No, I’m not referring to the chain restaurant known for having real fingers in their chicken fingers. I am of course referring to the wonderful day that for many of us signals the end of a seemingly endless work week. For many of us Fridays also bring on the medical phenomena known as Vacation Brain.

According to the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders 4th Edition: “Vacation Brain is a condition marked by a lack of motivation, difficulty concentrating and staying on task, frequent and lengthy bouts of undirected speech, and sometimes extreme silliness. The symptoms mimic those of Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder and most often occur in the days and hours prior to leaving for an extended vacation. Often less acute symptoms of this disorder occur on Friday afternoons.”

In laymens terms, Vacation Brain is when your brain has already quit work for the week in anticipation of the time off. I am a chronic sufferer of Vacation Brain. In fact, I have a handicapped parking pass due to the severity of my condition. That allows me to flee to my car, which is parked just outside the doors, that much quicker in my haste to start the weekend. Vacation Brain is the reason many of my posts get written at work and e-mailed home.

Vacation Brain is also the reason many, many wonderful things happen every Friday afternoon in offices and workplaces across the world. What wonderful things you ask? Invented office games, internet surfing, getting together in a co-workers office or cubicle to talk aimlessly, and a lot of feeding of office fish. In fact, studies show that up to 85% of office affairs began on Friday afternoons. What do you do when you have Vacation Brain?

*Dear American Psychiatric Association, Yes, I made up Vacation Brain. Please have a sense of humor and do not sue me for using the name of the DSM IV. Consider it free advertising. I have a copy. I’m a big fan.

27 responses to “T.G.I.Friday!

  1. hmmmmm I do not believe I have ever experienced vacation brain most likely because I am a wife, and a mom, and I work…. could you tell me what exactly is a vacation again ????????

  2. hmmm, I live with Vacation Brain from about 10am everyday except for rare periods where site visits or calls from the public drag my kicking and screaming back to reality.

  3. I suffer not only from wacation brain, but also post-vacation brain, and pre-vacation brain. All in all, I’m absent-minded and silly 24/7.

  4. I don’t think I suffer from vacation brain, although I do get random bursts of work brain two or three times a week, which REALLY messes with my paid-for leisure time.

  5. See…suing and therapy…my post was right!-N

  6. llalalalllallal!!!WHEEEEEE!! I’m running around the office throwing paperclips…whee!

  7. I read your blog.

  8. as we have discussed before…via blogs…there is no vacation brain around here because everyone abandons me to do everything myself…..not a good day at all…

  9. Wait….What was that about TGIFridays having real fingers in their chicken fingers??? Chicken fingers are the “fail-safe”. Thats what you can order anywhere and you know its going to be okay.Post about this please. Chicken fingers are ALWAYS my fallback food.UHHHH…this is concerning me.

  10. In our office we’re all sitting around eating Black Forest cake and planning our weekends.Yum. Want some?

  11. i’ve been having a problem shaking vacation brain for the last 2-3 months. i fear i need a <>real<> vacation before it will fully subside. can i come to N Y to visit?

  12. When I worked in advertising for a large computer superstore, my friend Matt had a Nerf “brain.” Every Friday afternoon someone would start a round of “Find Matt’s brain.” Whoever found it got to hide it next. Those were good times.

  13. Ahhhh. Vacation Brain drainThis week, we actually had a vacation on Thursday (21st Sept) to celebrate our country’s Independence Day.Coming back into work on Friday, everyone was a bit confused and kept referring to last week instead of last Wednesday. Mercifully, the day came to a quick end just in time to quietly slip away into the weekend. LOL

  14. Quinn- Oh c’mon, are you telling me that being a wife and a mom counts as work? LOL! J/K! Hagel- I’m the same as you. My job would be perfect if people would just stop showing up.ChooChoo- I’d love to have vacation brain 24/7, but I’m afraid I’d get fired. Can I have your job?Jock- I like your job even better. Natalia- Your post was right? I’ll never admit that!Tai- LOL! Love it!

  15. Sherbears- Thank you, that’s the best compliment. I hope it helps.d.- That’s my job too. I hate being the last to leave every Friday, but that’s how it always turns out.Princess- Don’t you remember my post about someone finding a real finger in their food at TGIFridays in the spring, exactly a year after I predicted it in another post?Josie- That sounds perfect!SayRah!- Don’t visit NY if you want a vacation. Go somewhere sunny and warm!

  16. Geewits- LOL! I used to have a Nerf brain too!Belize- I’m surprised everyone just didn’t take Friday off too. I’m sure your country’s workplace productivity was pretty low on Friday.

  17. seeing how I’m a full time student… Yes, you can. I’d be more than happy letting you do all the studying and then I’ll just take the exampapers:D

  18. yah I agree with Quinn..what is a vacation again????

  19. Holy vacation brain batman!!!That is too funny….I loved reading your blog….found you over at Josie’s blog. DSM IV for some it is their bible.Hope you are having a grand day….It’s beautiful and sunny here on the west coast.Cheers

  20. Philly – I DO remember, and I thought actually that is what you did post about, but I couldnt remember the month, and I wasnt going to go through your archives, and try to find it. I thought it was what you posted, but I couldnt remember 100%. Its still upsetting.

  21. hi phil..im fancy-face’s daughter please come and visit me!!

  22. It’s all just so true. Although, like many others here, I don’t know if I suffer from vacation brain so much as a general absentmindedness.

  23. Qualicum RN- Welcome to The Phil Factor. I’m glad you stopped by and commented. And thanks for rubbing my nose in the fact that you have gorgeous, sunny weather.Gosh, us northeasterners love to hear that. It might be winter here in about a week.Princess- I find it funny that you’re upset by chicken fingers. Do you still order them?Fancy Face- Working mothers, the unsung heroes of our generation!Kid’s World- Welcome to The Phil Factor. I think I will go visit your blog!Queenie Carly- I think I made up Vacation Brain to justify my low motivation for work on Fridays.

  24. thank’s for stopping by..im not done!!everyday ill have something new to post!!!!

  25. So THAT’S what I’ve been suffering from! Thanks, Phil! It’s always easier to live with the symptoms of something if you have a name for it…

  26. The only thing worse than Vacation Brain is Baby Brain.. ask any new mom. Oh yeah!I just had to stop by and get my daily fill of Phil.

  27. We invent nursing home band names, and do patient haiku. However, we also do this on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday.

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