The Managers Are Independent Of The System

, , , , , , | | Working | July 4, 2018

I work at a newspaper. Independence Day, July 4th, is on a Tuesday this year. Some people want to take Monday, July 3rd, off so they don’t have to work one day, be off one day, and come back the next day. Six weeks before the week of July 4th, all the employees in our region get an email from the region’s general manager, telling us that if we want to take July 3rd off, we need to ask our department head first thing. So, that day, I ask my boss for July 3rd off. I get a reply through our email chat function about two days later, saying he’ll look into it and get back to me ASAP.

Two-and-a-half weeks later, I get an email saying, “I think not,” for my July 3rd leave, because he doesn’t want our department to be understaffed on that day. (Note: We are literally always understaffed by at least two people, and even more so at the moment because there’s been an open position since May that has yet to be filled. However, on a holiday week when basically everything shuts down for July 3rd, anyway, the need for reporters is even less.)

Come July 3rd, in chatting with coworkers, I find out that of the five people in the editorial department, four people, including my boss, have asked for that day off. Maybe all five of us, but I didn’t talk to the fifth person. Only my boss, who approves the vacation time, gets the day off.

In the sales department, a friend tells me she also asked for the day off. Because of the week’s schedule, 99% of her clients and potential clients are not working, so there is very little work she can do that day. She, too, is told no, because her boss, the general manager who told us to request it off early, is also not working July 3rd, and thus, my friend needs to be there.

The only people whose vacations are approved in my region for Monday, July 3rd: The department heads who choose whose vacation is approved.

Mother’s Day Of The Dead

, , , , , , | Friendly | June 11, 2018

(My family is what people consider morbid for the way we talk about our deceased mother. When Mother’s Day comes, this is one of the many stories I have about why I’m not doing anything.)

Coworker #1: “I’m taking my mother to dinner and buying her flowers.”

Coworker #2: “I’m cooking my mother’s favorite dinner. What about you, [My Name]?”

Me: “I’m not doing anything for her.”

Coworker #2: “How can you be so mean? Don’t you want to show her you love her?”

Me: “I do love her, but it’s not like she is going to throw a fit and yell at me.”

([Coworker #1] is laughing, since she knows about my mother and that I have already told [Coworker #2] my mother is dead.)

Coworker #2: “I hope you have a miserable Mother’s Day, [My Name]. Your mother might leave and you will never see her again.”

Me: “If my mother leaves, I will know, since there will be a giant hole from where she dug herself out of her grave. It’s not like she is going to say, ‘I’m tired of this grave plot; I’m moving to a new one.’”

([Coworker #2] got mad, cussed me out, and then refused to even look at me. [Coworker #1] had started laughing so hard they were snorting.)

Nothing Says Christmas Like Tropical Fruit

, , , , , , , | Related | June 7, 2018

With my mother, it’s a tradition that there is an orange at the bottom of our Christmas stockings to let us know we’ve reached the end. I’m just starting to get old enough to suspect Santa isn’t real. Thinking how clever I am, I tell my mother that I want a pineapple instead of an orange. When I come down the stairs on Christmas, it’s obvious that there’s not a pineapple in my stocking.

Feeling smug, I pull out all the little gifts inside, but when I get to where the orange should have been, I feel something cold and metallic. Confused, I pull the item out, and find myself holding a can of pineapple chunks.

I outgrew Santa not long after that, anyway, but it’s still one of my favorite Christmas stories.

The Cup Runneth Over With Sarcasm

, , , , , | Romantic | June 2, 2018

(It is Mother’s Day. My son is down for his nap and I decide to go do the dishes that are in the sink and sitting on the counter. As I’m collecting the cups, my husband walks over to me and says not to worry about one cup because he will wash it since he used it. I just can’t help myself. I look at him, then to the whole sink of dishes, then back to him again.)

Me:Really? Oh, happy day! You’re going to wash one whole cup? Oh, my! This really is the best Mother’s Day ever!”

(By now he’s laughing so hard he can’t speak.)

Me: “Oh! Do you think for my birthday you would wash two whole cups? And three on Christmas?”

Husband: *laughing* “Shut up!”

Me: “One whole cup washed that I don’t have to worry about! Oh, my day has come!”

(He really couldn’t stop laughing. And I now have plans to ask him to wash one whole cup come my birthday, Labor Day, Christmas, and any other holiday I can think of. He really is a good husband! I just love messing with him.)

It’s Beginning To Smell A Lot Like Sinterklaas

, , , , , , | Related | May 30, 2018

This takes place about ten years or so ago. It’s the fifth of December. It’s a holiday called Sinterklaas, originally a children’s holiday where they get presents, but at this point of time I still celebrate it with my parents for the fun, even though I’m already a teenager.

We have this big bag of presents, with most presents bought by my parents, a few by me, and also some by my grandmother. Since I was little, my grandmother has handed Sinterklaas presents to all her children to put in the bag for them and their children.

We haven’t realised it yet, but most likely at this point my grandmother is already suffering slightly from dementia and the first few quirky things have started to show up. One of them is the gifting of odd presents that don’t seem to fit.

That is also what happens this Sinterklaas. My dad opens a present that was clearly from my grandmother — we can clearly see it from the wrapping paper; my parents and I used the same stash of wrapping paper, but my grandmother had her own to use, of course. The gift is a can of deodorant spray. Now, my mother has been pushing my dad to use deodorant for years, but he has always refused. He’s always been that smelly man you meet on a hot day. My mother and I give each other an awkward look because we both realise that is not the best gift my dad could have gotten, and my dad puts it down and forces out a, “Thank you, Sinterklaas.” After the unwrapping, we talk about it, and we conclude my grandmother has forgotten my dad doesn’t use deodorant.

My dad, however, is not one to waste gifts, so he says he’ll use it only on special occasions or very hot days. At first, he does this. We expect him to stop when the can is done. Indeed, the first few months after the can is finished, there is no other, but all of a sudden another one pops up from a different brand.

Now, quite a few years onward, my dad is using deodorant every day. My mother and I talked about it recently and we realised that with my grandmother’s most likely dementia-induced, misguided gift… she actually got my dad to see the use of deodorant. We can’t tell her this, because now her dementia has gotten quite bad and she doesn’t take in any new information anymore, but my mother and I certainly are very grateful for this.

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