Season’s Meetings

In Festivals, Head Slave, Office humor, work life balance on December 25, 2012 at 05:58

Seasons are what you see on TV or read in the news. Work drags on in cycles or rather, a death spiral. In the lab that is your office, climate control and uniform lighting keep the seasons and the sun at bay. You go by proxies to keep track of the outside world. The odd kite marooned in the parking lot says the end of winter is nigh. The admin dept. dusting out the old plastic X’mas tree signals the end of the year.

Prince Charles Weather Man

HS confirms the news:
‘Gentlemen, X’mas is upon us. And we haven’t even gotten off the ground yet with our mailers.’

‘Season’s greetings?’

‘Yes, but with coupons. Those stamps don’t come free you know. We estimate that even if 5% of customers use the coupons, the campaign would have paid for itself. Anything beyond that is profit!’

HS is clearly in love with his marketing skills. You are in doubt as to whether 5% would even open the envelope. Since you have not even had your first shot of caffeine yet, you decide to conserve your energy instead.

‘Thousands of coupons need mailing. This is not going to be easy gentlemen,’ he was being unusually honest.

‘But don’t worry. I have a plan,’ he was going quite out of his way here. ‘All of you leave whatever you doing. Whatever you are doing, just drop it. We can’t go home till all the envelopes are dispatched. No matter how late it gets, no matter how messy. The envelopes are our priority from now till X’mas Eve. ‘


And so they are. In fact, the envelopes are the closest you will get to X’mas this year. You and 4 other unfortunate slaves. You arrange yourselves in a mini assembly line: address, personalised message, signing and attaching the coupon being the steps involved. You try to imagine yourselves as little elves working round the clock to bring joy to the world. But the fact that you are peddling coupons for a hand sanitizer reminds you that you are working round the clock only because you have to and it brings you closer to the end of the month.

Elves at work

If targetted TV programs have taught us anything, it is that if miracles are to happen, this is the time. So you leap for a mini-miracle of your own. You urge your fellow slaves to see the envelopes as a stumbling block to holiday bliss. You try to rally them into the fastest way to finish the task at hand. But years of conditionaing gets in the way. You end up quarelling over the nuttitest of things like whether the order in which you sign the envelopes should follow seniority or whether the use of glitter pens confers an unfair advantage?


Its 8 pm, 500 envelopes still await your attention and there is talk of complaining to HS how Mr. A took up too much space to sign his name and how Mr. B took the top spot that should have been reserved for HS himself. X’mas is pretty much written off. This is when rare inspiration dawns on you. You take the soup you have ordered and empty the contents on to the pending heap of envelopes. You make sure almost every last envelope is smeared hot’n’sour.

Before your fellow inmates find their wits to verbalize their shock you are in HS’ cabin. You tell him you tripped, you spilled the soup, there are no more envelopes left, you apologize and you leave.

You wish them a Merry X’mas and you walk out into the remainder of the evening’s magic.


Seasons are what you see on TV or read in the news. The real tempest is what’s on your mind.

– J.

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