Another Sunday night… well, technically now it is Monday morning but people without jobs (who are me) keep lousy hours and I’m still up so it’s still Sunday night in my book.
My calendar this week is wide open and anyone with half a brain knows that no one interviews on a Holiday week. Unless they really aren’t interested in you OR the person slated to work the holiday quit in a huff/got fired for not polishing the knobs correctly and they are DESPERATE because everyone ALSO knows “New Guy Works the Holidays”. So, it’ll be another exciting week of hunting and sending resumes off to the great abyss. Perhaps I’ll be kindling for someone’s stove on Thanksgiving so that they can cook their family a lovely meal.
I have no family within a thousand mile radius. No friends, either. I will not get any “pity invites” from anyone because no one around here knows me. Not that I am complaining because I chose this and I have to live with all of the consequences of the choice – good and bad. And I am sure that you can tell I’m a real treat at dinner parties, too.
Not working during the holiday season does have its advantages. You aren’t forced to listen to Christmas music for 30+ days in a row til you want to stab your eardrums out with an icepick. You don’t have to take part in the idiotic office “Secret Santa” where you always get the witch of a supervisor that you have to get more than a $10 gift for even though the “rules” say that you have a $10 limit because you KNOW that she’ll write you up for every little thing for the coming year if your offerings do not please her. It’s never a surprise when the “Secret Santa’s” are revealed that ::chuckle:: she got your name… (you figured that out when you found the “dollar store” tag on your gift the first day). At least it never came as a surprise to me. And it never failed that even if I found the most unique, one-of-a-kind “something” for her, she a) already had one b) doesn’t like those c) saw those at Walmart and couldn’t imagine who would buy that crap (let the write-ups begin!) And I cannot begin to thank whomever I had for Secret Santa the year that it was decided that it would be a complete secret, who only participated one day and that was to leave a feminine hygiene coupon on my chair whilst I was at lunch. How original and thoughtful.
Of course, NOT working at holiday time also means that you have yet ANOTHER year where you can’t buy gifts for anyone so have to tell everyone not to get you anything because you won’t be able reciprocate so you spend the entire holiday season in a somewhat stabby mood.
If you are lucky enough to be working, you will likely make the mistake of wishing someone who doesn’t celebrate some form of seasonally appropriate greeting/farewell and they will snarl at you that they don’t celebrate and then you’ll be all embarrassed OR, if you’re really lucky, they’ll go to HR and report you for being an insensitive asshat and you’ll have to spend your holiday studying diversity videos and penning an essay on cultural sensitivity.
You may run into the situation I did one year, too, where they lovingly(sarcasm) shitcanned someone in mid-December and hired me. (In retrospect, I feel like a total schmuck over that). So, she was let go on a Friday afternoon, I started Monday morning. One of the co-workers came in with a gift for everyone in the office and after being apprised that Former Person was not coming back, awkwardly handed me the gift intended for Former Person. (For the record, it was a mug and I still have it).
Other December company-related weirdness… being the “new guy” at Company Holiday Party time and not knowing whether the “voluntary” festivities are truly voluntary (Hint: It is NEVER voluntary). I’ve known many companies where if you didn’t show for the holiday party, you didn’t get your bonus. Sometimes these horrible, forced gatherings are things you are supposed to bring a spouse to. I never had a spouse who would go so I’d cruise in solo and get horrified stares from co-workers and have to make up some lame excuse about the hubby having gone on a bender and having left him sleeping in a puddle of his own bodily fluids or something. On the rare occasion where I suckered a friend into accompanying me, some totally bizarre situation usually occurred that made me even more of an outcast in the office (and possibly prompted the psychological examinations given shortly thereafter). I have had the good fortune of never having gone to a company party where alcohol was allowed so there was never any scandal involving the Receptionist xeroxing her ta-tas or anything of that nature.
There was one job that I started in December and the first staff meeting I went to, the staff was told that there would be no holiday bonus that year and one of the staff started to cry. I was flabbergasted as the biggest “bonus” I’d ever gotten for the holidays prior to that was a $5 Target Gift Certificate so I couldn’t imagine what there was to cry over. I found out the following year when we DID get bonuses and it was equal to an entire paycheck. The gal that had cried the previous year made at least 3 times what I made, so I imagine that not having gotten her bonus probably really DID hurt the ol’ budget. That was the best bonus I’ve ever gotten. Even if I get a job tomorrow, I wouldn’t be eligible for a holiday bonus so would just be sitting listening to everyone gloat about theirs or bemoan the fact that they weren’t getting one.
So… I’ll try to make the best of this week and gear up hard for the “find something, anything, before the end of the year” push that will commence on Black Friday.