or Connect
EpicSki › The Barking Bear Forums › On the Snow (Skiing Forums) › General Skiing Discussion › A day off in the mountains, what would you do?
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

A day off in the mountains, what would you do?

post #1 of 30
Thread Starter 
I was having an already busy day at work today when my boss pulled me aside late this afternoon to have a 'discussion' with me. Before I move on to the point of her discussion, some background information :



</font>
  • 2 weeks ago, I was sent to Buffalo to support CBS in their broadcast of the NCAA Tournament.</font>
  • During this week, we normally get a day in-between game days where one of the two people can take the day off. The other person only has to come back in to turn the machines on and test to make sure connections are still working properly. This takes about 2 hours.</font>
  • Last year, I volunteered to be the person to come in as the person I was on site with had family in the area. This year, hoping I may get the full day off, and realizing there were some ski areas nearby, I took my skis with me.</font>
  • This was the 4th time I had taken my skis on a business trip, twice before to Aspen, and once to Whistler.</font>
  • During these three previous trips, I had skied a total of 4 days. Each time I went to Aspen, I stayed an extra day, taking a paid day off at the end of the trip to ski. At Whistler, I had 2 half days off and skied the other half of the day.</font>
  • This year at Aspen, I was assigned a post halfway up the mountain. After working the first 2 days without skiing and having an average wait time of 10 minutes waiting on uphill transportation (snowmobiles), I decided to take my gear with me. My only time of skiing was coming back down for lunch and at the end of the day. I was also requested to run the course twice to test out timing devices.</font>
  • Despite previous events of me taking skis on site, no one ever mentioned to me they thought it was a problem.</font>



Now for the bosses discussion. She basically brought it to my attention that some people in the company did not like the fact that I was taking my extra time and going skiing. Two of her arguments were that people were afraid to ask me to do things because they thought I would blow them off to go skiing, and that if I hurt myself, I would be unable to work.



She also mentioned that to most people in the company it would be a no-brainer to NOT bring their skis. This is a completely different mind set than what I have grown up thinking. I grew up in a family where my dad once took 3 extra days on a trip for a job interview to go solo backpacking in the Cascades. He also regularly takes his skis to Pittsburgh on Westinghouse meeting trips to ski at Seven Springs. The idea of NOT taking a play toy somewhere because I am supposed to be there only on business, and for not fun is completely foreign to me.



My thoughts on her comments were that if people really had a problem with me doing this, they should tell me. Gossiping and talking behind my back is not the way to solve a problem.



In an effort to end the meeting and get back to work, so I could actually leave at a reasonable time, I basically told her that I could see from the companies perspective I could see why they may have a problem, and that I would weigh my decision carefully whether to bring any toys (skis, bikes, climbing gear). However, after going back to work, and eating dinner at the house, I had time to think about it, and the more I think I was wrong to tell her this.



How would you respond to you coworkers who don't like the fact you actually like to have fun in your off time.



How would you respond to you boss, who even though you know on several occasions has stood up for you, still gets you to try and think like everyone else (Mr. or Mrs. Corprate)?




Thanks for you input!
post #2 of 30
Would they rather you went to a bar and got drunk?

I'd tell the boss that I figure what I did on my own time was my business and that if I wasn't allowed to choose my own activities while not working during business trips, nobody else should be allowed to do so either, such as visiting family in the trip area.
post #3 of 30
I am truly sorry that this happened to you. However, being a person with an extremely low tolerance for micro managers, I am not the person to give you sound advice. My former experience of working for 8 years at an all women's gym, where the management style was at best, passive agressive, is clear proof that at a certain point, when I realize that I am working for a moron, my response to the form of intimidation you described would make Gonzo look like a saint!

This is politically incorrect, but the women's movement has done nothing more than to teach female managers to act like the male "opressors" they complained about.

