BLUF: What can I do as an individual contributor to prepare my management / division for when I'm out on vacation?
As an individual contributor with specific technical responsibilities providing support to both customers and international colleagues, I haven't been able to use much more than a day of my vacation at a time. I now find myself with 3+ weeks of vacation that needs to be used by the end of the year, and I'd love to be able to use it in segments of a week or so to spend time with family without being tied to the computer/cell phone. The problem is, if I'm out of the office for more than a day my personal cell phone starts ringing off the hook and I end up working weekends to get caught up on 'rush' issues.
I have discussed resource needs with my manager, and he agrees that we need more than just me in my role - but with the current economic climate he cannot justify another hire at this time.
I sent an email to my manager (often out of the office) requesting guidance on how to cover my role when I'm out - the response I received was "any suggestions you have for backup are appreciated"
The current options I see are:
1. Only take vacation in 1 day or half-day segments (my wife certainly does not appreciate this option)
2. Work to convince colleagues in other roles to take on the training required to back me up in my role (40+ hours of required corporate class + 2 day training & 2 hour written exam for access to the systems integral to my job)
3. Convince someone in my role from another division to cover my role and train them on my specific product lines and customers (difficult as divisions are very siloed)
4. Schedule vacation, make the boss aware of it, and ignore everything until I return to the office.
I am very leery of letting things fall on my manager, as a promotion has been "in process" for the last 6 months (I now see this as the dangle it is).
Any tools or suggestions on how to approach this situation would be greatly appreciated!