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21 February 2011 @ 09:25 am
State of the Dragon: The True Meaning of President's Day  
After all these years, I understand the true meaning of this holiday.

I can look past the faux patriotism, the attempts at historical relevance, past Valley Forge and Gettysberg and the collision of two different chief executives from two very different historical eras.

I now understand what this day means to other people, and it has, for me, a deeply personal significance:

I have today off.
And I'm getting paid for it.

I think this is the first paid holiday I've had since I got out of the Coast Guard in 1990.

I've been paid on holidays, but it's usually because I've been working. This suited me just fine in the Coast Guard; I'd volunteer to take the duty shift on Thanksgiving and Christmas, since I didn't have any local family, and many of my fellow Coasties Puddle Pirates "Guardians" did. .

At the hospital, I continued my Coast Guard tradition. While my parents lived in the area, and, in fact, my stepfather worked in the same department I did, we officially Didn't Do Christmas. The sole extent of our celebration of the day was to have dinner together—and since Tri-City had an exceptional cafeteria that belied the hoary stand-up comic tropes about "hospital food", we had more than one "Christmas dinner" downstairs on my lunch hour.

Time-and-a-half was a fine Christmas Present—but it wasn't the same as a paid holiday.

Student workers in university jobs generally don't get holiday pay. Neither do most temp workers, or "short-term consultants*".

At Legends, of course, holidays are just a Slightly Busier Day, typified by customers constantly asking why we don't have a sale going on. Once or twice, as an experiment, Da Boss has had us open up on a holiday when most of the rest of the mall was technically closed, to see if we could catch some overflow business from the never-say-closed movie theater.

... damn. I have today off. I can finish laundry. I can work on the DC Adventures game I'm going to run. I can spend a couple of hours reading the last two months of comics that I finally picked up at my old job yesterday ("I'll clear out my box as soon as I get my first paycheck!"). I can do my taxes.

And I can do it all without feeling guilty for spending time I should be using to look for work.

* [SEMANTIC ANALYZER: "Short-Term Consultant" = "We don't want to pay an agency's commission fee for a temp."]
I feel: satisfiedsatisfied
leonard_arlotteleonard_arlotte on February 21st, 2011 05:35 pm (UTC)
Paid Holidays are fun. Today isn't one for me, though. We get ten paid holidays a year at the University where I work. Memorial Day, Labor Day, Martin Luther King Day, Independence Day. Two each for Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Years. (though when Christmas falls on a wednesday, we get three for christmas, and one for new years)

I would recommend staying in the habit of looking for jobs. You may not NEED one, but if you happen to come across something even better than what you have now.

Your Obedient Serpent: Howitzerathelind on February 21st, 2011 05:48 pm (UTC)
I plan to keep checking Craigslist and the various GIS/Seafloor Mapping jobsites periodically.

But not today.

Today is mine.
Odieodiedragon on February 21st, 2011 07:33 pm (UTC)
My husband could have made this post over the holidays. It's a very liberating feeling.
Your Obedient Serpent: happyathelind on February 21st, 2011 07:46 pm (UTC)
Isn't it? I almost feel like a grown-up.
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