How is your office going to handle the holiday work schedule this year? Each year we at U.S. 1 wrestle with the question: how to publish a paper for the first Wednesday in December when everyone would like to take two days off for Thanksgiving. And then how to handle some similar dilemma for Christmas and New Year’s. This year both of those holidays are also on a Thursday, and many people would like to take a four-day weekend.

Unless they work in a field such as retail, health care, or law enforcement, most people hope to go home early on December 24 and December 31, and no one really wants to work on Friday.

Some writers have it relatively easy. They can work ahead and produce enough copy that their presence won’t be missed. But editors and production staffers at weekly papers can’t usually do that, and at daily newspapers they have no choice. Like workers in retail, health care, or law enforcement, they must staff their workplaces at all kinds of hours.

Programmers may also have a staffing problem. Even though Wall Street is closed on the holidays, anyone involved in a trading-related job, which includes the IT departments, is going to have to show up on the holiday Fridays. If your company has found a good solution to the time-off problem, please let us know.

Here’s how we’re handling it, as per a memo from the boss: "Friday, November 28, is a work day that some of you may want to take as a vacation day, and that some others of you may want to defer until Saturday or Sunday. This has worked well in the past, and we have succeeded in getting a lot done while still having the benefit of a nice weekend."

We solved the Christmas Eve problem by making that our annual holiday skip week — no issue December 24. Our last issue in December will be delivered on Wednesday, December 17, along with our annual U.S. 1 Calendar.

But we still had a problem with December 31. The boss wrote: "The annual Survival Guide issue would normally be delivered on Wednesday, December 31, but that seems foolhardy, given that it’s also New Year’s Eve. Tuesday, December 30, seems like the best alternative, and that’s what we plan to do. That means that the issue has to go to the printer on Monday, December 29. New Year’s is on a Thursday, and the office is closed. Friday is another work day, but we will treat it as we treat the day after Thanksgiving. Take a vacation day or come in Saturday or Sunday. Thanks in advance." We hope to resume relative normalcy on January 7.

Corrections

AN ARTICLE in the November 5 Survival Guide stated that writing coach Brandt Johnson is a graduate of William and Mary; his alma mater is Williams College.

In a November 5 Preview article on artistic director Ricardo Khan and Crossroads Theater’s 25th anniversary season, the location of Khan’s 2000 sabbatical work should have been the island nation of Trinidad (not Jamaica). Khan plans to visit Jamaica for the first time next year. Also, the correct spelling of Khan’s wife’s name is Naila Maharaj. We apologize for the errors.

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