back to article Brit workers: The Xmas skive starts today

A poll of 2,500 Brit workers has confirmed what most of us already knew: the Xmas holiday starts tonight at 5pm as a third of the UK's workforce will "mentally switch off" in advance of next week's pre-Yule skive. That's according to Teletext holidays, which estimates that nine million people will from Monday fill their …


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  1. Anonymous Coward


    (Posted as anon coward incase the boss reads the reg)

    It def started today. My office is more than half empty (although mianly with folk who have taken the last of their hols today).

    I can;t get motiviated to work so close to christmas and with noone about so spent most of the day surfing the web and the rest trying valiantly to find something interesting to do. Think I might knock off a bit early and get a Christmas pint or two in!

  2. Page of Lenton


    Nothing wrong with it! Bring it on!

  3. Anonymous Coward


    anyone who posts after me is a loser, coz the are still sat at a computer. HAHAHAHAHA.

    I'll be in the pub.

  4. Paul

    Thats good to see...

    "We tried to conduct a Reg straw poll to confirm the above findings, but the sales department has been lodged in the nearest wine bar since 11am, the Strategy Boutique emailed in to say it was "redefining the pro-somnia paradigm" (i.e. still in bed), and members of the editorial team nipped out an hour ago "for a news meeting" and are believed to be exchanging Xmas gifts (beer, in pint glasses) in Vulture Central local The Scribe and Strumpet"

    Im glad to see that El Reg are keeping up there normal working standards and not falling in to this skive trap.

  5. Slaine
    Thumb Up

    he he he

    You may have realised by the substantial increase in the number of posts I've made in the past 2 weeks that the Christmas holidays are in full swing here.

  6. Dave Burns

    So true!

    Ive just got back from a lunch that i started at 12.45 and the pub was JAMMED which it has never been during working hours before! im slightly tipsy from a few stellas. Also next week several people have requested me to bring in my xbox 360 for a pro evo and halo 3 fest.

  7. Mark

    This article read by no

    Are we to take the ironic lack of comments on this article as evidence that the world of IT workers are all down the pub instead of pretending to work by reading El Reg or playing counterstrike at their workstations and answering the odd phone call saying "have you switched it off and on again?" before returing to the surruptitious websurfing or departmental lanfest?

    I am sitting in my lab waiting for my TCA precipitation to centrifuge while all the other scientists have gone to the Genome Centre kneesup or down to the "Mongolian Barbeque" in Brighton for some nosh and booze. (I am not that sad - planned experiment while forgetting that the pissup/skive was on for today, D'oh!).

  8. Alan Donaly
    IT Angle


    IT related will get done till the middle of Jan. Happens every year oh well happy holidays everybody.

  9. Anonymous Coward

    Tonight at 5pm?

    Pah, lightweights... Started for me yesterday at 5pm...

    Which is why I'm now sat at my office desk with a hangover and heartburn from last nights curry-fest.

    Oh well, the official office party is tonight, so best I do something useful, and fill the photocopier paper tray up.

    Happy Crumble everyone!

  10. Michael Compton

    we only get 60 odd in a life time

    So let the good times roll :)

    Though we probably forget most, either to young to remember or to much 'spirit' in the subsequent years. And the ones we do remember we would probably rather forget the majority :)

  11. Tawakalna


    Christmas humbug.

  12. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Up

    Just got back from the pub

    " the Xmas holiday starts tonight at 5pm"

    Nah, it started at lunchtime. It's ten to four and I just got back to me desk from lunch. Which started at at 12.45. And was mostly made out of beer.

    On top of that, I can't be working very hard if I'm posting here....

    cheersh! <hic> and happy christmas

  13. Anonymous Coward
    Paris Hilton

    No pub for me...

    ...I was at Tescos cafe having chips and beans

  14. Geoff Webber

    google earth

    Is a great time waster - planning stuff for Xmas in new york.

    With handy wordy doc in another pane just in case one gets disturbed.

  15. Anonymous Coward


    I knew it wasn't just me.

    'Anonymous Coward' rather appropriate having nipped off early because of a 'pre-Xmas dentist appointment'.

    Good work.

