “beyond stupid.”

That immediately got under my craw.

His disdain of the automatic out-of-office replies stems from his beliefs that businesses operate “24-7, 365” and “if you’re going to take a vacation, you don’t need to announce it to the world.” He goes on to say, “you don’t need to tell your clients, ‘I’m sorry I can’t talk to you today, I can’t receive your money today because we’re not open for business today.’”

I’m not put off by those out-of-office replies. I’m glad to be in the loop and know that it may be a week before I hear back from them or that I can call Steve from accounting and get my question answered.

Cardone used an example that he’s in the market for a plane. (Clearly, I’m not able to relate to his example.) Cardone emails a business owner about a plane he’s interested in purchasing after doing seven hours of research on this piece of equipment and immediately received an out-of-office reply.

“Lazy,” Cardone says, and he thinks it looks like “robots are running his business.”

The automatic response gives the name of someone in the office who’s handling the business while this person is away.

“Dude, it isn’t my job to follow up,” cracks Cardone. “Why are you telling me you’re taking a break? … It literally makes me feel like this is the wrong equipment … it sends the wrong message.”

I’m bumfuzzled by this statement.

So, what does Cardone do when he’s on vacation?

He doesn’t think his or your family actually wants you to unplug 24-7.

Really? Mine does!

 

He says he picks times during the day while on vacation when he’s “not touchable” by his family.

This is totally disingenuous, to me.

 

He says when he’s back with them, they have his full attention.

Thanks for penciling us in, dad.

 

“But this one hour … I can knock out so much work in this one hour.”

OK, an hour doesn’t seem like that much time during the day, but it may seem like an entire afternoon to your loved ones.

 

“No one ever knows I’m off. People think I work 29 hours in a 24-hour day. Because that’s the impression you need to create.”

I’d much rather know that you’re taking a well-earned rest and spending some time doing things you love with people you love.

 

How you do feel when you get those automated email responses? Send me your honest opinion. And how do you handle the business during vacation? I’d like to hear your advice.

Go hike that trail. Go cast that line. Go nap in the sun.

krodda@gie.net

Enjoy your time off and I’ll get back to you in a few days.