Most of the junk emails in my inbox don’t get more than a glancing look before deletion, but one about a Denver company giving people $7,500 to take the paid vacation to which they’re entitled caught my eye.

Of course, there’s a caveat, but isn’t there always?

To qualify for the bonus from FullContact—an “identity resolution” company, whatever that is—employees have to agree to silence their work email and put down their phones, tablets and computers while on vacation.

“The concept, which FullContact calls ‘paid paid vacation’ might sound crazy, but it results in re-energized workers who are able to plug back in way more focused than they would be able to if they spent all their time off worrying about who was emailing, calling and texting,” according to a press release.

Sign me up.

I’d be glad to visit the Outer Banks of North Carolina for a couple of weeks—because that kind of money certainly would go far this time of year. And sure, I’ll turn off my cellphone and walk along the isolated beaches or enjoy the warmth of a hot tub without giving a thought to my work email.

It’s hard to tell how many businesses will embrace what the press release calls “an innovative approach to workplace wellness.” The rest of the world might just joke about what they’re smoking in Colorado.

I think it would be great if companies gave employees a little spending money for vacation, but that’s about as likely as me planning a tour of Tehran. I am not the slightest bit interested in visiting any place where Americans are despised or where kidnapping them for ransom is the national sport.

I scratch my head and wonder, “What are they thinking?” when I hear about people vacationing in dangerous places the same way I’m confused about why people have to be reminded to leave work behind when they take time off.

Apparently, it’s crucial to unplug from phones and tablets, iPads and other electronic devices in order to combat “connection fatigue.” I guess that’s the latest syndrome on what seems like an ever-growing list, but I feel like it’s aimed more toward millennials than baby boomers.

I like my smartphone as much as the next person, and I’ll admit, I feel absolutely naked when I realize I’ve walked out of the office, or the house, and left it on the desk or kitchen table. The last thing I do before going anywhere is check my purse to make sure it contains my car keys and my phone.

And while the phone does keep me connected—and yes, I do take it on vacation—I don’t feel like the world would stop turning if I didn’t read my work emails for a day or two.

I confess that I check them on weekends and, yes, on vacation, but it’s not because I’m afraid I’m going to miss some vital piece of information.

It’s more like I know they multiply like rabbits and it’s easier to delete a few at a time than face the masses.

Still, I’m not going to let my connection to the phone—and work—ruin a winter weekend of watching NFL playoff games or a summer visit to the beach. I’ll leave that to younger generations.

Cathy Dyson: 540/374-5425

Load comments