To dangle the job perks in front of you, and them deny them to you, is darn right mean, bitchy and manipulative! :
post #4 of 30
So, none of your other co-workers ever bring their golf clubs, or tennis rackets, or playing cards to help fill free time on business trips. Boy, that seems so silly to me I'm not sure how recommend you approach it.
post #5 of 30
By jhstroup:
Quote:
My thoughts on her comments were that if people really had a problem with me doing this, they should tell me. Gossiping and talking behind my back is not the way to solve a problem.
I agree. However, gossiping is the way of the world.

What you do in your free time should be up to you. The only issue is whether your free time activities could reasonably be confused by others as taking place on work time.

Whenever I travel for business during the ski season, I always bring my skis along if my route takes me anywhere close to a ski area. I then take a few days off or use the weekend to go skiing [img]smile.gif[/img]
post #6 of 30
Also, when co workers start gossiping, you have to ask, "what the heck are they after?"
post #7 of 30
Ask your boss if she doesn't agree that this is silly? Ask her if your skis have ever compromised your work? Have a little laugh together and agree that a few of your coworkers ought to be able to "get over it".(at least in an ideal world)
post #8 of 30
I don't know what the rules, regs and corporate culture are in your part of the universe, but I'll tell you that almost all of my western skiing and backpacking over the past 30 years was done by staying an extra day or more at my own expense, after the business part of the trip was complete. My bosses all knew this was the deal with me, and were OK with it. Everyone knew this is how I spent my vacation time and I never got a bit of flack about it.

I will say, however, that only once did I ever ski before or during the business part of the trip. I was supposed to give a big presentation at Los Alamos and nearly didn't make it over from Taos because a big storm rolled in. After that, I always did the fun stuff after the business stuff was complete.

I realize you can't tell your boss to "stuff it", and you're probably asking the wrong group for advice on what to say ( ), but it looks like you got some great replies/ammunition in the previous posts.

Good luck,

Tom / PM
post #9 of 30
Baloney. If you're not on the clock, you can do whatever you want. They can't manage your private time.

Craig
post #10 of 30
Quote:
Originally posted by Kneale Brownson:
Would they rather you went to a bar and got drunk?

Well yes, because that is probably all they have to do, hence the jealousy.
post #11 of 30
Until this manager is willing to approve extra pay to offset time away from your home and family then she has no input into what you do with the off time.

The point of getting hurt is moronic and that same logic would apply to driving a car, going for a run or all the staff who go out for a smoke break in the quest to be stricken with cancer.

Kneale has a very good point about getting drunk and have a feeling that this is the sort of productive 'bonding' your company might see as acceptable and somehow overlook the impact of hangovers.

A former boss of mine asked if my daily (worked evenings) skiing and cycling impacted my work performance. I looked him in the eye and said 'not as much as a hangover and that seems quite common and accepted'. That ended that line of questioning.

The worst thing is this manager is probably hiding behind 'other staff' when actually it's just her and maybe one other on her coat tails that has the problem.

I'd seriously consider getting the resume together.

[ April 08, 2004, 08:31 AM: Message edited by: L7 ]
post #12 of 30
Not to be the devil's advocate, but...

Were these actual "days off"?

Or were these paid days where you were expected to be "on-call" if needed?

I'm not clear about it from your original post.

There's a world of difference between the two. If it was an actual day off, they shouldn't have a thing to say about what you do. But if you were taking some slack time off in the middle of a supposed work-day, I can see why they might get all hissy about it.

Like it or not, the corporate world is full of politics and one-upsmanship. And sometimes like a family of small children, somebody starts saying "Johnny has a better cube than me" or "Susy gets to go home earlier" or something else stupid like "how come he gets to go skiing?"

It's easy to say "just stuff it" but in this economy, that's a big risk. Unless you're ready to walk away without a Plan B.

