In the hopes of impressing my office enough to finally garner full employee status and get new health plan discounted glasses, I spent a significant amount of my holiday signed in to work remotely, meticulously going through everything I could think of, so all our files would be perfectly updated for the coming year, with no more clients slipping through the cracks or being misplaced due to spelling mistakes. (The number of people who sign up with commas for periods in their e-mail addresses is simply ridiculous). I signed in when I got up and again after dinner almost every day of the holiday, without fail. “Notice what a shiny, industrious little go getter you’ve got on your hands,” I hoped. “See how I’ve gone through the worst of our dreary lists with a fine tooth comb, straightening everything up!” Even through the weekend, it turns out, because who pays attention to what day it is when on holiday, when what I really wanted to be doing was deleriously playing out in the snow.
Guess what backfired.
I filed my hours today and got a letter back, “Can you account for these hours?” Bafflement turned to shock turned to hurt when the term “honor system” was mentioned. I immediately saw what the problem was: Holidays are for Days You Do Not Have To Pay Your Employees. Apparently we were only ever meant to check in, not actively seek out what else we could manage to do, so now not only did it turn out that I worked those weekends for free, my employers might be questioning my work ethic! I don’t know if there’s any office accusation as depressing. Bah. Argh. Hate. I’m not one of those flaky “my word is my bond” types, but damn do I hate being even slightly accused of being a liar. I still occasionally feel terrible about how I misremembered who was in a story about spilling coffee on William Gibson from when I was fifteen. That’s how much it galls me. Going back on Monday is not going to be fun.
I’m still glad about what I accomplished, but now, instead of being pleased to be back, I’m simply morose.