A friend forwards me an e-mail sent by his company's office manager:
Hey everyone. So Thursday, November 27th (Thanksgiving) and Friday, November 28th are company holidays, therefore you are not required to work. That being said, we have a [crucial customer event] on November 29th so I know that there will be people who will be working. If you intend to work in the office on Friday, November 28th please let me know. I will collect the information and pass it on to those who may need office support that day. For the record, I will not be working. Thanks, Nancy
Yes, Nancy is shirking on Nov. 28th, but she's making arrangements three weeks in advance, by God.
During these lean times, we all have to watch to make sure we're not sending the message that we're simultaneously disengaged and desperate. (Times being what they are, it would be hard not to be some combination of these things; but—again, times being what they are—it's important not to let anyone know.)
I'm beginning a list that I hope we'll all contribute to:
How know you might be coming off as disengaged or desperate or—dangerously—both:
• You've been wishing people "happy holidays" since Halloween, hoping they'll stop bothering you with new work requests until January.
• Every time you talk to your boss, you find some way to mention your kids. Sometimes you slip up and actually refer to them by name: "Mouth to Feed Number One," "Mouth to Feed Number Two," and so on.