The Gifthorse

I had a co-worker come up to me today and, to tell the truth, she annoyed the shit out of me. I’m not overly fond of her to begin with. But she’s pleasant enough and on the few occasions when she happens to stroll by, we exchange pleasantries.

This wasn’t one of those wham, bam, how are you, I’m doing fine, thank you ma’am kind of confrontations, though. Not today. She was aggrieved. Horribly aggrieved. You see, the Firm, for the first time in recorded history (or at least since I’ve been here, 1991) decided, out of the kindness of its corporate heart, to let us have half a day off Christmas Eve. This was in addition to the two days we got off later that week. The announcement came in the form of a nicely worded e-mail message that we only need put in four hours, rather than seven and a half. Anyone taking the entire day off (me for instance) merely had to pony up four hours of personal time rather than seven and a half. You get the picture.

What was her beef, you may be asking yourselves (or not)? It was this: The memo stated that the Firm would be closing at 1:00 p.m. This meant, to her, that we should have been given four hours, not three and a half. But the Firm, also as long as I can recall, has always maintained that we actually work an eight hour day, but they give us 30 minutes for lunch. So although we take an hour, we’re getting half of it. I don’t worry too much about things like that. Especially 30 minute discrepancies. I figure that up until the memo came out on Monday, it was three and a half less hours than I would have had to begin with.

And this on the day we got our year end bonus (a smaller bonus generally distributed right before year end, depending on the year’s profits), and in addition to the whopping bonus (old timers like me top out at ten percent of our annual income) we get the first or second week in December.

I told her I wasn’t going to worry about it, I was grateful to get the time off that we did get and she was welcome to bellyache to the managing partner about it. If I were him, I’d certainly simplify matters in the future by not giving us any additional time off at all.

God forbid she should have a real problem. Like, unemployment. Or worse. Sheesh.

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