I think there should be a clause (forgive the pun) in all co-production agreements for how to deal with this uniquely challenging season. Most of the year countries scattered all across the globe only have to deal with the issue of scheduling meetings while living on a spinning Earth. With our partners in the UK it means one party is on black coffee duty when the other is on red wine, but mostly it seems to work. Even three party calls between New Zealand, the UK and the US are manageable most of the time. But Xmas!
The UK take a few days, even a week and link through to New Year’s day. The US have just recovered from their unique Thanksgiving vacation so keep Xmas short and sweet. Our Chinese partners keep working through as it’s a good six weeks still to go until their New Year vacation in February. But in Australasia it is different.
Down here this is also our summer break, (though this still comes as a surprise to some overseas colleagues who assume the whole world takes their main vacations in August). So schools, universities and large firms close up and head for the beach. Essentially the country closes for business and that includes legal and accounting firms. For many that means two weeks, for some it can mean four or even six if they want to have an extended summer break. As a transplant from the UK I have learned to accommodate, I know that it’s the familiar challenges of both the August and Xmas holidays but wrapped up together in one frenetic package.
‘Down here’ we don’t have hot turkey dinners indoors, we have picnics at the beach. Our Xmas icons are not holly, snow and sleigh bells, they are sand, beach balls and ice cream van jingles. We are outside on vacation, as far away from our cell phones as we can get. It’s our break squeezed between Thanksgiving – which we don’t break for here, and Chinese New Year – which we don’t break for either. So to all our north hemisphere friends – forgive us, but for two weeks we are at the beach recovering from the overtime its taken us in preparing to get here. Have a great break everyone, wherever you are and for however long.