I remember two years ago when 2020 ended, people figured life would return to how it was in the beforetimes. Here we are two years later and the predictions that this would be “2020 too” seem to still apply.
In Australia, the Christmas break isn’t like what it is in the Northern Hemisphere. Because it’s summer here. January is the month when kids don’t have school, and people stick their camping gear on the back of a ute and drive off into the outback to be off grid for a few weeks. I mean, I don’t, because camping isn’t my thing. But people do. Our clients do.
So that means that deadlines for just about everything are just before Christmas. And typically, about a week before Christmas. Like, this Friday. The 16th. Personally, I’m not working (much) between the 20th and 23rd, because I’ll be Father Christmas at a shopping centre (with my daughter as my elf – so good!). The 16th is very much a deadline.
There are various things that happen when a new year kicks in that should be automated. Partitions might roll over, prices/salaries/etc might change, all that. But this should be ‘normal’, and not need any actual attention. But when people are off grid, anything out of the ordinary can become a bigger deal than it should, as response-times get extended and escalation paths become strained.
At LobsterPot Solutions we’re consultants. We don’t do managed services, and we’re never on call. Except that in some ways, we always are. Our customers are a high priority for us, and if my phone rings, I do my best to answer it and help. Even if I’m not supposed to be working. I figure that if a friend got in touch and needed something, I’d try to be there for them. If a customer gets in touch I’ll do the same thing. People are worth taking time for.
So what do we (or I) do for the end of year? Well, we brace ourselves for being busy, but also make sure we’re taking time for the things that are more important – being there for friends and family, and ideally getting some time to work as Father Christmas.