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A Change is as Good as a Rest...?

Posted on 2006/06/15 06:53:34 (June 2006).

[Tuesday 13th June]
'Twas a fairly uneventful day. Work was OK I suppose - I was temporarily on a slightly different assignment to the hellish one of the last few weeks, and whilst this wasn't exactly a dream job either, I suppose, as they say, "a change is as good as a rest".

Well, no it isn't really as good, a rest would be much better now.

I realised the other day the sum total of days I can take off for the rest of this year amounts to a rather pitiful 10... and following the extravagant slew in the first half of the year, the latter half of the year in Japan is notably absent of public holidays. I desperately want to go back to the UK for Christmas this year, as it was just plain awful being here last Christmas, and it isn't worth flying all that way for anything less than a week. So once you remove five days holiday for Christmas (as of course there are no public holidays around there in Japan), I'm only really left with five days I can take off between now and the end of December. That's less than one day a month.

I could go crazy and blow that on a week's holiday, but then I would be left with absolutely nothing for any other eventualities. You'd never believe it, but I have already used up my annual allocation for sick leave - I am "allowed" to be sick 3 days per year (actually I think it is officially only 2 as I am still in the first year of my job). I pretty much blew that in one week last month with a single (albeit rather nasty) cold. So if I get ill again, officially speaking I have to take it out of my holiday allocation. Yea, right! Still, five days can easily get whittled away with the odd day off here and there for long weekends or unforseen circumstances.

It is a bit of a gloomy prospect to have the hot oppressive Japanese summer ahead of me, and no doubt a hard slog at work, with probably no real chance of a decent holiday during that time. This being the case, amazed as I am to hear myself even thinking it, I find myself almost looking forward to the next business trip. Hateful as those things are in themselves, I suppose it does at least break up the routine a bit. Realistically, a business trip is probably my only real chance of escaping from Tokyo this summer.

So maybe a change is as good as a rest...? Well, still I'm thinking: no, not really. That phrase probably needs a little revision:

"In the absence of a rest, a change is slightly better than nothing."

I know my version isn't as catchy, but I think the original misrepresents the needs of working people a bit, and was probably a contributing factor to the thinking of the idiot in HR at my company, who determined 10 or so days per year was a reasonable amount of holiday.

Comment 1

I suppose you could make it catchier by saying "A change is the next best thing to a rest", John... :-)

Posted by Bryan at 2006/06/15 10:50:20.

Comment 2

Bryan - it crossed my mind, however, that would imply there was nothing which was better than a change, but not quite as good as a rest... Like for example a really nice lunch. (Or does that come under the "rest" category?)... err or a small payrise then.

Posted by John at 2006/06/15 14:24:27.

Comment 3

There's a science to this kind of thing you know! You don't suppose whoever came up with "many a mickle makes a muckle" went about creating that in an entirely slapdash way do you? No they did not. I bet they spent years of hard slog just on the groundwork of choosing appropriate metrics, before they could even begin to consider carefully measuring a wide sample of mickles and muckles until finally they felt it was appropriate to announce that finely tuned assertion to the world. And thank god they did! Just imagine the anarchy that would ensue, should someone have incorrectly postured that mickles and muckles were of similar - or even *gasp* - equal value?

Posted by John at 2006/06/15 14:30:29.

Comment 4

What about the Emporer's Birthday?

Posted by Mum at 2006/06/15 16:04:14.

Comment 5

So, you're not having fun living there, then mate? It sounds like you're having a shitty time of it.

Posted by Rob Lang at 2006/06/15 16:15:29.

Comment 6

You can always shoot yourself...!

Posted by Sheri at 2006/06/15 16:34:29.

Comment 7

Sheri, wouldn't a sharp sword, about 2 ft long, be more approriate ?

Posted by Kev at 2006/06/15 20:28:07.

Comment 8

Rob: no it's not all that great at the moment. I think the problem is mostly down to the job recently, but life outside of work has been a bit mundane too. Probably the two things go a bit hand-in-hand.

Certainly the job front is improving a little bit though - I'm nearing the end of the working week as I write, and when I compare this week to the previous one, it has been a big improvement.

As you put it though, to have gone downhill any more than last week would have required tunneling!

Posted by John at 2006/06/16 06:29:06.

Comment 9

Kev. Yeah, I see your point. What better sign of integration than commiting hara-kiri !!!

Good luck, John! When you'll see your intestines coming off your belly, the hardest would be over...

Posted by Sheri at 2006/06/16 06:34:18.

Comment 10

Is it possible to to get fake hari-kiri intestines from the japanese equivelent of the seaside Joke Shop. I imagine it would include a small plastic blade and rubber intestines, probably 'with' real blood gore that doesn't work particularily well in the true tradition of joke shop products.

Sorry thats probably going a bit too far!

Posted by Kev at 2006/06/16 08:19:22.

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