Don’t lie, you know your compute instead of chill
I work in international development, specifically in creating economic prosperity, using information and communication technologies. I spend my work days spreading the Internet, and to a lesser extent, cellular phones, far and wide.
The noble goal comes back to bite me on the ass every so often, usually when I am on vacation. As it’s my job to be online, to create accessibility, to expand the connectivity of the world’s people, I have no excuse to be offline. To get off-grid and be absolutely inaccessible for a day or a week.
Which means that vacations, the very concept of a separate work and personal life is fluid. If there is a WiFi connection, and work needs to be done, why not do it? Also, if there is no work to be done, why be at the office? What is the concept of an “office” if I can email and phone call from a Puerto Rican beach? Or the road to Tombouctou?
And so work follows me (or is it that I am addicted?) to all corners of the Earth, all the time. In Plaza de Armas, Old San Juan, I am talking to an interested corporate partner. On a Vieques beach, I email about program funding. In Luis MuÃ±oz MarÃn International Airport, a conference call. And this is while I am ostensibly on vacation and is Christmas time.
And I am not alone. What is your working-on-vacation horror story? Your late night, last minute proposal due during the treasured family reunion? Don’t be shy, we all have a Geekcorps vacation now.