It’s silly season at work. There are two every year. In the summer, the place is quiet because the staff with children take the opportunity to go on two-week summer holidays. Nothing gets done, so you can plan ahead and get a stack of things ready to do then.
It’s a good time to work in isolation, not least because no emails you send or voicemail messages you leave are going to be answered for a while. Get used to finding things to do.
It was even worse when I worked for a large Anglo-Swedish pharmaceutical manufacturer. Sweden is heavily unionised, and the entire country effectively went on holiday for six weeks in the Summer. Completely ludicrous, but the third rail of management was trying to do something about it, so it went unspoken. Half the firm ground to a halt over the summer. The other half, of course, was in America, and they thought they were running the show.
Christmas is the other quiet time, when virtually everyone takes holiday. That seems really silly to me, becuase there’s quiet often nothing to do for those left in the office. Most people are there on production support, but their users are away drinking mulled wine at home. The others take long lunches and work short hours, which, to my mind, makes it a great time to be at my desk.
Whilst I’ve got all this time, I’m trying to learn New Things. I’m brushing up on my C++, and trying my hand (again) at Python. I bought the O’Reilly book years ago and never read it, and I’ve just installed the fantasic IronPython Studio, so now is a perfect time to give it another go.
Here’s a list of things to do: