In Spain we suffer from August paralysis. Since almost everybody takes their annual leave as a block in August, public services, businesses and stores are at half capacity if not less. The result is paralysis. No services, poor attention, closed shops.
Most businesses and government agencies go as far as encouraging as many of their employees as possible to take all their annual leave in August, with total disregard for those customers who may want to be served during that month.
A few days ago we wanted to do some refurbishment at my new work place. The answer from our regular provider was “the person in charge is on leave and won’t be back for 20 days”. Yes, we could move to a different provider, but (a) it is a pain and (b) most would be in a similar situation. Last week I phoned a local government agency to inquire about the parking zone system; the guy whose echo resounded in the empty room across the phone wasn’t able to answer my questions because “the woman in charge of that is on vacation”, and she won’t be back for three weeks! Try getting a plumber in August. Ha!
Wouldn’t it be better, maybe, to scatter annual leave time over the year, and have people take turns so there’s always somebody at work who can deal with customers calling?
What do you think? Is it me, or is this just a stupid way of doing things?