In my role I have particular tasks - a mixture of day-to-day and project tasks.. 40% day-to-day troubleshooting/maintenance etc and 60% project work at a best guess. Others in the company have a similar workload.
But I am also designated as the "deputy" aka "person who can cover" for multiple other people in the organization, for a specific subject area -- whereby I can cover for their "core" responsibilities on a specific area on a short term basis (e.g. during vacations). We need cover for core stuff as we are customer facing and the customer never sleeps so vacations etc would be approved on the basis that "Someone can cover". and that 'someone' is me.
As such I can't take time off at the same time as the "primary" (person I am designated to cover for) is away... as I am their backup. I would also have to cover if something urgent came up and the person is off sick, unexpectedly out due to an emergency at home, or whatever.
I can see (on a shared calendar) time off for the people I would have to "cover" for. But there's no guarantee that the "person I am covering for" can't subsequently book their own time off (when I was already approved to be away) and then I would have to cancel my plans to cover for them. And of course no way to anticipate 'emergent' situations.
The potential people I would "cover for" would easily spread a full year of a calendar taking into account all their potential time offs.
Any vacation I could book is very short-notice and subject to cancellation (e.g if one of my "primary" people call out due to sickness) so in reality I can't plan anything, any trips away, whatever. My life at the moment is to acquiesce to other people and accommodate all their wishes. (and yes I'm resentful of that.)
This relationship is all one-way and there's no situation where they would cover for me in the future.
I don't have any influence/approval over "when they are away", it's "Jane X can cover for me in my absence" and then the manager approves time off on the basis that Jane X (me) can cover.
My question is:
how can I make an argument to bosses to get some time-off myself when many of my weeks are taken up with passively "being available to cover for others" (as well as doing my own work) and also, that anything could come up for people I am designated to cover for (emergencies at home etc) which can't be predicted, so I can't know in advance what weeks are available.
how do y'all handle this type of situation at other companies? Surely "Jane is the de facto backup for everyone so Jane can't ever take time off" isn't the way?