(Or maybe she is clearly wrong, and I've become a PHB. In which case I better come up with my own plan B soon)
post #13 of 30
If you are skiing inbetween days of work it would be a concern if something happens to you. You are sent offsite to do work and backups are not available if you are incapacitated. I am a manager and when I am offsite working I even advise my team to stay away from risky activities and foods just so I won't be short of people. No manager wants to compromise a project that was coordinated for a long time. Now, at the end of the job I can't see the reason why they can't take a day off and have some fun. They can indulge themselves from base jumping to eating fugo sashimi. I just say enjoy, take care and see you on the next project.

It is probably best to diplomatically clarify with management what you can and can not do when assigned to an offsite job. Specifically ask them if one can take a day off after you finish a job offsite. If they say no, then that goes for everybody in your company. I am pretty sure this policy will not be popular since at one time or another most of your coworkers had probably taken extra time to go sightseeing, shop or visit relatives. If they say yes, ask them what activities are allowed. If possible pass a memo about the policy. The point of all of these is to show the absurdity of dictating one's extracurricular activity on their day off.

Good luck!
post #14 of 30
Quote:
Originally posted by jhstroup:

Two of her arguments were that people were afraid to ask me to do things because they thought I would blow them off to go skiing,
PromiSKIous didn't ask, so I will - is she referring to work - related "things" or are these folks "afraid" to ask you to socialise? If the latter, take them through a ropes course or something.

Quote:
The idea of NOT taking a play toy somewhere because I am supposed to be there only on business, and for not fun is completely foreign to me.
Moral turpitude through anticipation of idleness is a rather Calvinist concept. Not precisely the road to best mental health, hmmn? Scarily, I have one close friend that actually believes it.


Quote:
How would you respond to you boss, who even though you know on several occasions has stood up for you, still gets you to try and think like everyone else (Mr. or Mrs. Corprate)?
Can you, with chance of being believed, claim that skiing or climbing is a social sport much like golf? That you are actually building contacts and relations outside of your project team?
post #15 of 30
So if you were going to cover a GOLF tournament, and you were on a GOLF course, and you were a GOLFER, would they still expect you NOT TO GOLF on your off time?

Do they expect you to sit in a motel room after work and look at a wall? You could get mugged if you shopped or walked outside. You could choke on dinner at a restaurant. You could have a cardiac from lack of exercise if you don't ski.

This corporate type of asinine thinking really does me in. I worked for a great company in Iowa, and I had to take a week long trip for training to Philadelphia after my first year. The class was Monday-Friday. Even though the class was within walking distance of the hotel, they reserved a car for me, and told me to stay the weekend after class to sightsee and unwind--with meals, hotel, and car rental on them. I had a great time!

They understood the value of down time.
post #16 of 30
Been there, done that. Can't say I've worked it all out, I still get indirect negative feedback on skiing and hiking out of cellphone range, and even about spending time with my kids. But it sounds like you have a cool job that's worth keeping, especially if (a) there's no alternative, or (b) you can take advantage, on your personal time, of the travel and ski opportunities it gives you.

Who knows about (a), but about (b), I'd try to diplomatically stake out a position. As soon as possible I'd ask Ms. Control Freak what exactly is the problem, if this is personal time. Whatever her answer, you can probably craft a reasonable response that clears this up for future opportunities. Other people have personal pursuits -- religion, museums, and many less savory -- that they pursue on free time. Yours is conspicuous because you check a big ski bag. If that's really so awful (and for the record it's not) why not just pack your boots, and use travel as an opportunity to demo?

If it's not really free time -- i.e., you need to be on call or accessible some way -- then I'd offer to invest in whatever electronic leash will work. Two-way radios, pagers, whatever.

A problem, but a good problem to have -- you could be chained to a desk ...
post #17 of 30
I usually bring my boots and rent skis when I get a chance to work in some skiing on a business trip. But seriously folks, I work in the tv industry as well and I would not have any problem with nor any say in what one of the crew members did on his time off. I agree that if you're on call you need to be accessable, but if you are off for the day, then you are off for the day.

