Post-Holiday Inefficiency Syndrome

By Jonas Waldenström

Swedish people are pretty adamant regarding their vacations – it should be long and it should be in July. Workplaces become deserted, and especially so at Universities where people abandon work for some four to six weeks in summer. The only poor sods loitering around in the corridors are foreign grad students and postdocs. They didn’t see it coming and can’t understand why the place is post-apocalyptically empty.

A Swedish University corridor during summer

A Swedish University corridor during summer

I am just back from my vacation. Or rather I have spent the last week and a half severely hampered by the Post-Holiday Inefficiency Syndrome. I have been in office, but struggle to wind the gear up. There are so many things that should be dealt with, but I can’t really figure out what to start with. Instead: workplace coma. Like a fish in a bucket of ice. Stargazing.

Stargazing into oblivion

Stargazing into oblivion

But in ten minutes time it is ‘fika’ – the best of Swedish workplace tradition. This time to celebrate the end of Ramadan. I expect coffee and sweets. Perhaps enough caffeine and sugar to get this old researcher back on track.

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