In March, I walked back into work feeling refreshed from my beautiful cruise around the coast of Egypt. The smell of sand and sea completely vanished when I set foot through the practice doors. It was replaced by the odour of hand sanitiser.
Of course I’d already had contact with the staff during my time off. “Do you know where Donna has hidden the Christmas chocolates?” asked one. “How do you put the physic appointments on again?” asked another. “Katie, Emma and Jen are all off sick,” said a third. I don’t care, I thought. I’m on holiday and I’m having a mojito. The other messages that came through were all about holiday requests.
Despite my out-of-office notification clearly stating that in total I was off on leave for TEN working days, it appears that nobody could wait until I got back to put in their holiday request. Whether they were going in April or in November, they needed to put this request in now. I politely responded to them all: ‘I’ll look at it when I’m back.’
There are so many types of holiday bookers in our practice. You probably have them too:
- The administrator who always wants part of a day off – not a full day, just part of a day
- The dispenser who wants every week with a bank holiday in it
- The GP who wants every week with a bank holiday in it
- The receptionist who wants every week with a bank holiday in it
- The secretary who wants every week with a bank holiday in it
- The nurse who wants every week with a bank holiday in it
(You’re probably catching my drift.)
- The GP who books at the last minute, despite the four-week rule – last minute, every time
- The GP who never books any leave and then has to take it all in December
- The nurses who every summer want the same week off – every summer
- The receptionist who wants to book for her wedding in 2032
- The dispenser who says she definitely booked that time off, although you have no record
- The administrator who manipulates her time owing to somehow create a seven-week holiday
- The technician who wants ALL the school holidays
- The GP who moans about other people taking all the school holidays, then… books all the school holidays
- The administrator who queries her holiday entitlement EVERY year
- The receptionist who forgot she booked leave and comes in anyway
- The secretary who ALWAYS has time off between Christmas and New Year
- The GP who always runs out of annual leave and starts arguing that ‘some of them were training days’
- The GP who hates his wife and almost has to be tricked into taking annual leave
- The secretary who, when booking leave, gives you a two-hour story about what it’s for. I don’t care.
- Finally, last but definitely not least, EVERY MEMBER OF STAFF who every single year queries how their bank-holiday entitlement has been worked out. EVERY SINGLE YEAR!
I think it’s time I booked a holiday.