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I took a short maternity leave (3 months) and returned to work. I had 3 weeks of remaining vacation time that I didn't take, so I booked the entire Christmas season off (Dec 12th to Jan 4th). I have every right to use my unused vacations days.

The trouble is, before I went on maternity leave, I left a project unfinished and was put back onto a project when I returned. I was given no hard deadline for the project so I booked Christmas off. My project manager is pushing me to get it done before I go on vacation, but it's unlikely.

How do I deal with the project manager? Did I make a mistake by booking my vacation off?

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    How is your post different from your other post workplace.stackexchange.com/questions/36848/… ? – Vietnhi Phuvan Nov 29 '14 at 0:24
  • They don't have any rules about this. – aubz Nov 29 '14 at 0:30
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    If there are no rules, and if you gave management plenty of warning that you were going to be out over the holidays, you did nothing wrong. Your manager's entitled to ask you to try to complete the project by then, and you should try to do so (including talking to him about whatever resources you need in order to do so) -- but if you don't, you don't. All they can ask is that you make your best effort; killing yourself to accomplish it is entirely optional. – keshlam Nov 29 '14 at 5:32
  • Yeah one full year is the standard. – aubz Dec 1 '14 at 20:17
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My project manager is pushing me to get it done before I go on vacation, but it's unlikely.

How do I deal with the project manager?

As always, when there are differing expectations between you and your project manager - you talk.

Find a time to talk this through with the project manager.

  • Explain you understanding regarding the remaining work, and the time you have to get it done before leaving for your permitted vacation time.

  • Discuss what you think needs to be done, and how long you estimate it will take

  • Discuss other alternatives if the work exceeds the time available to complete it before vacation

  • Discuss how you will pick up the remaining work after vacation, if that's the chosen path

  • Discuss how you can hand off some of the work to others for completion during your vacation, if that's the chosen path

  • Discuss altering your vacation plans, if that's what you choose

The key here is - discussion. That's how you should deal with most problems.

Did I make a mistake by booking my vacation off?

There's no way for us to know if this was a mistake or not, since we don't know the norms, rules, and expectations of your company.

Again - discuss this with your project manager to determine if you made a mistake or not. Knowing this could prevent similar mistakes in the future.

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Technically no I my humble opinion. But in reality if you are making life difficult for your PM than others might not look on you favorably. I would extend the courtesy to the PM of knocking off a couple vacation days in the beginning (via email if you are comfortable - provides paper trail) if things don't get finished. That way you look like the hero, dedicated, and willing to go the distance vs leaving them high and dry. Additionally, it puts the ball in their court as far as making that call if they really need you. When raise time comes around that is something you and them can look to for reference of your work ethic.

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