I’m back in my office for the first time following three weeks (+ 1 day) of summer vacation, which I realize might sound quite decadent and luxurious to many of my American readers.
Swedish labor law says I am entitled to a minimum of 5 weeks of vacation per year, 4 of which can be taken consecutively during the summer months if I so choose. But I’ve never taken more than 3 at a time because I always reserve a couple of weeks to visit family/friends in the U.S. for either Thanksgiving or Christmas, depending on the year. Plus there’s the question of whether or not I’d be able to remember my Windoze password after being out of the office for a month.
I’ve always found going back to work after extended time off a bit disorienting, and I’m even more out of sorts this time because I’m only going to be back in my current office for about 7 more weeks. I accepted a new position with a different company at the beginning of July but do not start until October 1. You see, in addition to long vacations, Swedish employees are also subject to long notice periods when they resign depending on the nature of the position and length of service in it. My notice period is 12 weeks … 3 of which were the aforementioned vacation.
Now sometimes the notice period can be negotiated (as in shortened), especially if the company owes the employee a significant number of vacation days and/or comp time like mine currently does. Plus it’s always nice to get a bit of a “breather” between leaving one job and starting a new one. Unfortunately my bosses were not in the negotiating mood … because I only managed to get them to knock 2 days off my 12-week notice. I’m am choosing to interpret this to mean that I am just too damned valuable to let go early … rather than the more likely reason that I am just a terrible negotiator. In either case, boy am I ever regretting not taking those 4 consecutive summer weeks now.
At any rate, there’s a funky soccer field adjacent to one of the schools in our city that appears to have been designed by Salvador Dali, and I happened to snap a pic of it when Dr. Darling & I biked past it last week. It captures my current mental and emotional state pretty well at the moment. My apologies if it makes you a bit dizzy to look at it.