A rare thing happened the other day, a client contact let me know that they were going on holiday.
Now if you were reading this in the 1980s or 90s you might think, “Okay, but what’s the big deal about that?” however, in the 21st century, it seems we like to keep that sort of information to ourselves. Whilst we are more than happy to use social media to share those all important moments in our lives – updating Facebook, tweeting about the X-Factor/The Voice/BGT, or how about another selfie? – we often omit to pass on certain other details about what we are doing in our lives. Especially our professional lives. Maybe it is some form of paranoia, we can’t reveal what we are really doing.
By contrast, I can recall twenty years ago that whole process of going away from the office for an extended time. You know involving…
- Updating your current priorities list – perhaps different versions for both your manager and any direct reports,
- Trying to plan ahead so that nothing was likely to go off course in your absence, and certainly
- Ensuring that all your key contacts both internally and in your various marketing agencies (e.g. advertising, direct marketing, PR, design etc) knew you’d not be around.
Wasn’t it just polite, helpful and the logical thing to do? I don’t think we were displaying greater signs of “control freakery” in those days, were we?
But today it seems that is no longer the case. No, because we seem to keep that sort of information hush hush. It’s like we’re keeping secrets.
Of course, another reason we may not feel inclined to tell people when we are away is that when we go away we are never really away. Smartphones make it so easy to keep “working” even when we are not actually there. So perhaps we don’t feel it necessary to share the news.
Or is it even more simple than that?
Maybe we just don’t want people to feel jealous when we are able to take a break ourselves.