I am off work for two weeks soon. This vacation was requested – and confirmed – about a half-year ago.

Bob also wants vacation. One week of it. And he wants it at the same time. The problem with that is that the third member of our team – let’s call him Murray – would be all alone in that case.

Bob always makes jokes about other people’s vacations. And some months ago, when I had two days off which were similarly requested well in advance, he got all indignant that I wouldn’t move them because he wanted the same days off as well.

“I’ve been talking about this for weeks!” he would exclaim – and ignore my reply that I had, again, requested my two days off three months in advance.

Bob also doesn’t really cover for any of us, unless he is forced to do so.

Anyway, in this latest case, Bob  has been conducting a targeted campaign to get his week off. He claims it’s necessary because “my girlfriend and I can not be off together at any other time”. She’s a student, and has three months of vacation.

He then went ahead and asked another manager while Dick, our boss, was out of the office. The other manager supposedly said “sure, whatever, go ahead”, but didn’t – and couldn’t – formally approve Bob’s vacation.

Today, Bob bothered Dick about it every two hours or so. His latest line?

Bob: “Since they said it was OK I even booked the trip already.”

SG: “Without an approval for your vacation? That’s brave of you.”

Bob: “I got a verbal OK.”

SG: “Yeah good luck making that stick.”

After which Bob was pissed at me.

Dick said that Bob could take the week off if he could find someone to sub for him. Obviously, since I am on vacation, I am out. And Murray couldn’t be bothered. So Bob asked someone from a different department.

Bob: “Remember I asked you to sub for me for a week in case anything critical came up? – Yeah? Please confirm this to Dick in an email, he is making a fuss.”

I am pretty sure Dick wanted to see a general substitute, not just for emergencies. But okay. The guy Bob asked did show up later and asked him for more details, strongly implying that he and Bob had never really talked about it before.

At the end of the day it seems Dick still did not approve Bob’s vacation, much to the – outspoken – protest by Bob.

When Bob left the office at 5pm sharp, Murray eloquently summarised the day in a deadpan tone.

“He’s starting to get on my nerves.”

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