Wednesday, December 30, 2009

My "Holiday Gift"

Ah, the day job. I've been there for close to 24 years now. Until a few years ago, management used to present each employee, a week or two before Christmas, with a turkey. Yes, a frozen turkey, in a convenient box. And I always kind of liked that. Not only because I like a turkey dinner -- who doesn't? -- but because of the Dickensian overtones of the thing. Made me feel like Bob Cratchit, getting ready to feast on my Gracious Benefactor's largesse ("I suppose you must have the whole day, then. Be here all the earlier the next morning!").

Well, times have changed. Now, there's a "holiday" gift: a gift card, redeemable at Wal-mart for $15 worth of whatever. (I've heard it's set up so you can't buy alcoholic beverages with it, but I can't confirm that from my own experience.) The whole thing left me pretty cold. Until now, in keeping with my B&A status (Bitter and Alienated), I've simply boycotted the distribution of the Holiday Wal-mart Gift Cards. But this last time around, a couple of weeks ago, I queued up to collect one, because I had dreamed up what I thought of as a poetic response. This evening, on my way home, I implemented my response. I stopped at my friendly Wal-mart store, ascertained that my $15 card would buy me 36 rolls of Great Value™ toilet paper (actually, it was more like $18; I completed the purchase with a few dollars of my own cash), and brought them home with me.

I think I will derive some real pleasure, over the next few months, from wiping my butt on my Holiday Gift. Happy Holidays!


Anonymous said...

You know, if weren't so bitter and alienated, you could have used the gift card to buy...oh, um,...maybe a freakin' turkey about which you so eloquently pontificated! Or maybe do what I used to do when my employer gave me either a turkey, or in some years, a gift card. Give it to someone else who is more needy than you. That would certainly qualify for being in the holiday spirit, you wouldn't have to compromise your supposed principles, and maybe you'd lose a little of that bitter alienation of which you seem so proud. Happy wiping.

Jim Wetzel said...

Well, hello there, Mr. Anonymous (from the "freakin' turkey," I'm guessing Mr. Zank).

You should maybe look up "pontificate" before using it again.

My relationship with the day job and those who run it, and the related development of my B&A status, are a little complex; too much so, I think, to elucidate here. Let me assure you that I do give something to those needier than myself, but I generally do so with cash, which does not tie them to a particular vendor, as a "gift card" does. And let me also assure you that my wiping will be as cheerful as such can be ... the cheer being substantially augmented by the Holiday Gift medium of the wiping. Finally, let me thank you for your kindly-intended suggestions.

Anonymous said...

I know not of this Mister Zank of whom you speak. I know not of you, other than you seem to be a bitter, angry, unfocused, opinionated, person who needs to PONTIFICATE (I don't need to look up the word, though I imagine that you did) about obscenely ridiculous subject matter.

Thanks for the thank you. Isn't it wonderful how giving thanks can return the sentiment in kind to those humble enough to recognize the need to give it?

Jim Wetzel said...

Got a name? If so, we can talk. Otherwise, piss off.

akaGaGa said...

Well, I confess I'm surprised. Here I was laughing and trying not to picture you using your holiday gift, and then I find out that you're bitter and alienated unlike anonymous, who seems like such a nice, smart fellow - and so humble, too.

Maybe we could invite him to church?

Anonymous said...

Invite away. Of course any invitation implies the right of decline which would be my unqualified response. If I were deluded enough to attend a church or subscribe to the childish nonsense that passes for religion, I doubt I'd want to attend a church which gives succor to cry babies who lament the Christmas largesse of their corporate overlords.

Thanks though for thinking of me.

Jim Wetzel said...

What -- still no name?

And "crybaby" is all one word, by the way.

Anonymous said...

What is the hang up you have about a name? If I told you, you wouldn't know who I am anyway. I've never met, heard of, thought about, or had any sort of psychic revelation about you, your name, or anything else related with you. I happened to run across your blog entry the other day via a link and was compelled to respond to the whining tone and senseless affectation in which it was immersed.

You're correct about crybaby, though I used the plural, not the singular form. You never make a typo, I would imagine? No matter how high an order of grammarian one might be, touch typing is not an exact science, and is always open to error. I guess I would get a red circle around this faux pas if it were a term paper, but since it's merely a critique of a blog entry and the attendant comments, I would imagine my doctorate is not in jeopardy of being rescinded.

If you really need to know my name, I have no problem furnishing it to you, but, again, it will mean less than nothing to you. Ask again and you may receive.

Jim Wetzel said...

Probably because I'm closer to 60 than 50, and, in my old-school kind of thinking, there's a link between identity and accountability. You know -- the idea that a stranger is someone to whom you've not been introduced, meaning that you learn their name. No, I'm not asking you for your name -- just wondering why you don't want to volunteer it.

An apology -- I shouldn't have mentioned your two-word "cry baby." I understood what you meant, and that was quite petty of me. I'm sorry.

Now: something that I'm more interested in than your name. Why keep putting comments on this thread? You didn't like the post, you don't like me ... fine. Be assured that these facts are completely known to me. But by now, there's got to be a half-dozen or more posts above this one -- why not tell me what's wrong with those? Maybe give a link to your blog, so I can see how a much better person does it? Where's the pleasure or entertainment value in repeatedly telling a stranger of his deficiencies?

Maybe you just want to have the last word. If so, say so and it can be yours.

Tom (anonymous) said...

Thank you for your graciousness and for your explanation as to the value of placing a name with an action. Since I have entered your "house", so to speak, by inserting my comments onto your blog, I guess in a way I do owe you at least a name, no matter how peripheral it is to the matter, and however meaningless it will be to you.

I'm Tom Scanlon. I live in Cambridge, MA. I teach, write, and lecture.

I think of myself as an optimist and a pragmatist, and I do think the two are linked. At least in my personal corner of the world. I believe that's why I commented on your post. You seemed so negative and so narrow. If I felt the way you seemed to feel about your employer, I would move on to other things rather than torture myself.

I have not commented on your subsequent postings because I have not found the subject matter to be appealing to me. No offense. Everyone has a different interest level and focus, and that's as it should be.

As to pointing you toward my blog. That would be difficult since I have never seen fit to spend the time or energy in starting one. Sorry that I dabble in hard copy when I write rather than in the digital domain.

Also, I must say, Jim (if I can be so bold as to use your first name), your assumption that I don't like you or what you have to say is most insightful. Are you one of those unfortunate souls who feels that if someone disagrees with them, that it is of a personal nature? I only know you from what you write. Much of what I have perused here is quite good, thought provoking, and certainly strongly opinionated. While I disagree with much of your world view and somewhat with your style of delivery of that view, I do admire anyone who has some original thought and is not afraid to express it.

To assume that I don't like you seems to be a possible vestige of a wounded child syndrome, and if that's the case, I am most sorry. To be nearing 60 years of age and still feel beset upon in this manner is indeed sad, and I offer my support in helping you to see past such trivialities. I'm also sorry to have possibly caused you to revisit such apparent trauma or discomfort.

Sorry to have gone on for so long, but it just flowed out once I started typing. Hopefully you will find these comments conciliatory and supportive, for that's the manner in which they are being submitted.

Jim Wetzel said...

It's regrettably true that my performance is often unsatisfactory.

Tom (anonymous) said...

There are no regrettable truths.