Vacations hectic for employees

Posted on August 13, 1999

The world's not revolving faster, nor have its inhabitants been hibernating, but time is moving faster. If time doesn't slow down, it could get pulled over, and it won't stand a chance in court.

Vacations have a lot to do with the insane pace of minutes. No, not the vacation you take. The vacation other people around you take. Many people working at the Journal have taken trips all across the United States, even to Canada. When someone leaves any business for a break, the remaining people must suffer the consequences.

That's why I've devised a simple solution to the problem. It's called Vacationing Habitat Substitution, or VHS (which worked better than the original group, Be Everywhere Travel Association). I've gathered a diverse citizens' group that can take the place of anyone missing from your office. Don't confuse my group with the Village People, although the guy in the hard hat is a member. This way, there's no down time for a business.

The group will be trained in just about every imaginable job. You're missing a secretary? We'll send one over. A cook? We'll have two of those on staff. A neurosurgeon? Um, we'll have to send a chef for now.

With the group comes some drawbacks. During the fall and spring, when virtually no one is on vacation, VHS members will have to do something. They won't be able to sit around and watch infomericals until they receive a call.

During the busiest seasons, VHS could become a bit thin. The organization may have to hire temps, or at least people on summer or winter vacation. Can a vacationer take the place of a vacationer? There's not much choice.

To accommodate problems, VHS'ers will work part time. Another way around the varying schedule would be to start a side business in the cleaning industry. I plan to hire a former roommate, who sold vacuums, as VHS part-owner.

Determining salaries could present the biggest problem. Some employees will be taking paid vacations, so how will VHS be paid? The pinch workers will receive a stipend, depending on the competency level needed to do the job. It will be paid directly through the government. There's always extra government money to spend.

Anyone interested in hiring or being a VHS, stay tuned. We'll have the company up and running in no time. But it can wait until after my vacation.