Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Un-Awkward Bagel Days...

It's a gloomy day out there again today. I think our Indian summer is coming to an end and Autumn is, again, attempting to take control. It's not cold yet but the temperatures are supposed to slowly decrease as the week goes on.

Some days feel more like Autumn than others, despite the air temperature outside. Today, for example. The leaves seem to keep coming down regardless of the obsessive attempts of my neighbours to stop them from collecting in the yard, diligently raking on a daily basis, trying to keep their lawn leaf-free. To them, I say...Give it up! I know that it looks messy with the leaves on the grass but the trees aren't bare yet. Until the leaves have finished falling, it's a fruitless job. At the end of the day, their lawns are covered again. They're fighting a losing battle.

My neighbours, who I am officially naming "The Griswolds," are still putting up Christmas decorations. I suspected they might. They started the day after Halloween and, no joking, every day since then, something new has been added. Since they haven't started to turn them on at night, I'm thinking they're pacing themselves so that they can do one, giant, grand unveiling. In addition to the giant plastic Christmas lights, they have candy canes, a pile of soggy-looking presents, a plastic, several lighted plastic Christmas trees, a caroler, a snowman, a row of snowflake lights and a row of just normal lights. This is all just in the yard. I can't wait to see if they start putting lights up on their house. While I mock them, I still await to see how much they will add, how far they will go.

And, as I suspected, their Christmas fever is catching. When I drove down the street on Saturday, several other families looked to be preparing their own festive displays. To me, an Indian summer meant sitting outside in the sunshine or finishing up my backyard to prepare it for winter. For others...it clearly means it's time to deck the halls. To each his own, I suppose.
I'm starting to see more decorations creep up in gardens, in stores, all over the place. I admit, I'm avoiding the Christmas sections of stores mostly because I am easily swayed by cute snowmen, glitter and holiday candles. It all starts somewhere and the minute I replace my pumpkin pie candle for a candy-cane one, I know I'm doomed. I'll have caught Christmas.

In the meantime, our office is still devouring the leftover Halloween sweets that everyone bought in. Whereas I ran out of trick or treat candy about one hour and fifteen minutes into it, everyone else, apparently, had a shortage of trick or treaters. I think they all came to my neighbourhood instead. This means we have chocolate eyeballs, zombie fingers made out of chocolate, Charleston chews and Butterfingers galore in the office. This morning, we also have bagels. Fortunately, this will not mean an Awkward Bagel Day because the bagels are in our break area and it's pretty much a 'grab one and take it back to your desk' type of situation. Someone brought them in for his birthday. Around here, you bring in your own treats for your birthday.

To be honest, I'm not quite sure I really understand that logic. To me, that's sort of like saying, "Office, in honour of the fact that I was born and you are graced with my presence, I give you......

BAGELS!"

Granted, people like bagels and never turn down a free one. Generally, people don't bring in bagels though, usually it's one of those packages of cookies that you get from a store bakery. Last year, I baked cookies because I was too cheap to buy a package and I already had the ingredients. The problem with that is that cookies for others are supposed to be baked with love. I admit, my cookies were baked with something like resentment because I didn't think it was quite right to have to buy or bake my own cookies on my birthday.

I know, I know...I sound a little bitter but, keep in mind, I come with a vast background of past jobs since I was trying to find my purpose in life and all. Even at the jobs I disliked most, the office would band together and get a cake or treat of some sort. I never minded contributing a few dollars to a birthday fund. The larger of the companies I worked for would do a 'group cake' once a month, celebrating all the birthdays in a department/company that fell in that month, the smaller would collect a few dollars from everyone and they'd pitch in and get something for someone's birthday.

When I first got to this job, I was a wee bit astounded when I found out the celebratee of the birthday bought their own treats. I asked, timidly..."Why do we do that?" and I was told that it was the way it had been done for a while because it wasn't fair that someone would have to be responsible for it, that the same people always had to pay for it and it got to the point where it was too much. Thus, instead of spending the money on someone else's birthday, we spend it on our own. Now me, being the crazy Monkeypants I am, would, in that case, rather go home and spend the money on a nice bottle of wine or a big Kit-Kat and eat it all by myself. Generally, I think of myself as quite generous but my birthday is the one day of the year when it's all about ME.

Now, to be fair, I think the initial problem was the same people would always have to bring in the treats and pay for them out of pocket without getting reimbursed. Now that isn't right and I understand that. At the few companies where we didn't have a birthday fund, dare I mention that our managers would take care of it? Now, knowing my manager here and knowing that he would NEVER remember, I'd expect him to delegate someone else to remember these things and to set them up to bring in bagels or something. I know, I'm being mean by expecting the managers to pay for a cake/bagels/cookies out of pocket but I also happen to know that my manager earns, literally, almost triple my salary so....yes, call me a selfish little Monkeypants, but if anyone has to treat, maybe it should be the manager.

I've also been told we don't HAVE to bring in treats yet I know this is frowned upon a little. If everyone else brings in treats, I should too. So, I did last year and I probably will again because there are some compromises in life that just aren't worth fighting. Also, since I'm eating a bagel as I write this, it's only fair that, when my birthday comes, I should repay the bagel favour by saying, "it's my birthday. Celebrate me and my fantastic presence on this earth! Have a bagel!"

I should probably make sure I don't sound quite that sarcastic. I have time to work on that, fortunately.

Happy Tuesday!

1 comment:

Ladyaero said...

Charleston Chew...so tasty.

As for birthdays, think of it this way- you ARE fabulous and terrific and you SHOULD be celebrated! If you wait for small minded managers to remember, you're only setting yourself up for disappointment, so why not celebrate yourself?! Just make sure whatever you bring in is something that makes YOU smile and feel like you had something special (favorite treat from a local bakery? something special from the farmer's market?). Or, you could be like me and take your birthday off as a vacation day every year ('cause there is seriously no way I'm sitting through a 2 hour telecon on my birthday). ;-P

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