On approaching the subject with your boss... now that gets tricky. I would tell her it's none of her business, but then I don't get along so great with my boss so I may not be the best person to give advice.

A long time ago I had a project that required me to go to Taos. It kept getting put off and put off. Finally I went to my boss and told her that if this trip didn't happen during ski season she might as well shoot me. Great boss! I got 2 powder days in at Taos!


On the other hand, I was shooting in Aspen in December 2002 (not at an event)for two days and didn't get to ski at all. We even took a snowcat into the backcounty - it nearly killed me! I don't think I will ever take a business trip in the mountains in winter again without making sure I've built in some time for skiing.
post #18 of 30
Quote:
Originally posted by promiSKious:
If you are skiing inbetween days of work it would be a concern if something happens to you. You are sent offsite to do work and backups are not available if you are incapacitated. I am a manager and when I am offsite working I even advise my team to stay away from risky activities and foods just so I won't be short of people.
Good luck!
I understand what you are saying, but I have to disagree with this. If I am inbetween days of work........unless they are paying me.......It is mine to do with as I please. If you would like me to "take it easy" and sit around doing nothing then pay me to do so.
post #19 of 30
This topic should be posted on the tgr forum in the form of a rant. They'd be sure to come up with innovative ideas on finding out who resents your skiing and hitting back at them.

I'm all with the crowd that said it's your right to go ski (good reply Queen B). It's amazing how envious and narrow-minded people can be. And indeed it is probably only the boss and one other person tops who are actually concerned.

Let me offer a contrasting story: back in 1999, I hadn't yet skied outside my home country, Romania (not known for the best European skiing). So the boss of my department found for me a conference in Vienna which I could attend (to speak about investment in Romania), since he had promised me to do something about me skiing in the Alps. Well I went to a week's holiday in Lech before the conference, I got snowed in, overstayed by 5 days and missed the conference. The boss had the decency not to make me pay the airfare!

Moral being: look for another company. What they said is pigheaded. Or if you are so irreplaceable that a fall when skiing would destroy the project you're on, ask for a doubling of the salary.
post #20 of 30
Erm, I just realised that my signature applies particularly well in this situation.

(Of course the talent of successful living is to work out WHICH half the time).
post #21 of 30
Lets face it most of us are selling our time. (ask any attorney) and if they are not paying you then your time is yours. I quit a job where they tried to put me on call without paying me. As far as you getting hurt skiing, I think you have greater odds being hurt and unable to work in an auto accident. Your boss had her session with you now it's time you had a session with her to present your case and ask her for clarity with her issues. Good luck.
post #22 of 30
Quote:
Originally posted by jhstroup:



She basically brought it to my attention that some people in the company did not like the fact that I was taking my extra time and going skiing. Two of her arguments were that people were afraid to ask me to do things because they thought I would blow them off to go skiing, and that if I hurt myself, I would be unable to work.


How would you respond to you coworkers who don't like the fact you actually like to have fun in your off time.

How would you respond to you boss, who even though you know on several occasions has stood up for you, still gets you to try and think like everyone else (Mr. or Mrs. Corprate)?


Thanks for you input!
jhstroup, basically it comes down to Corporate Culture. I doubt that the main objection is your safety, that is most likely a smoke screen. What it sounds like to me is envy. I too travel for work those that do not really have no understanding how tedious and boring it is. Most folks stuck in an office think all you are doing is dining, drinking, skiing...When traveling in a group for work those that take off to do their own thing are often thought of as not being a team player. Fair no, but true.

As to what do to about your co-workers? Nothing really, go along with what the group wants. Schedule a day off at the end of the trip. Do not say it is for skiing say nothing at all. Remember it is the envy thing. Your boss? Thank him/her for raising the concern and leave it at that.
post #23 of 30
Try a little sugar before deciding to hit them with a 2x4, but us the sledge if nothing else works.

Working as a photojournalist for a Knight-Ridder newspaper, we got a new boss, and as bosses are wont to do, he wanted to change things.

