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Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Santa isn't Secret; Santa is Dead

I've had two, separate ideas for posts rattling around in my head for weeks.  I realized tonight that they were both work-related, so I thought I would smash them together, Billy Joel-style, and confect a single post.

Back at the start of December, holiday spirits high, a co-worker flourished a ceramic mug under my nose, singing excitedly, "Secret! Santa!"  The mug, of course, was filled with slips of paper folded in half, each one presumably inscribed with a fellow worker's name.  Presumably.  For a split second, my curmudgeonly heart rolled its eyes and thought, "Really?  This again?"  However, I gamely drew a name, chiding myself for not diving fully into the holiday spirit, and breathing a sigh of relief that the name I had drawn was actually someone I had worked with more than a few times, and was not one of the just-hired people.

In the ensuing days, I spent time thinking about this co-worker, wondering about her hobbies and tastes, inquiring of others who might potentially know her better.  Settling on an appropriate gift in my mind, I took an afternoon and wandered a few stores, finally purchasing an item I felt was adequate and at the agreed-upon price point.

Exchange day arrived and, I have to admit, it was exciting to see the stack of brightly-wrapped presents in the back room fluctuate and change, as people dropped-off and picked-up their gifts.  I cast a cursory glance at the pile, but not seeing my name immediately, I simply left the present I had bought and went to start my shift.  Over the next few days I continued to check the diminishing, almost entirely gone pile, figuring that the person who drew my name probably did not work that frequently.

I'll just stop kicking this dead horse and skip to the end; no, I did not get a gift.  A co-worker called a couple weeks after the exchange, after I had already flown home for the week, and asked if I had received something, assuring me there would be a little something for me when I returned.  No.  Nothing.  There was nothing for me, and, now with Christmas far behind us, this promise seems forgotten.  (I'm not even sure how she found out, as I hadn't said anything about it to anyone...)

Even more odd, there was never a big reveal of who had whom, so I have no idea if my person liked her gift...?  Thought it was dumb....?  And now it seems too late to bring it all up.

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 The other day I was chatting with a co-worker at work, thanking her for some cookies she had made and given to me.  I mentioned how I enjoyed eating baked goods and had a sweet tooth, but did not like baking at all.

She exclaimed, "You don't like to bake?  What kind of woman are you?!"  And she was serious.

And then my brain went "Whoooooaaaaa" and shut down.

I didn't think this was an issue? anymore? what?

What I should have said was: "I'm a woman that doesn't like to bake."

I really like working with her too; in all other respects she is a kind, nurturing person.

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(Obviously, both of these anecdotes are inconsequential and I took neither experience very seriously.  I just found both humorous and interesting enough to share.)
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