The out-of-office reply

After working endless hours, weeks and months, I decided that it was time for a well-earned holiday. And what a more appropriate place to visit than Rome!

So, I worked extra hours to finish a month-long project a little bit earlier than the deadline.  I felt such a self-fulfillment when I clicked on the SEND button after attaching the file and writing a note to one of my favorite clients. The end of a project, the beginning of the holiday!

I rarely use the automatic out-of-office reply but as the project was quite demanding and I wanted to finish a little earlier than the deadline, I decided that I should use this free automatic service and consider it as a present to myself! And I did! I packed my suitcase; I grabbed by passport and off to Rome!

The out-of-office vibe

I had five days to explore this wonderful jewel of a city! Just as I stepped on Italian soil and I made the mistake to check my email on my i-phone, I saw several emails in the inbox.

Some of the projects were of great interest to me and this is when temptation knocked on my door: should I sacrifice Rome and stay in the hotel to work on these great projects? Should I just remind myself that the out-of-office reply is on so I should just let everything be?

Is there an out-of-office vide that is automatically escorts the out-of-office reply?  I have been to the same situation before, it was not the first time, and I realized that it is not a coincidence. There must be something in the air when this magical button is clicked.

Having all these thoughts in the back of my head, I tried to enjoy my stay in Rome and admire all the places of interest in the city (the whole city is a magnificent, so no problems there!).  The five days passed so very quickly and reluctantly I had to take to plan back home. Since my return, I have completed only some small projects (some from the same clients that got in touch while I was on holiday) but no larger ones. All the larger ones were offered while I was away.

Question time

Why does this always happen?  Do we send a vibe together with the out-of-office reply to our clients when we click on the magic button? Should we observe each year which months are the busiest ones  and try to get away during less busy months to avoid this situation? Is one year the same as the next or the previous one when it comes to work? Is there any way we can predict when we can get away without missing out on challenging and interesting projects? Please, do share your experience and thoughts!

This Post Has 2 Comments
  1. Hi Konstantina,
    I completely understand how you feel, but I think you did the right thing by not working when you were in Rome. First of all because it’s a beatiful city that deserves to be visited, but I’m from there, so I might not be objective. 😉 On a serious note, I think this will always happen and if we give in, we’ll end up never having a proper holiday. I think I told you that I had my first proper holiday last year. I was really scared I would lose my clients. Eight months later, I can happily say that it didn’t happen and I am actually busier than last year. And, by the way, I went for 4 weeks, not 5 days… Once you see your clients come back and maybe get new ones, you’ll probably feel less worried next time you take a break. Remember, we all need breaks, even our clients so I am sure they understand.

    1. Hello Livia!

      Rome, oh Rome! I am in love!

      Yes, we have talked about this before, I can remember! I was happy to see that my clients were coming back. The thing is you see, all professionals no matter their field, need some time off to clean their heads (and have a life!). The fact that most translators are home based does not make them less “professional”.

      Congrats for your city, it is enchanting!

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