Montana wasn't a state I ever gave much thought to until I found myself staring out the window of an Amtrak train at the seemingly unchanging scenery of big sky country. As the train rattled down the tracks I started to wonder if we were even moving—the scenery seemed to repeat itself every 30 seconds like the fake background behind a car in an old movie. It's hard to explain it, but the miles upon miles of emptiness gave me a sense of reverse claustrophobia.
What we spend when friends are in town.
New York magazine has a list of some of the worst kinds of vacation email auto-responders, and says if you must have one, it should simply say that you're out of the office and will return on [x] date. Plus maybe another contact for emergencies.
How to ask for time off.