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Here is a strategy for dealing with the desire to work too hard!


2023 March 08 | by Arduino Mancini Stories - Survival Tactics

On vacation, my mood plummets dramatically. Everything bores me.
I must pretend to have fun and not ruin my wife’s and children’s vacation.
I miss work, which I am passionate about, while the day at the beach seems meaningless, and not restful at all.
As soon as I can, I escape to the city, to the office, with the excuse of an urgent and unpostponable commitment.
But I feel guilty. And different from everyone.

This is Mario’s (made-up name, don’t try to guess…) letter to the psychologist column of a magazine some time ago.

Who, the psychologist, explained Mario’s behaviour as a difficulty in adapting to the vacation and encouraged him to break up the beach with small work intervals.

To Mario, if he were a follower of my blog and identified himself in this post, I would like to ask two questions:

  • do you really think that your wife and children do not notice your essential absence?
  • don’t you think that they, like you, do their best to defend the illusion of a “normal” vacation, pretending not to notice your boredom?

Since the cards may have been on the table for a while, I propose shock therapy.

During the upcoming summer vacation, send the family to the beach. If you are not able to tell them openly what they already know, go ahead and fall back on the story of a job that will engage you completely for the next three weeks.

Your wife might be thinking about an affair? Unlikely.

The timetable is as follows.

  • Arrive at the office no later than 7 a.m. and leave no earlier than 10 p.m.: I’m sure you have plenty to do.
  • Dinner at the restaurant below: pizza and Coke are eaten (not enjoyed…) while reviewing a presentation (PC strictly on).
  • Then home. Shower and work until 1 o’clock to prepare the plan for the next day.
  • From 1 to 2 a.m. in bed with eyes wide open to decompress your brain: then sleep generously disturbed by operating problems of various kinds.
  • The alarm goes off at 6 a.m. (but even if it doesn’t it’s okay, you’re already up!) and you start again.

After 5 days, by Friday, you might wish to see your children and your wife even.

Even, you may wish to bravely wet your big toe in seawater.

Well, resist it! Pull long into the weekend and continue at the same pace for the second week. And maybe for the third, if all goes smoothly. What are the cases when it is appropriate to stop treatment?

  • If you get into an accident and drop dead in front of the computer without emitting a moan. You wake up in the hospital with Mom at your bedside (the wife is not certain …).
  • If your mobile phone rings and your wife’s lawyer asks you for an appointment.
  • If suddenly, and unexpectedly, you get gags looking at your desk: close everything and run to the beach, not without announcing your arrival first.
  • If arrived at the seaside unexpectedly, you run to the beach and discover that your children call a handsome young man daddy.
  • If your boss, warned by the security of your behaviour, insists on paying for your sessions with the psychologist (not the one in the magazine, that one is better avoided because he thinks your wife is an idiot …).

If nothing of the above happens?

Then you will find a way to extend your family’s vacation or invent an away trip.

In any case, go ahead with the therapy and wait confidently: sooner or later something happens.

What do you say, Mario? Do you think you can manage?

I’m sure you will…

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