I had not expected my boss to approve my leave request within 12 hours of my asking him. He promptly replied, “Please go ahead. Best of luck!” It was June 6 2014, last working day for the week and last one before I was back to office the following Friday. I started my day at office by 9:30 am. I had 4 interviews to conduct, finish profitability related calculations, two meetings- one with a banker and other with a rating company, discuss and coordinate with plant team and discuss interview feedback with my boss. All went well well but only till 4 pm when the profitability meeting happened.
The enthusiasm to head for the vacation on my boss’s approval was a short lived one. I was already exhausted by Friday morning and seemed to be out of stamina to drive to Shimla- 370 km from Delhi. The motivation finally died when my hard work on the profitability project seemed to go down the drain. I was hearing what I should not have and something I never expected. My mood was as if I had already jumped from a steep cliff into a gorge of self-guilt where death was imminent.
I reached home by 9:30 pm. It was 11:00 pm before I went to bed post failing another 150% level patience-test to calm the anxiousness of my daughters to drive in the night and head straight for Shimla right away. When I drove from Delhi towards Shimla, the thoughts of failure and frustration lingered in my mind. My fall into the gorge of guilt was imminent when my wife released her parachute of assurance and confidence. She spoke the obvious but it was if I heard it for the first time, “You love your job and that is the most important thing. Second, you are sincere and hardworking. Third, you work on a profile that as wide as river Ganges in plains of India.”
Now I am at Shimla and have coordinated sharing some information with my colleagues, replied to SMSes to my associates about my unavailability and I have just emailed the information the Bankers’ had asked for a day earlier.
I am on a vacation!