What Does It Mean When You Send Me Emails Over a Long Holiday Weekend?

Kris Dunn Career Advice, Communication, Culture, Email, Holidays, Kris Dunn, Vacation 2 Comments

It’s Friday, July 5th, so that can mean only one thing–a large percentage of people in America are taking the day off, or are at work enjoying the silence that comes with an American Holiday falling on Tuesday or Thursday.

American holidays on Tuesdays and Thursdays correlate to opportunities to create 4 day weekends by taking Monday or Friday off respectively. Still, I see people emailing me (and yes, I’ve already emailed some people as well), which begs the following question:

What does it mean when you send me emails over a long holiday weekend?

Let’s dig in. It’s a mixture of deep psychology, dysfunction during normal workdays, playing catchup and of course, a complete non-event. Here’s what’s happening if you see normal email flow from a co-worker, a vendor/partner, or someone else who’s significant in your work ecosystem (spam doesn’t count):

    1. You’re working. Duh. You’re in the office or at the ole’ workstation, and there’s stuff to be done. Sharks swim, you send emails–got it.

      The rest of the list covers those working a bit, but who have the choice not to work.

    2. You’re behind. Yeah, you have the day off, but you snuck on just long enough to get a few things out because that freak show of a job/company that you’re in is eating you up. You can’t enjoy the day off until you get the risk level down in your inbox, so here you are. Just another 30 minutes and you’ll be able to enjoy the pool/cookout/hike/<insert American holiday activity>.
    3. You’re not behind, but work/life is blended for you. You like your job and you’re good at your job. You’ve got stuff to do. Could it wait? Yes, it could. Are you going to let it wait? No. You do you and let others worry about them. You’re working, and if that means they see an email on a long holiday weekend and are bothered, that says more about them than it does about you, right?
    4. You’re looking not to have conversations about what you’re sending out. Let’s face it, response levels on long holiday weekends are at an all-time low, so the emails you’re sending are not likely to get immediate action. Companies bury bad news on long holiday weekends by sending on late Fridays all the time, so you do the same. The danger here is that the folks you’re sending that news to have more time to read and react since they aren’t working. But you know your company better than I do. Play on.
    5. You’re a complete ladder climber who knows that your culture rewards hard workers, and maybe people who don’t look for work/life balance. So you do work on a long holiday weekend to ensure that others know you’re around, online and generally ready to conquer the world. Ugh.
    6. Your boss is working, and it’s a great day to have a high level of access. It’s hard to get to your boss, but you know that she/he has a history of coming in on days like July 5th on a Friday and really getting stuff done. You know that this access is key and you’re taking full advantage, knowing your ability to get things done with the boss–decisions made, agreements reached–has never been higher than on the working Friday of a long holiday weekend.

Have a great holiday weekend. Get rest and have fun.

If you’re online, I see you. And I find it fascinating.

Kris Dunn

Kris Dunn is a Partner and CHRO at Kinetix, a national RPO firm for growth companies headquartered in Atlanta. He’s also the founder Fistful of Talent (founded in 2008) and The HR Capitalist (2007) – and has written over 70 feature columns at Workforce Management magazine. Prior to his investment at Kinetix, Kris served in HR leadership roles at DAXKO, Charter and Cingular. In his spare time, KD hits the road as a speaker and gives the world what it needs – pop culture references linked to Human Capital street smarts.

Comments 2

  1. Kris, you forgot one of the most important reasons:
    7. You were with family during the holiday, and you need to hide from them either because you got drunk and kissed an in-law or your spouse is sick of you at home and you want to stay married.

  2. Or, someone needs to be there. Everyone else is out. Or you don’t get PTO, or so little that you have to use it sparingly.

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