Dear Liz, I'm best man at my friend's wedding but I also have a massive campaign launching that week. I really don't want to let my friend down, but I'm not sure how to ask for time off. How should I approach this?
I can't help thinking that perhaps you may have needed to be more organised in booking off your leave to attend the wedding? Have you really only just found out you are required to be best man and has the wedding really been sprung upon you? Most weddings these days seem to involve a hold the date up to a year in advance so I'm a bit surprised that this is really a last minute situation or may just be one of your own making?
Or is there a scheduled campaign at some point in the future that presents a major diary clash?
I think the first thing you need to do is to refer to your agency policy for the booking of holidays which are usually at management discretion and make sure you are meeting the policy time lines to request holiday. The policy should be in the staff handbook or will be with HR.
In the event that you are meeting the holiday request rules and there is available cover in the team then I hope all will be well. If there are other folk off at the same time in the team then you may need to negotiate some ground cover with them and present what could have been a problem with an acceptable solution to your manager. Perhaps a colleague can swop with you, this once?
If you have left requesting time off too late then you will need to negotiate with your line manager? Are you clear what you would need to personally do for the campaign and are there other ways of dividing the work? How much time do you actually need off - is it just one day for a wedding or a week's trip away?
You could say there is never a good time to be off; a pitch, a review, a client meeting, there will always be something. Added to the variables are people's health and well being. Instead of a wedding you might have been absent due to sickness and the work would have to be managed some way. Either way you need to speak with your manager to get your leave authorised. Help them out by presenting options and not problems.
Good luck with the best man's speech!