Party Down

Today is the Fourth of July here in the US, which is the day that we all get wasted and let off fireworks in 364649394 different directions. Well, most of us do. I don’t drink, and I like having both my hands, and the town did its “Freedom Fest” last Saturday. When it was still June.

I’m working today, not because we don’t get the day off, we do, but, I picked up a Holiday Shift because I like both money, and staying busy. Am I busy today though? Not really. But, I am ultimately getting paid for 2.5 days’ worth of work today, and I have another half-shift on Saturday evening. So, my wallet will be happy when next pay period rolls around. As for my mom, well, her job isn’t as “nice” about holidays. I know, because I used to work there too.

For her, this is just a regular Monday, but, one with even fewer people working, even more customers, and two of her three “leads” being either brain-dead, or scatter-brained. And there’s no holiday pay, and if you call out sick today, it’s going to count double towards your number of occurrences. Meaning, that if you’re at 3 of 5 occurrences and have to miss today, RIP. You’d be fired when you came back. I’m not going to mention where she works, but, it’s probably not hard to guess. They MIGHT do something for the workers, maybe. If there’s “room in the budget”.

I’ve debated with myself whether I would even consider going back to that place as a side-thing, just to help them out. I’ve thought about it. Hell, I still have my vest from when I worked there. From what I’ve seen, and what I’ve been told, it needs some help. Mostly because management won’t can someone who desperately needs to be excised from his position. But, ultimately, it’s not my fight. I left that place nearly six years ago now. Even if I still have nightmares about it, I can’t help but feel for the people I used to work with, my mom included.

There’s a lot of good people at that place, that want to do their jobs, do them well, and go home. But, the powers that be don’t let them do so. Unrealistic expectations, corporate cheerleaders they call Managers, and being extremely short-staffed (yet the Store Manager gets a $60,000 bonus…), means that people are over-worked, burnt out, and seeking other opportunities. I know that’s why I did. I got my degree, my Certs, and got the hell out when I could.

Now, you could say they should do that U-word, but, The Company would shut that down from Orbit. They beat that out of you in Orientation, or at least try to. For now though, it’s getting the ear of the Managers who haven’t bought in and drank the Kool-Aid to do something. And it’s frustrating because ultimately, their hands are tied too. They can only do so much to protect their people from the people they themselves report to.

Morale is at an all-time low there, so, people may not be in the mood to celebrate much of anything, unless it involves uprooting a particular team lead and sending him to the Upside Down, or at least to Siberia. Management’s hands are either tied, or intentionally not doing something about the problem. No amount of “store-use”d chips, soda and cold cuts will pull the workforce out of that tailspin. Even the most party-loving person may find themselves not able to celebrate much there at the moment.

I’m not going to do the terminally-online thing and rant about why I’m not celebrating today. I’m not celebrating because I’m not celebrating, there’s no reason why, I’m just not the “celebratory” type, even if I didn’t have my issues with things. It’s a Monday to me. Sure, the world sucks, this country doesn’t have much to celebrate right now. But, I don’t want to be the “Obnoxious Internet Person Telling You Why Celebrating Is Wrong(tm)”. If you want to celebrate, by all means, do so. If you don’t, then don’t. I don’t run your life, I’m not going to tell you what you can and can’t do.

At this point, if you just need a day to say “screw it”, cut loose and want to use the holiday as your reason? By all means, don’t let me stop you. Things here suck, we all know that they suck, someone making a big deal about how much of a “moral stance” not celebrating is eye-rolling at best to me. Some Terminally-Online, Holier-Than-Thou, Enlightened, wannabe savior doesn’t need to remind me every 15 seconds how bad it is in America right now. I know. I really, really do. People are losing their rights left, right and center, people are getting shot in the streets for nothing, my chosen political party is on the verge of (likely) taking the mother-of-all-ass-kickings in November because they do nothing, even when they get power. Believe me, I KNOW how bad it is. If people want to celebrate, take at least ONE day to hit the release valve, by all means, LET them, don’t give them hell for trying to escape it for a day.

I don’t want to tell ANYONE what they can and can’t do, “live and let live”, or whatever. Just don’t be a jackass, treat people the way they want to be treated, and we’ll (mostly) get along. I don’t want to preach to people, my life isn’t your life, so, I shouldn’t be telling you how to run yours. I work holidays not because I have a bone to pick with this place (I do), but, because I enjoy the money, and keeping myself busy. I don’t celebrate holidays not because I wish things were better (I do), but, because I’ve never been one for celebrating things. Even Christmas morning eventually just winds up being another day to me. I don’t even celebrate my birthday, but, if you celebrate yours? More power to you. And it irritates me to no end that people online try to police what people do in their own lives. I may not LIKE celebrating, I may not LIKE partying, but, who am I to stop you if that’s what YOU want to do?

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