  16. Tom

    Well it really started for me

    Today is my last day in my job.. so now i can start the drinking, mince pie eating, turkey and cranberry enjoying festivities in their full glory.

    Bring on a crate of lager and home alone 1, 2, Scrooged and National Lampoons Christmas Vacation for starters.

  17. Omer Ozen
    Thumb Up

    Change Freeze anyone?

    Most major banks have their change freeze starting this weekend. This translates to little work in my book :) I'll be surfing all the way. ho ho ho

  18. This post has been deleted by its author

  19. Anonymous Coward


    network lockdown was started about 2 weeks ago, strangely faults have dropped by about two 3rds..

    And this is the first time in 5 years I get 2 weks off, and the first time in 4 years I've not worked on christmas day... :)

    And to think, initially i was worried about my job going to India... LOL, they can have it.

    Happy Christmas from (anonymous massive ISP)...

  20. Paul Wells

    I live in America...

    ...which means work 9-5 every day except the 25th.

  21. Heads

    Working US does stop me!

    I am a Brit also living and working in US but doesn't change xmas antics.

    I waltzed in late this morning after being our for xmas beers last night and I am about to swan off for a tasty beverage meeting with a co-worker. Gonna be a lot of those meetings next week :-)

  22. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    My last progress report was today. Next one is in January.

  23. Morely Dotes

    @ Paul Wells

    Your employer sucks, then. I'm taking 2 hours off on Monday the 17th (dental, not so much a holiday as what I hope is the beginning of a long holiday from pain), and we get the 24th and 25th off as paid holidays. Then I'm taking the 26th as a vacation day because Boxing Day seems a very good idea. No work will get done the 27th or 28th, except in the machine shop (which is mostly automated work anyhow, the employees just shift materials and load the programs when it's time to change them), and the following Monday and Tuesday will be paid days off...

    We might get back to actually doing things on Jan 3rd.

    And this *is* the USA.

  24. Joe Stalin

    Ready to roll!

    That's me all done from now until Jan 24th. I make that the 14th Christmas and New Year in a row that I have not had to work over. No working Xmas eve no working Boxing day, no working Hogmany Ner'day or the 2nd Jan. Merry Crimble.

  25. Anonymous Coward
    Jobs Halo

    Scribe and Strumpet?

    would that be "Ye Olde Scribe and Strumpet" - a pub on the malarial flats south of MWVille that caters to newbies.?

  26. Anonymous Coward

    Pub Flu!

    Glad my HR department doesn't read this, otherwise they'd know exactly what the words "pub flu" mean when I write them on my next 'sickness' form.

    I'm surprised there are any non-anonymous cowards on this list!

  27. Jeff

    Working in a retail-related industry

    We're on call 24/7, all parts of the business are producing at something like 400% and after christmas it doesn't slow down for a good week or two...

    I have GOT to get into the finance sector :D

  28. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    i'm in work at the moment and is slowly winding down thankfully

    i'm in until the 22nd then i'm off on the 23rd,24th and 25th but back in on boxing day as didn't have enough holidays

    tho i have been advised it does slow down here over xmas (i work for an isp technical support desk :-) )

  29. Les Matthew

    Re: None of that, here...

    "But then again, I can skive off when I take my holidays for New Year. :)"

    You skive off on your holidays?

    Do you sneak off back to work? ;)

  30. Anonymous Coward
    Paris Hilton


    rub it in, why don't you? I pulled the short straw again this year and have got to man the datacentre on Xmas Day - triple time though.

    Oh well that'll mean all day alone for me with virtual Paris....

  31. Kevin Dwyer

    What about us Proper Engineers, not you nancy boy code fiddlers!


    Thought that I had pulled a flanker by jacking the job earlier in the year and then they ask me back part time.

    I agreed to work 3 days, (Tuesday ,Wednesday, Thursday ) without realising that I will miss out on bank Holidays as they are on Fridays and Mondays :-(

    Spare a thought for us who are in our 50's and have managed to escape without having cushy jobs or share options...

  32. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Teletext would know...

    TT Holidays has estimated this based on it's own office - 90% of it's staff are in the John Bull pub in Chiswick most days of the week from 11am til closing time at the moment!! The other 10% have beers in the 'breakout area' playing foosball!!!!

