67 CommentsCreative Writing, Write Tribe, Writing Contests, Writing/Blogging

A cautionary tale!

workaholic needs a vacation

Danielle was completely drained and living a workaholic nightmare!

Her underlings had been let go as a “cost cutting measure” and she was the only one left. That’s too much responsibility for one person.

Welcome to Corporate Hell!

She desperately needed help. Working 60 hours a week was becoming the norm and her personal life was practically non-existent. Thankfully, her husband Mario was understanding and often drove Danielle to the office on the way to his weekly Sunday soccer game. How pathetic! The rest of the world is enjoying life and she’s drowning in a sea of paperwork.

Time for a vacation!

Grabbing her desk calendar, she started riffling through the pages. Her husband’s employer would be having the yearly maintenance shutdown next month, so that was ideal. Sadly, they rarely went anywhere, because of her job. He hung out with his friends and she went to work. Yup; definitely pathetic. Time to let loose and get wild!

Leave your cares behind!

Although she was entitled to four weeks’ vacation, (at least seniority was good for something), Danielle’s boss vetoed the idea of her taking more than two weeks off in a row. Said her job was “too important” to be away that long. Well damn! It would take two weeks just to “deprogram”, never mind recuperate, but it was better than nothing.

So, the big question was, where should they go? Mario was not one to express preferences; whatever Danielle liked was fine with him. This was sometimes a bit frustrating, because she couldn’t help feeling he may actually have wanted something different, but just wouldn’t say.

They both enjoyed spontaneous road trips. Just pick a direction, map out a few possible stops along the way and get in the car. She handed him a coin. Heads for west, tails for east. West it was!

The last day at work was hectic, but Danielle managed to tidy her desk by the end of it. She regarded the empty surface ruefully, knowing full well that catching up afterwards would be horrendous. Didn’t matter anymore; time to get a life! Big smile on her face as she waved goodbye.

The next morning, Mario loaded up the car as Danielle finished dressing. They were both eager to hit the road; to experience that sense of freedom.

Getting into the car, she gave his arm a playful squeeze and said: “Remind me to send my mother a postcard. She loves to get mail”.

They hit the asphalt; radio tuned to their favourite station.

Ah, this was the life!

Exploring back roads and unusual places was part of the fun. No traffic for miles, but suddenly, a large, out of control van came speeding at them and didn’t stop. The impact of the head-on collision shattered the stillness of the countryside.

wrecked car

There would be no more vacations for Danielle and Mario.

©D.D.B. 2013

Although the characters’ names and the car crash are fictional,
the general circumstances were taken from my life during the late 1980s.

Ironic that the so-called “important job” was easily eliminated a couple of years later.

On their deathbed, nobody ever regretted not spending more time at the office.

What do you think about this?

carpe diem

This is my entry for the WORDS: WRITE TRIBE CONTEST # 1

Utilizing the specified words:

postcard, coin, tidy, wild, help, calender, responsibility

Click on the image for further details and to enter the contest.

write tribe

Debbie D. on FacebookDebbie D. on GoogleDebbie D. on InstagramDebbie D. on LinkedinDebbie D. on PinterestDebbie D. on RssDebbie D. on TwitterDebbie D. on WordpressDebbie D. on Youtube
Debbie D.

Canine Innkeeper in suburban Toronto, Canada, known as “The Doglady”. Writer/website owner, photographer, animal lover, music fanatic, inveterate traveller. History, literature and cinema buff. Eternal “hippie/rockchick”. Binational, German/Canadian and multilingual. Looking for the next adventure!

Add your thoughts:

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

67 thoughts on “THE VACATION

  1. Pingback: TEN QUESTION TAG
  2. Ah yes. ..the priorities that need to be set right. Interesting post,Debbie. Like how you used a combination of fiction and fact to make a factional tale with important take aways.

  3. Or, as some would say, a permanent vacation for the two!
    I wonder if the sudden death would lead them to turn into ghosts though…

    1. Ghosts? There is a classic movie called “Topper” in which that is exactly what happened. 🙂 “Beetlejuice” is another one. Popular theme! Thanks for visiting.

  4. That ending was totally unexpected!
    A couple of years ago, even my job required me to spend really long hours at work. You couldn’t even talk about taking a day or two off. Glad I quit that job!!

  5. Congragulations!!!!! Am atleast glad that they got to die together… iamgine being the one left behind….

  6. Congratulations on the win.

    Your story is indeed touching. I am afraid I am almost turning into Danielle. I need to lighten up 🙂

    1. I WAS Danielle! Glad my story made you realize that too, Ava. 🙂 What a lovely surprise to win the contest. All of the other entries were excellent. Thanks for dropping by.

  7. The ending was very tragic. It just goes to show that we need to live in the moment and take time to enjoy every minute of our lives. We can never say about the future. Congrats Debbie !