Normally around town we worked five 8-hour days and assignments were doled out so they could be finished in that time, neccessary because yesterdays news is worthless. In spot news situation we either stayed as long as needed, often overnight, but in most cases someone was sent to releive us so we didn't need to stay extra time.

Then came the day when I was sent to Tuscon for spring training of baseball and there was a non activity day and the office said to take it as one of my days off that week. OK. So I turned my beeper and radio off and went to Mount Lemmon ski area. Well, all hell broke loose that day, the reporter who stayed in the hotel with the team tried to get hold of me but didn't even know where I went, and a player beat up another quite severely, etc. etc.

Now it isn't like there were no pictures available to the paper, the AP and UPI photographers had it covered totally but the paper wanted it covered from a local angle.

The upshot of it was that a decree came down that all photographers at all times needed to have their beeper and radio on on their days off and needed to tell the chief where we would spend the weekend so just in case something big happened he could call the shooter closest to the point and have him/her cover it.

Refusal to do so was called insubordination and was a firing offense. The argument that we were off the clock was countered that as soon as we received the call we were on the clock with pay and subject to their rules.

It took a threat by the Newspaper Guild, our union, of a walkout and a natioonal mediator to get that reversed, the argument being that if that was allowed to stand for any length of time it would become standard operating procedure, especially for new hires.

So I would try to tell them you will be incomunicado for the day off unless they put you on the clock.

....Ott
post #24 of 30
Speaking from the point of view of someone who is a veteran of this bullshit big-company corporate culture, sometimes you gotta play the game. It sounds like the problem is that by bringing your skis (which is, after all, big, hard-to-miss luggage), you're giving some people the impression that you're on the trip to have fun and will somehow give work the short shrift (is that a word?)

Sounds like someone is questioning your commitment to the job, and that your boss feels these questions are valid. Maybe you can reassure your boss that yes, you're totally dedicated and will do whatever needs to be done (and try not to barf as you say it.) Next time, pack your boots in your suitcase and rent skis and poles onsite. If you need to tell somebody of your whereabouts, simply say, "I'm going out, I'll be back at 5:00."

So much of corporate life is image and perception. Sad but true.
post #25 of 30
I think skiing is an activity that is difficult to avoid exposure when you try to tell a white lie. Especially those racoon eyes will give it away. I think, if you take a day or two off after the official trip is over and its on your own time would be the best. Use the business trip as a money saving travel spring board. Afterall, during the business trip, if there is a gap of one day, you are still on company time.

I once went on to a business trip with my boss and many other co-workers in a big company wide convention. After the first day, went to a bar and got halfway drunk, even though I did appear in the rest of the convention, the boss did not apprciate my activities and it did affect my performance review.
post #26 of 30
Quote:
Originally posted by chickadee:
Sounds like someone is questioning your commitment to the job, and that your boss feels these questions are valid. Maybe you can reassure your boss that yes, you're totally dedicated and will do whatever needs to be done (and try not to barf as you say it.) Next time, pack your boots in your suitcase and rent skis and poles onsite. If you need to tell somebody of your whereabouts, simply say, "I'm going out, I'll be back at 5:00."

So much of corporate life is image and perception. Sad but true.
That's what I was thinking too. Just be discreet. It shouldn't be anyone's business what you're doing on your time off. And while renting skis is added expense, it's better than sitting around doing nothing, and a good excuse to try all the latest gear. Pack your boots in your suitcase and when you get time off, just dissappear. And wear good, thick sunscreen. I ski about 100 days a year and have very little goggle tan because of the waxy SPF30 stuff I use.
post #27 of 30
Obviously these "coworkers" & "boss" don't share the same enthusiasm for skiing that you do. If they evem remotely understood the addiction then it wouldn't be an issue. If you took running shoes and hit some trails would they be concerned? I can see how this disturbs you.

