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temporary absence

I know that you can log into xmatters and assign a temporary replacement for yourself. But there doesn’t seem to be any way to input the dates that you'll be away without assigning a replacement, then allowing your place in any team to be skipped, so that the notification simply skips you and move to the next person without delay?
I have gotten around this by creating a second team without that person (based on the default team), and then created an indefinite holiday coverage with the new team assigned.
At one stage I was actually able to change the existing team of a group without assigning any holiday coverage – I know I did this as I was able to go through the schedules and see that they had changed and that the person on holiday wasn’t there. And at this stage I hadn’t put in a ‘site to use for holidays’ so holiday coverages wasn’t even available.

Yet I now have no idea how I did this and cannot do it again. I’d prefer this to a holiday coverage but have no idea how to do it and the option to do this seems to be embedded somewhere deep in the system. I can see how to assign an existing team for a one-time coverage or holiday coverage, but not 'permanently' as I have done once for a group. Doco on this particular 'feature' is not available either. Any ideas?
But my basic question is: What is the best way to do something like this? Creating a team without a member just for a holiday doesn’t seem like the simplest way to manage this situation and it must happen often. Not everybody has a replacement – sometimes you make do with a smaller team and xmatters should handle this.

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