This week my workplace has been somewhat quiet because many people are still off on holiday. This is but an illusion. In reality, it’s quickly become apparent that the relatively quiet holiday season has ended, and a bustling new year has started. I don’t miss much from my days when I worked for a giant aerospace company formerly headquartered in Seattle, but one aspect of the job I do miss very much is the fact that most of the company shut down for a week between Christmas and New Year’s. During that time, workers in the factory retooled the assembly line and prepared for another year of aircraft manufacturing. Office workers such as myself got the entire week off. We didn’t mind at all that we were paid for time off that didn’t count against our vacation days. I remember spending time at home doing nothing, and I absolutely enjoyed it. Those days seem long, long ago now!
My new job does not offer this benefit. We stayed open over the holidays, although we were closed the Monday after Christmas and New Year’s. Because I transitioned between jobs, I did not take any vacation over the holidays. Now, things are gearing up at work again. A new job with new responsibilities. Applying for new opportunities, such as a two week assignment in another country. Gearing up for the new cafeteria, which officially opens for business tomorrow. Planning future vacations and submitting vacation requests early. Preparing to bid on my next assignment in February. Although we had a lot of fun over the holidays, it would have been nice to have had a little more downtime. Oh well, c’est la vie. I can’t complain. I love my job and wouldn’t trade it for any extra vacation.
From the "Things that Make You Go…Hmm" Department: Congratulations to the University of Texas Longhorns for a stunning 41-38 victory over USC in the Rose Bowl at Pasadena, California. Heisman Trophy winner Reggie Bush overshadowed UT’s Vince Young all season long, but Young put on an MVP show and gave the Longhorns their first college football national championship since 1969. So, my question for Vince Young is…where are you going next? Disneyland?
Blog Notes: I’m really sorry to hear about the death of the 12 miners at the Sago Mine in West Virginia. One remains in critical condition. Just last week, a colleague and I happened to be talking about the wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald. All 29 crewmen were lost when the Edmund Fitzgerald, heavily laden with iron ore, sank in Lake Superior on the cold, wintery night of November 10, 1975. The crewmen left behind many loved ones–wives, children, parents, and grandchildren. Each year, people gather on the anniversary of their deaths to remember them. Each year, they sing "The Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald," the Gordon Lightfoot classic immortalizing the tragedy. Like the Edmund Fitzgerald, the Sago Mine accident was a terrible tragedy. I hope that their families will be comforted and that these men will be remembered, just as those lost aboard the Edmund Fitzgerald are still remembered even after 30 years.