Merry Bleepin‘ Christmas?
It’s December. The end of the year. The most festive time of the year. The holiday season. The time of the year when – inevitably – I wound up uttering a phrase that brings out gasps among my co-workers.
I hate Christmas.
Work Related and Holiday Stress
I don’t hate it because I am a Grinch, or because I used to be expected to plan a soiree and decide if we should call the company Christmas party, or the company holiday event. I hate the Christmas season because of the stress it creates on employees in a variety of jobs all through the month of December. The holiday creates or fosters stress at work and in life.
Here’s the perspective I had of the holidays back in the days when I worked for the US Postal Service.
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Ten Reasons to Hate the Holidays
- Delivering mail in the dark
- People from Florida who shipped cases of Citrus to their frozen friends and family in Michigan, causing me to lug hundreds of pounds of fruit around my route
- Starting at 6 AM and working until 7 PM every day during the holidays
- Hearing the PA announce: “2 hours mandatory overtime” 5 minutes before quitting time
- Snow, then ice, then more snow, and then you slide off the road and wait 2 hours for a tow
- People wanting to know how much it will cost to mail a package, sitting inside their heated car while you stand in a frigid wind on an ice covered street
- The IRS mailing tax preparation books on December 26th
- Working until 10 PM on Christmas Eve
- Delivering gift packages on Christmas Day
- The manic depressive leadership style of my supervisor who worked at the Post Office
Christmas Muzak is akin to ‘acoustic torture’ used at
In Austria, a union of shop workers threatened legal action, declaring festive songs a health and safety concern. “They feel as if they are terrorized all day,” said spokesman Gottfried Rieser. “Especially Jingle Bells. It arouses aggressive feelings.”
Unions in the Czech Republic demanded stores stop playing carols incessantly or pay compensation for the resulting emotional trauma to sales clerks, describing it as “acoustic torture.” (full story here)