Accounting

At what point is it okay to ignore work-related emails and messages when you're on vacation? I'm on PTO and have not gone a single day without opening my work laptop. They ask me to work on things when they know I am on PTO. Managers also keep sending meeting invites on my calendar when it's blocked off with out of office.

likefunnyhelpfulsmart
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Ok so to help everyone in public accounting and ALLLLLLL consultants (because let’s face it, you’re 100% a nice-to-have) , here is the reality: you are and never will be important enough to have to work on vacation. Ever. Ever ever ever. The firms are designed with a next person up mentality with an incredible about of redundant knowledge, and that’s what allows a firm to be SO lucrative and versatile and able to take on more work. Your work is not unique (even if you’re great at the work you do) and therefore someone else can do it. You are a complete pushover from associate to partner if you can’t take vacation without email. And that one manager who says answer your emails? S/he is a douche and won’t succeed in the firm long enough for you to take their advice seriously, so definitely ignore that hocus pocus

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likeuplifting
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And another thing, if you actually enjoyed your vacation and stopped responding to the fucking emails, people would find another solution/person to respond. And YOU are the problem here, because you now have set up an expectation you’ll respond to emails on your break, so you’ve ruined it for the rest of us. Thanks a lot Karen

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likefunny
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As a manager, I expect my staff to manage their calendars. I can't always keep up with everyone's unique time off situations. If I have approved your time off, I don't expect you to accept meetings during that time. I may just be including you for your reference it so that you are included in subsequent replies to the meeting. You should be able to tell if something is hitting the fan that you need to tend to while on vacation. Those should be very rare occasions. We're not surgeons. No one is dying on table while you are away. If you can't figure out if it is an emergency, ask. Now, if I'm scheduling a 1:1 with you when you are off, go ahead and call me out, it better, politely propose a new time that works for you. Own your career. Communicate. You are human and are expected to act as such. Take breaks. Have a life.

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likesmart
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I agree 100%. Be a responsible, know when you need to be engaged or not. Enjoy your PTO.

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I never bring my work laptop on vacation.

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likesmarthelpful
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Don’t reply. You are out of office. Sometimes People send meeting request to groups and don’t pay attention who is out. Don’t respond to those. I get my email on my phone, so it’s nice if there is a real emergency, I can respond. (But you’re an accountant. There are no real accounting emergencies. No one is going to die.) And since im checking things, I’m not sorting thru 200 emails when I get back. If you made the error or dropped the ball, then of course fix it on your PTO if you can. But then don’t bill that time to PTO. And of course, you can always say “I’m at my mom/friend/grandmother/mistress’s house painting the ceiling and my laptop is at my house. I can’t look at that until I get home tomorrow”

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likefunny
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Are you kidding me? I don’t even turn on my laptop during PTO days/weeks.

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likesmarthelpful
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Oof, you are making it easy for them to take advantage of you. I pretty much announce a week or two before that I’ll be on vacation. And I’ll keep bringing it up. And i set OOO auto response. Then I don’t turn my laptop on and turn my work phone off. Works great, and I still got promoted

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likehelpful
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What are you doing? You are vacationing all wrong! Just respond to emails as needed to keep things moving but don’t do meetings. Definitely do not do substantive work.

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I am someone who needs to trully leave work behind in order to properly vacation so I dontm but I also plan my vacations well during more quiet timea and work hard before to make sure the team is well set io and can go on without me

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likeuplifting
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Golden rule. Have your out of office message say you are ooto until xx and will respond to all emails upon your return. And to call your cell for anything urgent. That way you are still accessible if ppl really need you but set the expectation that emails wont be attended to. And ppl think twice before they call you with some8thats bot trully urgent

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likehelpful
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This is exactly how I go about it. Set the out of office, tell the people with whom you work, internal and clients, that if it is urgent and you need to address they should text or call. Most things can, and should, be handled by someone else.

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Decline the invites 👍

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likeupliftingsmartfunny
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I wouldn't even acknowledge them during during PTO, then accept when I get back (bc I'm a team player like that)

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likefunny
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As soon as you set the out of office message, they should cease to exist. People need to respect other people's well-earned time off. We give enough to this job as it is.

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Before you leave, tell them you will be building huts in the Amazon rain forest and will not have access to internet or electricity.

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likefunny
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Set expectations and boundaries that you are unavailable during that time. Propose a new time on their meeting invites for when you’re back.

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likehelpful
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If you want to have a successful career, boss up and answer your e-mail. Delegate all the work but be accessible to answer questions that only you know the answer to. It’s really not that hard...

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funnylikehelpful
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SC1 Is a typical bird

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I get the pressure so I’ll give you an alternative if you feel too strange just ignoring emails. Read them. Respond with something like “I’m on PTO now, but will look into this when I’m back on Monday/Tuesday/Wednesday/in three years” That shows you’re responsible and professional, but also sets a boundary that’s hard to argue with. At that point, someone would have to point blank tell you to ignore your PTO to get something done. Most people won’t risk doing it, even if they may subtly infringe on your PTO if you say nothing. I’m someone who does always check emails on PTO in case some absolute disaster happens and there’s a fire that needs to be put out. So that’s my take

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likehelpfulfunny
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If you responded to even one of those emails or invites, then you enabled the behavior that it's ok for them to continue doing it. You've now set that expectation. If you don't want it, squash it now.

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likehelpful
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On PTO?!? F that. When I’m out, I respond if and only if I feel like it and I like you. Expect all my teams to be out and fully disconnected. Very easy to become resentful and burn out if you don’t take time off.

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In all honesty I have been that sucker that works on vacation. All it's done is made me the sucker that will always get the messed up, last minute, disaster assignments because Directors know I'll fix it. And that has made me super resentful. I've given up my time with not a damn thing in return. Wish me luck on my interview tomorrow because I'm bouncing.

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likefunny
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I think you are absolutely right. When you are the one who bends to what everyone else says, they will give you the crap jobs. I have also found this, and the resentment is real. I feel like it's so hard to know what the right thing to do is sometimes. I feel like they want you to be available all the time, but then when you are, this happens.

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Lock your laptop away. It’s YOUR PTO, you’ve earned it and you can do anything or nothing you want. They should all know better.

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likeuplifting
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Say you aren’t working. I’m on PTO for a reason. And certainly don’t book a full 8 hour day.

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Bingo. I’d be hitting their code for at least half an hour every email replied to. You book less PTO and they’ll think twice next time if you really need to be working on your “vacation.” Win-win!

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Go camping with no cell service 🙃

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likesmart
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Or at least lie and say you did.

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likefunny
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Your OOO should be set to decline invites automatically

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