Spring Racing Carnival
Ah, it’s spring. I love spring; it’s a beautiful season. The weather is just right, (well, mostly…as I write this it’s a grey rainy day) there’s blossom on the trees, making streetscapes look so pretty. The smell of freshly mowed lawn is almost a daily scent; and everywhere I look, things seem new. Life seems grander in spring, wouldn’t you agree?
It’s also time for Melbourne’s famous Spring Racing Carnival. There’s gorgeous fashions, stunning fascinators, hats that defy gravity, hip men in elegant suits, the roses at Flemington, picnics, prosecco and cheese. What’s not to love? Melbournians look forward to our Cup Day holiday on the first Tuesday in November, which somehow is now a four-day weekend, with so many of us taking off the Monday as well.
But what about work? What happens on Wednesday, when you’re due back at work? What about if you choose to go to Oaks Day, when there is not an allocated public holiday? How do you figure it all out? Do you just take a sickie, and then stumble to work on the Friday, hungover and bleary-eyed? Or do you end up taking the Friday as well? Are you up-front with your employer? May I suggest if you’re not up-front with your employer that consider doing so?
Remember, your place of work does not shut down for the Carnival. The output, the KPIs, the deadlines are still looming. Your manager has deadlines to meet also; it’s likely that your manager has a boss as well, who may very well be busting his/her chops over your noticeable absence. Employees who take sickies cause a domino effect, as they cost the business in lost revenue, time and productivity. I can almost guarantee that your employer will be willing to hear from you if you plan to make arrangements to have legitimate time off from work while enjoying the fun of the races. Make time now to have an open discussion with your line manager about the upcoming Carnival and your plans for that hectic week. There are ways for you to come to a mutually agreed plan for time off work; most employers are approachable and, as long as you are upfront, an arrangement can be made.
Consider attending just Cup Day, or only Oaks Day, not both. You can always arrange to attend alternately: Cup Day one year, Oaks the next. If you are attending Cup Day, make prior arrangements with your employer about the Wednesday. If you anticipate a VERY BIG day and evening on the grog, maybe ask for an additional day to recover. Don’t be selfish and call in at 8.55AM on Wednesday, in between vomiting and drinking copious glasses of water. If you absolutely feel that you cannot miss either event, consider asking for a week’s annual leave, or time in lieu.
If you are unable to take additional leave, perhaps you are saving all your annual leave for a big overseas holiday, then I urge you to go easy with the alcohol on Cup Day. Just be a grown-up, face up to your responsibilities and drink an elegant sufficiency, so you’re able to put in a decent, full day at the office the next day.
Plan ahead! Be considerate! Be a human!