'It's as if working in education, health or social care should be some kind of prolonged, low-level punishment rather than a fulfilling, rewarding experience.'
Talking to a manager before the bank holiday, I innocuously wished her a good weekend. 'We won't be having a weekend here,' she replied. 'We are doing our foundation trust status application instead.'
I think being deprived of a long weekend makes a particularly poignant, if depressing, point about the dedication of some managers.
Bank holidays are often portrayed as little more than trips to the DIY store, garden centre or local traffic jam.
But a day off is a day off. Especially for NHS managers. Already battling with fitness for purpose reviews, waiting to find out if they still have a job and squeezing a few last pennies out of the budget; they must be feeling the need for a break more acutely than most.
And the extra workload comes hard and fast on top of the usual service-planning duties for the hectic season ahead.
The fact that we are not going to be paid to have a day off again until Christmas means months of toil and workload-juggling in the vague hope of a chance for a break.
I don't know if trusts routinely give staff time off after particularly hard-pressed times of year, such as quarterly budgets, inspections or applying for their own jobs again. And are chief executives and directors being given the chance to take the afternoon off by benevolent chief execs after slogging through foundation applications or going through the budget for the 12th time?
Of course, public sector workers cannot often be seen to enjoy themselves. It's as if working in education, health or social care should be some kind of prolonged, low-level punishment rather than a fulfilling, rewarding experience.
We have not yet reached the point where NHS managers attract the kind of sunbathing-while-the-world-burns media outrage occasionally directed at ministers, but is that just because our health leaders are too busy for holidays?