I can’t remember the last New Year’s Eve that I had to get up and go to work. It’s been years. And yet, here I am. I’m at work, wondering why in the hell I’m here. It’s not that I don’t understand that folks work on New Year’s Eve. I know they do. I know there’s people that don’t have the luxury of having this day off to hang out with their families and get the celebrating going early. But you see, I’ve never been one of those people. I work in an industry that while the rest of the year is pretty busy and constant in work flow and deadline making, during the holidays we’ve always had them off. There have been holidays in the past where we were off for the entire run between Christmas and New Years. Last year was one of those years for me. I loved it. I loved being home with the kids watching whatever DVDs they got for Christmas, or doing some marathon show watching on Netflix. And sleeping in. Yes. I loved being able to sleep in,especially when we’d stay up till midnight watching movies….
But this year I only have New Year’s Day off. It just throws everything off, really. This was the first year that my wife had two whole weeks off during the holidays. With her new job the plant shuts down, so she gets to stay home and not do anything work-related till January 5th. All the years previous she was working 2-7pm. It worked out well in that I could be home with the kids while she was working, but this year it would’ve been great. Nope. This year the company I work for decided against giving everyone time off.
So I’m here, yawning and grumpy, wishing I was home in my warm bed as the beer cools in my frigid garage for tonight’s New Year’s Eve celebration at our home. There’s chuck roast cooking in the crock pot for shredded beef sandwiches, and my mom is bringing crab meat salad to go with the sandwiches. We’ll eat, place some cards, listen to some music, and I’ll drink Old Style till I’m ready to go to bed at 10pm. I’ll try to make it to midnight, but I’m not making any damn promises.
So my hat’s off to all the folks that didn’t have a choice in the matter in regards to having to work today. You know who those folks are. The service industry folks. So when you go to Walmart or the grocery store to grab that bag of chips you forgot to buy, try to be decent to the guy or gal checking you out at the register. Or that dude that sells you that 12-pk of micro-brewed delight, tell him thanks. And especially the gal that delivers your pizza right to your front door, give them a nice tip and tell them Happy New Year.
Happy New Year.