It Figures

We have an artificial Christmas tree at work. Going around the base of it is a small toy train, about five cars long, that has been around for several years. In the locomotive car is a jolly Santa, giving an open-handed greeting that reminds me of a Nazi salute. This year, for some reason, the train won't run forward; it will only run in reverse. This seems oddly appropriate. Santa is taking the toys from the little children and sending them in reverse back to the North Pole. Given the holiday schedule for next week, which is requiring all of our PTFs and casuals to work 12 hours on Christmas, the grinchiness of the backtracking sieg-heiling Santa fits right in.

Even though I'm a regular with 15 years seniority and am getting my three-day weekend, I don't like seeing other people getting screwed over. I went in to the office and put in my two cents with the supervisors about the holiday schedule, given that there won't be anywhere near enough work to justify having all of those people there, but it didn't do any good. The supervisor who does the schedule told me that because some regulars on one of the other tours are being forced to work their holiday, it means that ALL of the PTFs and casuals have to work as well. His hands are tied. I don't understand why ANY regulars are being forced to work, considering that there are NO dispatches on Christmas. But because someone in charge on one of the other tours was a Scrooge, all of the PTFs and casuals are getting lumps of coal in their stockings. I only hope that the Scrooge on the other tour gets a visit from three ghosts, or perhaps gets that three-sizes-too-small heart enlarged.

Traditionally, we've always only had a skeleton crew of greedy volunteer regulars work on Christmas, since they get paid double-time-and-a-half that day. I've done it myself once or twice, a long time ago. Non-volunteers were rarely if ever forced to work Christmas, because there really was no reason for them to have to do so.

A common refrain among my co-workers is that in retrospect, perhaps the old plant manager wasn't so bad after all. He suddenly has a golden glow about him that wasn't just the glare of the lights beaming off the top of his bald head. I heard the saying "Better the devil that you know than the devil that you don't know" from more than one co-worker today.