Ahh... but a solution is at hand. When interviewing for mt current job in Aspen the boss asked: "Are you okay with the 7 inch rule?" Acting like I didn't know where the question was going I naively asked "What's the 7" rule?" Boss: " That rule says that if we get to the office and there's 7 inches of snow or more on the hill we drop everything and go skiing..." So viola! I had finally found my dream job.

You say your in Broadcasting. The company I work for owns and operates a local 24-Hour RSN netwoked station. Plenty of broadcast engineering work to be had...Channel-16 Aspen.

Not everyone understands the the mentality of the addicted skier. Surround yourself with people that do.
post #28 of 30
Thread Starter 
Holy crap, there was so much response to this it would take a novel just to respond back to everyone!



Basically the answer I got was that while you are on site, you are always on company time, regardless of whether or not the client says they need you that day, and since I am salary, not hourly, I can see there point there. From their perspective since skiing is a dangerous activity, it should not be done. They see a differnece between getting hurt skiing and something else happening, say taking a boat tour under Niagra Falls, and having the boat sink, or getting in a car wreck on the way up. I do not see things from this point of view, and apparently, neither do most of the people who responded to this! [img]smile.gif[/img]



Interestingly enough, a lot of responses to this were people saying "Would they rather you go out and get drunk?", or "If you went to a golf tournament, would they expect you to not take you clubs?". Where do you draw the line? If you tell me I can't ski, how about the people who come in to work late with hangovers because they are 'experiencing the night life' in the city they are visiting? How would they like it if drinking was banned? Personally, I think you stand a better chance of something going wrong if you go out drink than if you ski. Not to sound anti-drinking, because I do drink, the thing is, I know how to manage myself, and know when enough is enough, and that I should head back to get enough sleep to perform at my best the next day. The interesting thing about the golf club point, is that the same guy who I was working with, the one who stated on his evaluation of me that bringing the skis was a problem, is working a golf tournament this week, and took his clubs! What a sack of #$&!!!#@!



As for the points that it is mean to have a company dangle incentives out in front of you, or send to inticing places, is that it is supposed to be your reward just to be there. I have tried to explain that just being there is more like a prison sentance than a reward if you do not get to get out and enjoy it, but know one I talk to seems to understand. Apparently, working 16-18 hour days, while having to stand there and just look at the snow outside, is supposed to be a reward.



Thanks for the input, and yes, the resume has been updated...
Now if there were only jobs out west
post #29 of 30
perception, perception, perception.....
I worked for CBS at the 94 Norway Olympics and brought two pairs of skis with me. I was "talent" with No responsibilities untill 1pm each day when we were on air live. So, naturally, I skied most mornings from sun -up ( around 8;45) till 10;30 or so. I had a great time (slipped the mens downhil and SG course, ran gates on Hafjell with the US and Italian guys etc. All of this was done on a stealth basis...no bragging, no one ( I thought) was the wiser. When we returned to NY it got back to me that the perception was that I was on the hill ALL the time and this was resented by the drones who were on the clock during my off hours. It also turned out my predisessor had spent all his time when at the french games a few years earlier skiing even at times when he was supposed to be on camera and available. So, the perception was that I must have been doing the same.
My experience then and since is that it all has to do with others being ****ed off that they're working and you're not.
post #30 of 30
I feel your pain. I'm a ski instructor and last season the ski school director tried to tell us we couldn't ski during our lunch breaks! All because someone got hurt free skiing on their lunch. We got together and fought it by arguing that if our lunches aren't free time then they have to start paying us for them. Thank God for unions, we got them to back down. Instead they implemented a rating system where we are only allowed to ski on slopes we have been rated for, no trees or terrain park during work. This seems to be a reasonable compromise. Perhaps you could work out something similar. Or at least make an agreement that you won't ski insane terrain during your mid-assignment days off.
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: General Skiing Discussion
EpicSki › The Barking Bear Forums › On the Snow (Skiing Forums) › General Skiing Discussion › A day off in the mountains, what would you do?