    1. That’s it, exactly, Cynthia! 😀 Work is not everything in life. We must make the most of it before it’s too late. Thanks for visiting.

    1. Glad you liked my entry, Corinne. 🙂 I really enjoyed the challenge of using specific words in a story and would definitely try it again.

  8. I’m so sorry Debbie that you drew from that story of an experience that happened in your life.

    You know I preach about this all the time myself that life is too short so enjoy it today because tomorrow isn’t promised. I wish more people would listen because at the end of their lives they’ll regret not having done more. So sad!


    1. Hi Adrienne; Yes, at one time I was mired in a hellish workaholic scenario and am so glad to be out of that now. The older I get, the more I realize life should be enjoyed and not wasted on things that won’t matter in the end. Thanks for visiting and have a great weekend. 🙂

  9. HI…that was excellent…yes it is very easy to get engrossed in work…Balance is key.. and most forgotten..wish Danielle got the holiday and had many more in her life…

    All the best.

  10. There would be no more vacations for Danielle and Mario.

    A chilling end. I like how the pace of the story hurtled and then came to a crashing stop.

    1. Thanks Damyanti! I wrote the ending for shock value. We never know what’s going to happen in life, so, we should make the most of it while we can. 🙂

    1. Yes, I wrote that ending for shock value. Enjoy life while you can, because you never know what might happen. Thanks For visiting Shilpa. 🙂

  11. Live for today, don’t bury yourself in work, make sure you have ‘me’ & ‘us’ time or else you’ll may find yourself ‘buried’ before you’ve had a taste of what life has to offer. That’s what came through in your dark tale, Debbie, well told my friend. xxx

    1. Spot on, Penny! Thanks so much for visiting. Apologies that I have been slack in this area lately, but, I’ll be dropping by to get caught up with you soon. Have a great week. 🙂

  12. How true that is. I can remember my father expressing those sentiments after my mothers passing. He so regretted all the extra time he devoted to his career rather than family.

    I’m thankful that I was able to stay home and be a full time parent. Guess that would be my chosen career. : )

    1. I think many people, (including me in those days), lose sight of what’s really important in life. The older I get, the more I subscribe to the “life is short, do it now” mantra. Your kids were so lucky, Linda to have a full time Mom at home. Thanks for visiting and have a good weekend. 🙂

      1. I am pretty sure kids appreciate it now, not so sure they did then though….that’s so true about getting older and realizing time is getting shorter and shorter, so we need to do those things now…

        Thanks for sharing so I could visit…. :))

  13. What an awful ending! Good luck with the contest. Unfortunately, this is the way of the world, ie., cut positions so that those left have double the work, yet expect higher productivity. I don’t get to travel nearly enough these days. Seeing what happened, maybe that’s a good thing.

    1. Hi Joyce; I know it’s a bad end, but I wrote that for shock value, to drive home the point that one never knows what’s going to happen in life, so we should “go for the gusto” before it’s too late. People die every day, but, that shouldn’t deter anyone from doing what they want to do. Thanks for visiting and have a good weekend. 🙂

  14. The ending shocked me a bit but your point about not making work your life is very well portrayed.
    Dropping by from the write tribe contest.

    1. I did write the ending for shock value, to drive home the point that you never know what might happen in life, so, “go for the gusto” whenever possible. Thanks for visiting Suzy. 🙂

  15. Hi Debbie

    Although fictional as you say, but it is also very real.

    I am glad they laid me off, the money was tighter because of it and there is no vacations now. But I know the stress of taking any time off, for the issues I would comeback to. Not any fun the last few years I was there. But it is sad how much of ourselves we give away to someone else for them to make a tremendous amount of money.

    Also knowing that one thing can change everything. Like to stay home on the holidays for that reason (being the 4th today).


    1. Your past situation sounds very similar to mine, Mary The accident and character’s names are fictional, but the rest is an accurate portrayal of my life in the late ’80s. When my job disappeared too, it was somewhat of a relief as I was suffering from severe burnout. “It is sad how much of ourselves we give away to someone else for them to make a tremendous amount of money.” Spot on! Thanks for visiting and Happy 4th of July to you. 🙂

  16. Whoa! If you want to look at it optimistically, at least she won’t have to worry about her desk being somewhat overloaded when she gets back to it…Makes you almost not want to ever go on a vacation… :3

    1. Haha! There is that, Mary, but I was trying to drive the point home that we shouldn’t make work our entire focus. Balance is the key to happiness, yes? Thanks for dropping by and Happy 4th of July to you! 🙂

  17. Awww…that was very sad for Danielle and Mario. Never felt that such a healthy beginning will end up in a tragedy. Felt sad. Realistically written. Good Job.

    1. Sad for them and a good lesson for us all. Life is short; make the most of it, yes? Thanks for visiting Sreedev. I enjoyed your story as well. Good luck!