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Flexibility For The Win

Flexibility For The Win

I always hear my parents say, “There’s never a good time to go on vacation.” I never understood the problem. What could you possibly need to do at work that’s more important than chillin’ by the pool? Working as an intern opened my eyes to the reality of vacation stress and the implications of taking five days off from work.

It’s summertime. No one wants to be sitting in an office typing away! I was told once that a rainy day at the beach is still better than a sunny day at work. Not too many people would disagree. But how many people get a full vacation? Maybe the time off is approved and there’s a great townhouse a block from the ocean you’ve rented. The problem is organizing your work to be away from everything. With technology, many people are subjected to answering emails and calls on time off and are expected to respond promptly regardless of their out-of-office autoreply and voicemail.

Thankfully, team atmospheres help facilitate a nice vacation for all employees. One of the most important qualities of being an intern (or any employee) has to be flexibility. Time, projects and even work spaces can be changed at a moment’s notice, but being prepared to adapt to a new situation proves your value to the team. Whether it’s a coworker leaving the office for a period of time or you yourself have to be away from your desk, it is always good to have a plan on how to tackle the to-do list.

This week, I found myself helping again with the second round of cooking camp. While I am never opposed to helping the kiddies learn to peel their veggies, I was not planning on spending the day away from work. I also needed a few minutes with both Laurie and Andy before they left on vacation. With everyone’s hectic schedules, it was almost impossible to fit into each other’s schedules. Fortunately we figured out a time, out of the office, where we could all meet and discuss the important projects to be done in their absence.

Whew, glad that’s over! But wait, there’s more. The following week is even more hectic. Because summer is the time for most people to get away and take a vacation, there’s a constant rotation of responsibilities. Just opening the mail has to be assigned when the typical handler is out! A missing cog certainly throws off the normal flow of things, but it doesn’t have to interrupt the output. Working together for a common goal is the foundation of any business and shouldn’t change because one member is kicking it in the Caribbean.

Katie Fox

Katie was our marketing intern during the summer of '16. Since then, she has graduated from IUP with a BS in Marketing and in the spring of 2020, graduated from the University of Pittsburgh School of Law.

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