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Are You Taking a Vacation? Or a Fauxcation?

Posted by: Michelle Conlin on June 24, 2008

vacation photo.jpg

Taking a long weekend is not a vacation.

It is a fauxcation.

Wheeler-dealering above on his cell phone—in medias massage—is a lawyer I wrote about last fall on a blog post called “Hey, Guess What? This Man is on Vacation!”

The entry went:
“Meet fancy, big-time, argues-before-the-Supreme Court lawyer Robert Greene Sterne. Here he is last May in Acapulco at Water Ski Paradise, going in for a waterside deep tissue. Ah, vacation. Only…woops. The first morning of Sterne’s first day a la plage, he got word from his law firm—DC-based Sterne, Kessler, Goldstein & Fox— that his first case before the Supreme Court—a high-stakes patent affair—had finally landed a decision. Yes, that’s him—-getting the news from his office while enjoying some lumbar pressure pointing. What multitasking! The rest of Sterne’s fauxcation consisted of a montage of the the swim-trunked executive on a dock, a boat, and pool—all with cell phone in hand chatting up the press and other lawyers.”

Such is the new epidemic, vacation disease , that has taken hold of Corporate America. Fauxcation takers are those who eke out an extra day for one of those long weekend, bring-your-laptop affairs spent in a Treo trance. These ersatz getaways never deliver on the great decompression researchers say is necessary for peak performance.

Last summer I wrote a story for BusinessWeek called “Do Us A Favor, Take A Vacation.” The story detailed many of the psychological reasons why you, boss—yes you!—should please, please get out of here so that we all can, too.

Remember: peak performance demands down time. Down time is not a long weekend. Nor a few extra days here and there.

Do us a favor, take a vacation. (As in at least one week and preferably more). Not a fauxcation.



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