Saturday, December 25, 2010

Actually I Was Planning on Getting Some Work Done Today Because There Isn't Much of Anything Else to Do

The group that I work with is made up of a variety of types of people. We have tenure-line faculty from a handful of universities, some "staff scientist" types who work at government-run labs, and some other staff (like me) who are employed by the University (but do all or part of our work at the lab).

There are HR differences depending who your official employer is. For example, the government employees had the day off on the 23rd, but the university was open, so I had to work. The lab employees get three days off for the holidays (23, 24, 31), and the University employees get off six (24, 27-31).

The faculty and the lab employees have very different ways of thinking about time off.

Conversations tend to go like this:

Faculty: Can you come to our meeting on Thursday?
Lab employee: I'm taking a vacation day. / The lab is closed.
Faculty: So can you call in?

Lab employee: I'm working from home the rest of this week, so I can sign the form on Monday.
Faculty: That should be fine. We'll finish up the paperwork when you're back from vacation.

Lab employee: I'll be on vacation all of next week.
Faculty: [Sends email on Tuesday of next week with work-related question]
Lab employee: [crickets]

On a closely related note, I have been scheduled to attend a meeting on a "Day of Administrative Closing" (state university-speak for "The University is closed for Christmas break, and all staff except campus police and some maintenance workers get the day off."). Depending where this meeting ends up scheduled, I am thinking that I will just call in.