I’m Not Getting Paid The Friday Before Xmas, But, It’s Okay, I’ll Live
My plight isn’t extraordinary. It’s the classic playbook for thousands of Americans who shriek under the lights of a season that belongs to privileged sects who have earned the right to be joyful — at a time that makes the ordinary folk feel even less adequate.
The period of goodwill towards men has converted to ill will towards those who can’t keep up with the dangling chandeliers and gift baskets that come in assorted forms. The pressure to not remain a loser in a game that was coerced for the most detrimental achiever — who works harder than fuck but still can’t make Hello Kitty stop for a quick hello, long enough to assuage a young daughter’s all but tattered dreams.
The suffering of blighted Americans is real.
We want to believe that no matter how bad it gets, Santa Claus decked out in red and white will somehow save the day. We need to hold on our glasses filled with polluted eggnog, as we listen to endless chatter about the shitty weather in Vail and the workload in Park Avenue — in order to deafen the screams of baby dolls that have nothing to wear for the most wonderful time of the year.
Christmas for me will be spent with friends and friends of friends and families of friends because my family is far, far away and I can’t make that journey.
I am also going to miss a paycheck because the time logged in is currently waiting approval. The name of the approver doesn’t ring a bell so it’s quite likely that she bailed and the temp agency has no clue of her whereabouts.
I hope she is snuggled up tightly to a Wall Street champ in Vail, because that’s what it takes to make ends meet these days.
I will survive. I eat very little and drink more so, a missed paycheck won’t ruin the spirit of Christ’s birth.
But, today I spent time with a woman at the job that I currently have that will end next week. She talked and I listened. Her daughter was running around us and I loved it. Her mother was irritated. The subject matter needed just our ears. She comes from the wrong side of the tracks and now that Trump is going to be your president — the weeds are going to overcome everything she is afraid of — now.
As always — the tiny office atmosphere consists of the haves and the have nots. The latter usually cater to the former. In just one week, I can see the system in place and I observe the mechanics of it with ritual disdain.
The White women are in command. They delegate, regulate and formulate the temperature of their household. The people of various colors — including myself — adjust to whatever the air blows in or reserves for later.
It’s a Swedish company so blondes and fake blondes rule supreme — as they should. I am only here for the check that I may never collect. The rest are present because they desperately need the check that I casually downplay.
The last days before the Christmas break were lax and ceremoniously carefree.
Boxes of chocolates, platters of bagels, the over-wrought decision about the trimmings of an online holiday card to be sent to internal employees. The mindless chatter of a White woman who loves to laugh on command and act out the role of caregiver and caretaker as if she comprehends how achingly transparent she is.
I hate that quiet condescending stuff emanating from losers encased in shells of societal acceptance. It’s like absorbing a needle to the vein that takes too long to bring forth the blood.
She shares her life freely and with loud abandon. She knows that her truth is a burden on the women who have so little but still manage to keep the offices functioning on the strokes of keys and the hope of daughters who love to dance to Meghan Trainor.
The day ends — and some of us head to the pantry to clean up. The White woman with her freshly crisp red lips and fake yellow locks, kindly bequeaths the woman who doesn’t have any fake assets with questionable leftovers in the fridge and littered all around us.
So sweet! So generous! So fucked up.
Minutes later, after I have gathered what has my name on it — I hear the proud giver, softly tell her associate how she selflessly assigned items that would have been destroyed if not for the beggar who thankfully didn’t have to beg for her end of year prize.
I listened silently as I rounded up my stuff and prepared for the exit. I hate to say this — but when White people are White — they are so goddamn White.
Maybe I am racist.
I don’t even know. The thing is that these situations always display the same players that look and sound alike. I guess, I need to get out more, or perhaps I am jaded.
Either way, listening to a White person talk about a person of color in dire straits in a manner that insinuates that their entry helped evolve them into a temporary reprieve is familiar and sickening.
I will not divulge why because it really doesn’t matter what I think at this point. We are about to inherit a racist bastard as our leader — so I honestly don’t give a damn what you think.
I just know that I will be missing a paycheck the Friday before Christmas and it’s not going to kill me.
The rest of us may not be so lucky.