I think I’m attracted to jobs where December devolves into utter chaos. In high school, I was a busboy at a Basque restaurant, so the holiday season (Christmas through New Year’s) was crazy busy. After college, I worked at a Jewish Community Center, so Hanukkah brought along a lot of cheer and bustle. And working at the Store for several years, the holiday shopping season saw triple the number of customers than during the rest of the year.
Now I’m employed at a casino party company, and it’s constant activity from Thanksgiving through New Year’s Eve. Just in December alone, we had over 100 events, from Sacramento to Monterey, and as far east as Tracy. (For those for you who don’t live in the San Francisco Bay Area, we serve a very large area!) Normally, it would be a ton of work for the 3 of us who work full time in the office. But this year is really different. The owner of the company has been working from home, since his wife just had a baby. And our sales director has been working out of our Sacramento office. So I’ve been working alone most of the last month. There have been times where I’ll put on a DVD just for the background noise (usually one of highlights of our favorite sports team), while I typed away on the computer.
But after several weeks of 80 hour/7 day work weeks, I finally have some time off. Leaving the office yesterday afternoon, I walked to my car in the lot… and noticed a flat tire! I felt like Charlie Brown at that moment. Thankfully, the rain that had caused havoc in the Bay Area had subsided, so I was able to quickly put on the spare without getting drenched.
December 23 is Festivus (for most people). But for my wife & I, it is also the anniversary of our engagement (11 years now). This date is also special for me, as it’s my parents’ wedding anniversary (49 years and counting). So, getting home in a timely manner was important yesterday, since we had reservations at a nice restaurant last nice. Thankfully, the spare held, and I was able to make it home in time to shower and change and make the reservation on time.
Dinner was excellent, one of the best we’ve ever had. Plus, we received a nice gesture from the staff (along with a complimentary dessert):
So, even though the day started terribly, it ended very nicely. My wife & I enjoyed wonderful food and drinks while recollecting our 15+ years together. She also noted that while I’m working like crazy, I enjoy this job more than my previous jobs, when I would come home grumpy and tired. Now, I’m still tired, but upbeat and optimistic.
Today, I write this from my in-laws’ home on Christmas Eve. We’ve already exchanged gifts and are watching A Christmas Story on cable (a family tradition). Tomorrow, we all will go to my brother’s house to celebrate with my side of the family. I’m thankful that I’ve made it through the craziest time of the year intact, that I’ve been married for over 9 years, and that we are able to celebrate the holidays with both sides of our family. Despite all the tough times (anticipated and unexpected), those will always pass. The holidays are a time to remember the last year, and I’ve been very fortunate to come this far.