Sunday, July 1, 2012

This one is a dud

When a firecracker does not go off it is called a “dud”.  Kinda like a national holiday on a Wednesday.

July 4th is on a Wednesday this year, placing Uncle Sam's party uncomfortably between four days of work. This marks the second time in six years that it falls on one of the most unloved and unfun days of the week.

Want to spend Fourth of July weekend at the beach? Job No. 1 is deciding when the 4th of July weekend really is. Whether you prefer June 30-July 1 or July 7-8, the old trick of using one vacation day and getting a four-day weekend is out of the question.

Everybody loves the 4th of July, but if there's one time we don't love it as much as others, it's when it falls on a Wednesday.

Other holidays can be moved around to fit our lives. Memorial Day, the sacred date we set aside to honor those who gave their all for the rest of us - we can change it from May 30 to the last Monday in May so we can get some swim time, fishing, golf & BBQ in.

July 4th is harder to move, since it's stuck to a date.


So that means every seven years you get a Wednesday July 4th holiday. And it messes things up because:

You can't really slide it into a four-day weekend
Christmas on a Tuesday or Thursday? Well, that Monday or Friday is all but written off as a holiday.

It's going to be a slow week
No matter what choice you make, business will be slow all week. That, of course, leaves you a choice: Work all week and take advantage of the slowness, or take off two days to make a really long weekend? It depends on what your job is, of course, but if it means showing up and getting paid for not doing much, with no penalty (i.e., you're not on commission) and you've saved up two vacation days, the decision seems clear.

Take off Monday-Tuesday or Thursday-Friday?
It's a good bet a ton of people will be taking off either Monday/Tuesday of next week or Thursday/Friday. So which two days should you choose?

The Monday, and especially the Tuesday, before the 4th will consist of offices in ultimate clock-watching mode, and we're betting lots of late-Tuesday afternoon getaways. ("Client meeting" here we come!)

The Thursday-Friday atmosphere will include a laidback and probably lengthy post-holiday readjustment mood, with the weekend already looming over everything.

So, if you own a business, you will be just thrilled with the level of production that your team produces during the week.  If you work for a business, you will be spending your days executing your pre and post-Wednesday work avoidance tactics. Where can you drive? What can you do? If you are working Tuesday and Thursday, you are screwed.

Technology allows us to work from anywhere, at anytime. But the new global business world of Smartphones, iPads, audio web and videoconferencing requires that the “other people” are actually around for the collaboration. Conference calls are not very productive, when it’s just you on the phone. Yeah, you can take your iPad to the beach, but sand and apples don’t really go well together.

Have a safe and Happy July 4th (or 2nd, or 3rd, or 5th or 6th)

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