Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Why Some Employees Hate the Holidays

Merry Bleepin' Christmas?

I worked for the United States Postal Service as a letter carrier from 1979 to 1986. I started as a "90 day probationary" employee in mid-December in 1979. I resigned shortly after Christmas in 1986. This means I had the excruciatingly agonizing joy of experiencing eight Christmas mailing seasons.

I was known as the Grinch around my house every year from Thanksgiving until mid-January. My holiday joy diminished daily as the letters, packages, overtime and snow piled up inexorably, with the worst crush coming on the Night Before Christmas. While not inclusive, here a bunch of reasons why your letter carrier may seem grumpier than usual.

Ten reasons to hate the holidays

1. Delivering mail in the dark

2. People from Florida who shipped cases of Citrus to their frozen friends and family

3. Starting at 6 AM and working until 7 PM every day during the holidays

4. Hearing the PA announce: "2 hours mandatory overtime" 5 minutes before quitting time

5. Snow, then ice, then more snow, and then you slide off the road and wait 2 hours for a tow

6. People wanting to know how much it will cost to mail a package, sitting inside their car

7. The IRS mailing tax preparation books on December 26th

8. Working until 10 PM on Christmas Eve

9. Delivering gift packages on Christmas Day

10. Manic depressive supervisory personnel

And apparently, letter carriers are not the only ones who get grumpy during the holiday seasons. According to a story from the Sault Star , workers in Austria and the Czech Republic have sought the help of their labor unions in an effort to defend themselves against the aural onslaught of Christmas Muzak!

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)

Deck the effin' Halls! Fa-la-la-la-blah! Maybe this is why everyone is pushing the Employee Free Choice Act so hard?

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1 comment:

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