Saturday, December 21, 2013

Work-Free Zone

The wind is gusting against the windows this morning, driving spatters of rain. When Olga and I stepped outside for her walk, she took a few steps and firmly planted her feet, letting me know that she intended to go no farther. (To which my inner self replied: "Sweet!") I let her run around in the little fenced yard outside our building, and then we came back upstairs.

Yesterday was my last day of work until Jan. 6. My fellow librarians all brought each other holiday cards and even small gifts (a bottle of champagne from my boss, an ornament from a coworker) and I felt like a complete loser because I brought nothing. I just didn't even think about it. I guess I have to re-engage with the expectations that go with working in an office. (Though I must say, even at my newspaper jobs, I only ever gave cards to a couple of people. You know me and my minimalist approach to holidays.)

Dave didn't exchange cards or gifts with anyone, either. Is it sexist for me to wonder whether the expectations for office card- and gift-giving are different for men than for women? It seems that men, rightly or wrongly, are more likely to ignore such niceties.

In any case, maybe I'll bring everyone something from Florida to make up for being stingy.

We only worked a half day, so I went to lunch with Dave, Gordon and Anna, another coworker, and then I went for a photo walk, grabbing the few available hours of waning afternoon light and walking from Maida Vale down to Marble Arch. It felt good to get out. I hope to do more of that over the next few days, before we go to Norfolk on the 23rd.

Speaking of which, I learned yesterday that there will be no trains running on Dec. 26, which shoots down my plan of coming back to London on that day. Boxing Day is a big deal here but I never imagined trains would stop entirely. So we'll have to return super-early on the 27th and I may even go straight to Heathrow for my flight to Tampa. That will be a long day of traveling, and pray the trains cooperate!

(Photo: Yesterday, on Edgware Road. I thought you might want to see the man with the Christmasy red scarf more clearly!)


  1. Can you imagine the ANGST I'd have if I had to consider getting coworkers gifts? Oh god. I would die.

  2. I used to get these little Christmas puddings. I'd get them in single serve sizes in nice boxes and I give coworkers when we got back in the New Year, calling them New Years gifts. I never could get it together in time for Christmas but New Year presented another opportunity. So yes, buy them some trinkets in Florida and you're good to go!

  3. Years ago (when I was a new employee) I did the gift giving thing and that lasted about 2 years when I realized that I was 'gifting UP' but most were not 'gifting down' to me. That ended that. And I do not gift to co-workers and do not send cards...too much pressures not to mention the cost. I just make sure to wish everyone a joyous Christmas and happy new year. Give everyone a Florida orange...LOL