    Merry Xmas TT

  33. tim
    Black Helicopters

    christmas SHUTDOWN.....

    yah. we shutdown the whole box on xmas for a WEEK. but...if ya wannna work , even part of it... it's overtime. 40hrs ot anybody? not usually. 16-24hrs mebbe. just for money and masochisms sake... oh... but anyone ranking group leader and above won't be there? nniiiice...

    count me in...

  34. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    call center

    I work at a call center. Most of my clients are in the states. I swear if I get a call at all on the 24th I'll lose it. I'll tell wtf you find a bar or a bottle of jack

  35. Andy Barber

    Xmas eve Job

    I was given a job to install a Plan 107 telephone system on XMAS EVE! The customer (Brit Gas) told me when I turned up at 10:00 that they were all off down the pub "soon, like 12:00!" I looked at want was wanted & said I'd finish it by then. There was much laughter & chuckling at 'the poor BT engineer actually working today!' I finished the job at 11:00 & then joined them in the pub & had free drinks all afternoon! I never worked so fast before; although I have done better than that but...

  36. Jonathan McCulloch

    You all have my sympathy

    I work for myself so if my boss gives a shit if i come in late or not at all, then I have only myself to blame.

    I work when and only if I want to. My "commute" is down the stairs and a sharp left into my office. I don't answer my phone except by appointment -- if my bloody clients want me urgently, they can fax me and wait for a response.

    I step out of my back door, walk up the lane, and look across the rolling green fields of West Cork fading down towards the sea.

    Best of all... I love my work so much it's not even like work (and if it was, I'd do something else).

    Life does NOT get better than this.

    Happy Christmas, everyone.

    -- Jon

  37. Daniel
    Jobs Horns

    if you live in West Cork ...

    ... you hardly notice the Christmas binging, 'cos they drink like bloody fish all year long over there ;-)

  38. Alze

    Not skive - but slow..

    Some companies have a 'change freeze' between now and the middle of jan, as senior policy makers, and essential staff 'who only that thing' become unavailable on holidays, or just in the pub :)

    There is a slow-down, but not a skive, afterall you can do that any time of the year if you like, its just that christmas almost forces it on you....

  39. Anonymous Coward

    Please Sir, can i have some more?

    Let us spare a thought for the unfortunate IT contractors; who would not notice the the difference between this week and any other week and whos' life is one long holiday. Perhaps we should have a whip-round for the poor little blighters, when they will only have 1 day on their invoices next week....shame!!

  40. John Dougald McCallum

    Xmas shut off (you jest)

    You penpushers might be able to "mentaly" shut off (never thought you were anything else),but we who actually produce "things" still have to work as hard as ever

  41. Alze

    Re : Please Sir, can i have some more?

    Stewart said :-

    Let us spare a thought for the unfortunate IT contractors; who would not notice the the difference between this week and any other week and whos' life is one long holiday. Perhaps we should have a whip-round for the poor little blighters, when they will only have 1 day on their invoices next week....shame!!

    Only 2 days in the Netherlands :) Then its back to work.. Then moving... Why does this always happen around xmas...

  42. Anonymous Coward


    Four years ago I did some "deep level" support (whatever that means) for a large IT company.

    The refused all my holidays (long story) until December and then said that I'd had to be "on call" for the three weeks that I was on holiday. I couldn't go anywhere without my laptop. I couldn't even have a drink at New Year.

    So I was on holiday and being paid double time to support a system which had absolutely zero users because they were all on holiday too. Nedless to say, I got absolutely rat-arsed and didn't take the laptop with me anywhere...

  43. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    What's new ?

    While these so called "workers" spend 2 or 3 weeks doing sod all productive, the people who actually keep the country running and all the rest of you alive and able to bugger about, are busy doing REAL work. You know, the kind where you use your body to achieve a noticeable end result - like food on the shelves, animals kept alive, fires put out, people operated on, f*kin cards delivered, etc.

    Personally, I'm working the 24th, 27th and 28th then the 31st and back to normal on the 2nd of Jan. (And BTW, my working day is rarely less than 13 hours long).

    Enjoy yourselves, just bear in mind how many people do without for your benefit.


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