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not quite what you planned April 2, 2009

Posted by That Guy in Experiences.
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A lot of companies are doing furloughs these days to try and stave off the inevitable downsizing being caused by the economy. Furloughs can be used to advance one’s skills or just take a little time off.

The thing is, vacations — of any type — never quite go as planned. Here’s your average furlough:

Day One: Spend the morning catching up on all the websites you don’t have time for. Go out to lunch. See a movie. Cook a nice meal. Spend the evening with the family. Start coughing toward the end of the night.

CC-licensed photo by Flickr user Hvnly

CC-licensed photo by Flickr user Hvnly

Day Two: Wake up with a cold. Take some medicine. You feel terrible, so you put off learning Flash until tomorrow or Wednesday. Get a call from your kid’s school that he’s throwing up. Pick him up, take him to the doctor, go to the pharmacy, go home, and spend the rest of the day dealing with that loveliness.

Day Three: Your cold gets worse. Your child starts feeling a little better, but you keep him home one more day because he “looks sick”. You turn on the TV so you guys can watch Wall-E on Pay-Per-View, but the satellite service craps out. DirecTV* says they can have a guy out to fix it next Tuesday. You get progressively sicker as the day goes on.

Day Four: Your kid goes back to school. You didn’t sleep last night because your cold kept you up, what with the coughing and sneezing and running of the nose. Fortunately, you feel like you’ve broken through, and you spend another day on the couch, on the computer, switching between YouTube and porn.

Day Five: You look at the Flash book you spent $45 on and decide you don’t have enough time to learn Flash in one day. You put it on the shelf** and spend the morning making a halfhearted effort to clean the house — since your satellite is dead, you’ve watched all your DVDs while sick, and you’ve reached the end of the internet, you figure you might as well do something nice for your spouse/roommate. Around lunchtime, you go out, have a burger, and see another movie; it’s Friday, so you might as well catch a first-run. Then home, make dinner, spend the evening with the family.

First Day Back at Work: You get a call from your kid’s school. He’s got a cold and a fever. Smooth move, Ex-Lax — by keeping your kid home with you while you had a cold, you got him sick again. And there’s no way to telecommute when you have a three-to-five-year-old to take care of, sick or well.

Admittedly, when a planned vacation doesn’t go quite right, you might end up getting lost for an hour in an unfamiliar town, or hiking down the wrong side of the mountain, or winning $7500 from a dollar slot machine, or getting bumped up to First Class on your way home from Cancun. But when the vacation is a week spent at home, nothing ever, ever seems to go right.

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* DirecTV is being used as an example. I could just as easily have said “Dish Network”. Don’t sue me.

** It will stay there forever.

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