For the last two days I’ve learned some things I never thought I would. Like how many travel segments maxes out a AAA TripTik…
So since those two days of vacation-planning obsession have begun to make me feel tired of my adventure before I’ve even left for it, I thought I’d take a break and explain yesterday’s reference to a potentially career-limiting vacation.
Sometime in the 1990’s, my parents started vacationing with my mom’s youngest sister & her family. And sometime in the late 1990’s, they started vacationing in Myrtle Beach. (Well, OK, usually Surf Side, south of Myrtle Beach proper. Occasionally North Myrtle Beach. Whatever; not the point.) And somewhere along the line, I started going too.
We went every year. We had a good time, and were blessed with great weather. Every. Single. Year.
I believe it was our fourth year in Myrtle Beach when my vacation fell the same week as the quarterly update call for employees. I was working at a software company then. The tech bubble had burst, and for 4 prior quarters the calls had included some variation on “yes, I’m sure you’ve all heard about the recent layoffs, but they’re all behind us now and we are positioned for growth this quarter.”
So from vacation, I dialed in to hear the call. And for now the 5th straight quarter, they acknowledged layoffs… but this time they stated that they hadn’t quite finished them all.
From my seat on vacation, I really hoped that didn’t mean ME.
Vacation ended. I went home. I went to work. That first day I dove back into projects but didn’t get very far when the call from HQ came to let me know. It was me. After 10 years at that company, part of me felt like I was leaving my family. And another part of my brain was just locked in disbelief. I remember thinking, For this I came back from vacation? If I’d known this, I could have stayed on the beach!
But that was that. They had similar calls, I heard, for 3 more quarters before things started to settle. By then, I was long ensconced in another company, another industry. And that was a good place to be for a long while.
And every summer, I went with my family to Myrtle Beach. And it was a good time. We had nice weather. I relaxed, breathed in the salt air, read my books, and enjoyed the vacation. Every year…
And then, 4 years later – when things at work had stopped being “good” by most standards – about 1 month after I came back from that vacation, my position, along with a few others’ had been eliminated.
I was a lot less shocked (in fact I was a little bit giggly) about it this time. Things hadn’t been so great there for a while. And the 4-year, MB-connection didn’t strike me until later.
But it’s there, you know. It’s just out there, ominously hovering.
Within two years after that, I’d gone on my first international vacation, and caught a severe wanderlust. I didn’t go back to MB with the family (though they still went, and continued to have a wonderful time as they should), in favor of new places.
And, oh yeah.. because it’s possible that MB is hazardous to my career.
So that’s what that’s about.
And if you were wondering… the max steps in a TripTik is 42. And the resulting TripTik itself will be over 140 pages long.