What is the measure of a good summer? Feeling depressed when back in the office is one, but one can feel depressed for all sorts of reasons. Feeling happy to be back, refreshed and ready for work, as proposed by someone a few days ago could be another, although I do have some reservations. It does sound a little counterintuitive. Not that it isn’t great to be back in the office. It is, of course, but this is not a discussion on the merits of working for WebCom but something a little different: an attempt to develop a scientific method of gauging the success, or otherwise, of one’s holidays.
In all I judge mine a success. I felt it while I was on holidays (for no other reason than that it felt good to be where I was, doing what I was doing, being with the people I was with) despite the fact that objectively it was a pretty mediocre state of affairs, neither the place, nor the hotel or the entertainment, being “ideal” even by my own rather low standards.
But how can you actually prove this? How do you quantify the level of satisfaction you draw from your holidays if you can’t claim to have spent them on a zillion dollar yacht or on the beach in Bora-Bora? Until this past week I had no way of doing it. But now I know. I have a measure and I am ready to share it with the world: it is the forgettometer.
How much do you remember when you come back? Do you remember your password? It took me 3 tries, so I will arbitrarily give me 3 points (out of, say, 10) for “forgetting your password”. Do you remember how to embed a video? It took me a couple of minutes, so I will even more arbitrarily award myself (or rather my holidays) another two. Do you remember how to find something in your office phone menu? I didn’t even remember my phone had a menu, so I think 10 points are in order, with another 10 added for forgetting to call a team meeting on Tuesday. And then the coup de grace… Do you remember how to tweet?
This will take some explaining. I do remember how to tweet and love doing it, but…
First of all I came back having forgotten that I have to tweet, but that’s so unprofessional I will actually deduct a point from my score. And then there was that most excellent site that allows you to handle twitter without actually using it. Now what was it called? It was, before the holidays my daily companion, my trusted lieutenant for all things Twitter. I used it every single day, all day to tweet in two languages. It was a little tricky sometimes but it certainly made my life a lot easier. I was so fond of it, I didn’t even bookmark it, I just typed the address every time. What a mistake!
Yes… I came back having forgotten its existence, its name, its URL, everything. Then at some point the need arose and, after having tweeted some, I dimly remembered I had long stopped using Twitter.com. Slowly it dawned on me that there was some other site that did the job. Ah yes, that greyish site. Umm let’s see… no, not bookmarked (in case you hadn’t noticed, I belong to the AltaVista generation and will never, ever, say “favourite”), no recollection of its name whatsoever.
It was embarrassing. So embarrassing I didn’t even dare ask. I just wandered down the corridor hoping someone would be using it. Someone was. My holidays were certainly over but forgetting Hootsuite is a definite 10 out of 10.
So in aggregate I have unscientifically but fairly accurately awarded my holidays a nice 34 out of 50 or just a whisker short of 70% on the forgettometer, which sounds about right. Not bad… not bad at all.