Expert jury; off the beach and back to the grindstone

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The Independent Online
How do you adjust to work after your summer holidays?

Jonathan Sumberg

Management consultant

Very badly, actually. I went over to Tuscany for two weeks in August with my wife, and my suntan's almost gone already. Can you see it? And, of course, it was marginally hotter over here in England at the time. But I adjust terribly to sitting at a desk or staring at a computer after two weeks of drinking white wine and going to sleep in the afternoons. Fortunately, I rather like my job, so it doesn't take me too long to get back into the rhythm.

Having said all that, though, I still think that starting work after your summer break is the worst part of the year by quite a margin - except perhaps, having to work on Christmas Day, like I did last year.

Terry Brooks

Construction worker

How do I adjust? As well as anyone does, I suppose. If you mean do I like going back to work then that's a great big no, just like everyone else in the country would probably say.

My job's OK, and so are the lads I work with, and we get on together. And I've been outside for most of the summer anyway, doing the project we're working on, so I didn't need to go abroad and get a suntan or anything like that. But I had three weeks off in August and went to Spain with my wife and kid. It was great - we didn't want to come back - my wife said we should stay there and open a hotel, actually, but maybe next year. I think I said that last year as well.

Jane Mann

Part-time waitress

I'm not going to tell you how much I hate it, because my boss reads the Independent and she'll probably fire me. So I'm going to tell you how much I love my job, and I don't see the need for holidays anyway. Or perhaps I shouldn't say that either.

I think that, however much you like your job, you're always going to like your holiday more. Your job is something you do for 50 weeks a year to earn enough money to spend two weeks doing nothing in the sun. Unfortunately it wasn't very sunny in France when I went last week - I sweated more working here in the heatwave. But I've only been back at work since Monday, and I don't think I've adjusted yet.

Gillian Munroe

English teacher

Well I'm rather lucky in that respect, I suppose, because I teach in a small school in west London and I get six weeks off in the summer, which is rather nice. I have homework to do of course - just like the children - so it's not all fun and games, and I have children of my own to look after. But it's a longer holiday than most of my friends get.

The big problem is actually finding things for the kids to do. I went to the Lake District for two weeks this year, which is a lovely place and the weather was beautiful - who needs the Canary Isles? I'm not back at work yet, but I will be soon, and I'm rather looking forward to it. I have a long time to wind down, so I don't mind going back at all.

Edward Swain

Opera singer

How do I adjust? I don't adjust. I love my work, I have no "working hours" and I never go near an office. I go abroad as much as I can, but when I am working, I feel like I'm on holiday anyway - that is how much I love my job.