Ever hear the joke about needing a vacation from your vacation?

I most certainly have, and having worked in the vacation industry as a exchange coordinator for 10 years in a past life, I’ve heard some doozies.

A little background, please. I worked for developers who owned and operated a timeshare in the Bahamas, one with units available for exchange through one of the major exchange systems.

The concept was unique, the ability to “exchange” your vacation week for another week listed in an exchange directory, in properties around the world.

The process, as it turned out to be, was far from perfect, with demand for some properties greater than others, for example a summer week in an ocean front resort in Florida or along the Southeast coast, compared to a week in an isolated resort in the Kentucky foothills.

I can’t tell you the number of times I had a vacation request flop down on my desk asking to exchange a one-bedroom unit for a three-bedroom unit in the height of vacation season in a sold-out resort along the oceanfront.

“My salesman told me it would be no problem,” the frustrated timeshare owner said to me over the phone.

I got accustomed to hearing that over and over again in my time as an exchange coordinator, but there were some complaints that were as ludicrous as they were funny.

Some vacationers blamed us for rainy weather that hampered their time outside, and still others complained that the sand on the beach wasn’t white enough.

Another complaint revolved around a small island near Nassau, named Rose Island.

One tourist called to complain that there weren’t enough roses on the Rose Island tour.

Some obsessive, compulsive vacationers never really relax on vacation, instead they spend time trying to find dust balls behind the furniture or otherwise find fault with any accommodations.

Reservationists also were to blame for hurricanes, tropical storms or other disastrous weather systems that interrupted a vacation.

“You didn’t tell me it was going to rain,” was a familiar refrain heard around the office, with many of us rolling our eyes in disbelief.

Sometimes the best vacations are those that don’t involve a lot of planning or coordination, involving endless telephone calls, internet exploration or Facebook communication.

Having just returned from a vacation myself, I saw enough of the daily grind in cities such as Durham and Richmond to realize we all need a break from the monotony of everyday life.

Better yet, we sometimes need a break from ourselves.

Doug Ford reports for The Gazette-Virginian. Contact him at dford@gazettevirginian.com.

Doug Ford covers news and sports for The Gazette-Virginian. Contact him at dford@gazettevirginian.com.