“No more papers, no more books, no more teacher’s dirty looks…SUMMERTIME!!” Throughout my childhood, I used to sing this every time I left school on the last day of the school year. For all of us who remember the days of yore when we got 2.5 months of sheer recreation, only to have that taken away from us after school ended, there needs to be something that gets us through the misery of working through June, July and August.
1. CHECK YOUR CALENDAR, SELECT AN OFF DAY, AND PLAN FOR IT We all need something to look forward to in our lives, even if it’s just playing hooky. Shortly after school ended, I remember how depression set in after the July 4 holiday because I knew there wouldn’t be any more weekdays off until Labor Day. One solution for the summertime blues is to schedule a Monday or Friday (wedding rehearsal & dinner is a surefire, can’t-miss excuse) off in July or August so that you tack on an extra three-day weekend (or two).
2. PIGGYBACK YOUR REAL APPOINTMENTS WITH THE OCCASIONAL BOGUS ONE - Remember that dentist appointment you had last week? Well, (wink, wink) the hygienist said you’d have to come back to get a new filling (at least that’s the story you’re sticking to). Funny how the “follow up” appointment always seems to fall on a Friday around 3ish, and since your dentist is across town, why would you bother driving back to the office in rush hour traffic for what likely amounts to a half-hour of work?
3. HAVE A REASON TO CALL IN “SICK” – Maybe you resolved to work on a tan after looking disapprovingly at your pasty complexion. Perhaps you need to take your car in for servicing, and Saturdays at the mechanic can be pretty much useless unless you get there at 7am. Or is it possible you just want to flip the bird to your co-workers from the bleachers of Angel Stadium during a 1:10pm weekday game? Whatever the reason for your shirking responsibilities for the day, make sure you have something to show for it besides having watched Days of Our Lives in your jammies: a tan/sunburn, an enjoyably unusual experience, a fixed car, a renewed registration, anything.
Sometimes, in our effort to claw our way up the professional ladder, we forget we’re human beings with finite amounts of energy and tolerance for our mundane jobs. It’s a shame when people get guilted into not using their allotted time off for fear of a detriment to their job security. If our bosses didn’t want us to use our days off, we wouldn’t have gotten them in the first place! Furthermore, it’s hard to realize sometimes that our bosses were also assistants at one time or another, and can probably go one day or afternoon without you at their beck and call. Lastly, don’t forget that summertime is typically slow in the entertainment biz, so you’re not needed as badly as you think you may be, especially on a Friday when half the town has already mentally checked out for the weekend anyway!