I was at work today. And yesterday for that matter. It’s not east coming back from vacation but I managed to get through the day without the jetlag kicking me in the face. Which was nice, because no one likes being kicked in the face.
I work for a pretty small company. I like the smaller companies. To an extent. Sometimes though, I just can’t help but shake my head. At small companies. At Sweden. Especially during the summer.
Let me first say, I love the Swedish vacation system. I have 25 days of vacation. I have friends in the US who have 10. Now, I’m not much of a mathematician, but 25 is way better than 10.
But after having taken 11 days to be in the US, coming back to Sweden was a bit of a shock. I walked in to the office on Monday and was met by four other people. Count me and we were five. By the end of the day we were six.
Today was even worse. We started with four people at work, total. Around 11 we were joined by a fifth, who then left at around three. By five, we were down to just three people in the office.
It amazes me that anything gets done in Sweden during the summer. And actually, not much does get done. There’s only so much four people can do. And working in an international environment makes it even more obvious that the long vacation periods during the summer can, if not cripple a company, it can at least kick it in the nuts.
I remember moving here in June of 2007. If I had to do it all over again, I definitely wouldn’t pick June to move to Sweden. I was unemployed and so, like a good unemployed person, I was looking for work. I was applying to jobs constantly. Strangely enough, it took me a while to find a full time job. Now I’m starting to understand why. There was no one around to read my, obviously, stellar CV. That’s résumé for all the non-Europeans out there. There was no one to admire my accomplishments and my ability to brag without bragging too much in my well-written cover letter. Just think what all of those companies missed out on.
I was talking to the old man about this, and he brought up an interesting point. Made even more interesting considering he is the Swedish one and worked in Sweden for quite a long time. As the economic environment continues to become more and more international, how long can Sweden, and some other European countries, continue with the long summer vacations? I don’t know, I just hope it can continue as long as I am still living here.
Welcome to Sweden. And the Swedish summer work schedule.