Your Obedient Serpent (athelind) wrote,
Your Obedient Serpent

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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."]
Tags: holiday, jobquest!, work

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