Not so in Serbia.
The Great Holiday exodus began this year just about one week before the New Year. After December 26th, the answering machines and auto-responders began to take over (for those intrepid enough to keep trying to call). The unanswered calls began to increase. The call backs are just starting now, twenty three days later.
For twenty three days, the swell of the twin (or, if you count both East and West, quadruple) winter holidays has been extending and distending like stellar gas after the Big Bang. Even this week, the extension continues as people, while they may be back to work, are spending time catching up for the many days and weeks they have been away. Call again on Monday.
Of course this is both a sign for worry and for relief. The worry comes from the fact that businesses are not getting back to business for such a long time that the approach of the Great July-August Shut Downs suddenly do not seem so far away - only five months to go. And in the middle we will have a mini-hiatus in February where people will go skiing or tell people that they are going skiing. Then we will have the month of May in which, under sunny skies, we prefer to be in sidewalk cafes than in the office and tend to pad out the May Day - Easter Holidays by several days in either direction. This year Good Friday is on April 22, followed by an intervening week, and then it is the May 1 and 2 holidays. Doing the math, that is another twelve days. Hence my worry: when will we be working at all?
The relief, however, is also palpable. If everyone feels that it is ok to take off half the year (not counting weekends) in public/private holidays, then it must mean the economy is strong enough to withstand it. Doesn't it? It must mean that companies and businesses need not worry about any lack of productivity. It must mean that no decisions are really urgent aside from which mountain, which beach, or which family home will be chosen for the other half of the year.
Maybe it would be easier just to declare December, January, May, July, and August (plus a few pieces of February, April, and September) as being Closed for Business. That still gives us six months to get on with things, doesn't it?
AUTO-RESPONDER: We are sorry but we are out of the office most of the time. Please leave a message and you will be contacted within 45 days. Thank you.