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Mary Delmege

Mary Delmege


Mary Delmege works with courts and community organizations as a Mediator in Southern California. She recently retired as Director for nine US Commercial Service offices in Southern California and Hawaii.

For more information:
Mary Delmege, Mediator

Mary Delmege has worked closely with Commercial Service offices throughout the world. Ms. Delmege's organization offered counseling, market research, matchmaking services and coordination of overseas trade shows and missions.

Her background includes a variety of management and advisory positions for the US Commerce Department, including Senior Advisor to the Trade Promotion Coordinating Committee. In that role she was instrumental in developing the National Export Strategy based on feedback from focus groups, interviews and surveys of small and mid-sized exporters.

Ms. Delmege began her Commercial Service career as a Foreign Service Officer in Mexico City, where she directed market research and outreach activities.

Contact Mary at mfdelmege@cox.net

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Should I bring work on vacation?

You requested the time off weeks ago and it’s finally here – your vacation!  You’re going on a trip with your family or your friends.  It starts when you’re packing.  Bathing suit, sun screen, casual clothes, sandals, your laptop, your Blackberry, that report that you never finished reading…  Wait a minute!  Do you really want to bring all that work related stuff?  Well, you just want to check in periodically or you’ll read the report after the kids have gone to bed…  OK, fine.  But let’s talk about what’s really going on and how to balance your need to stay connected to work with the very real need to disconnect from work and refresh your mind and spirit.

Take a look at three common excuses for bringing your work on vacation:

1. If I don’t answer these e-mails, they’ll just be waiting for me when I get back and the thought of 500 new e-mails is really stressful and gets in the way of my really being able to relax.

First, you can’t be that irreplaceable.  Set an out of office message and refer urgent problems to a willing co-worker – you can return the favor when they are on vacation.  Second, if you really must check messages, limit it to once each day.   Leave the Blackberry or laptop in your hotel room and don’t carry it around all day.  Don’t miss a beautiful sunset or your son’s first time on a surf board because you are focused on reading your e-mails.

2. I never have time to read these reports at work, so I’ll just read them after the others have gone to bed.

Ask yourself what will happen if you never read these reports.  If you stay up late to read reports that are only marginally important, you are robbing yourself of a good night’s sleep and showing up tired and groggy to spend time with your family.  On the other hand, if these are really cutting edge reports that help you stay excited about your work or help you think about your work in new ways, by all means find some time to read them, but be very aware of the trade off.

3. If I miss this call, I may lose out on a major sale.

It’s hard to relax when you have a major piece of business pending.  First, let the clients know that you’ll be away from the office and that you are eager to hear from them.  Take your cell phone, but keep it on silent or leave it in the hotel room.  Also, let your family or friends know that you are expecting this one very important call.  If the call comes while you are at a meal or in the middle of a conversation, excuse yourself and take the call out of earshot of the others.  When you get back, put the phone away or turn it off altogether and refocus on the people you are with.  In other words, control the call, don’t let it control you.

The truth is that vacation time is important for many reasons.  It allows you to refocus your energy away from the day to day tasks of your work.  Even if you are lucky enough to have a job that you truly love and that excites and energizes you, if you fail to take time away from the job, you will get stale and tired.  Your creativity will suffer and your relationships with friends and family will suffer.  My advice is to guard your vacation time the same way that you guard your savings account.  If you really need to spend some vacation time on work, spend it very carefully.  Your time off is precious – don’t squander it.

Tags: Mary Delmege Office & Work

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