Some patrons understand how their holiday gift could be viewed by the public or the press ("Corrupt Librarians Trade Favors for Ding-Dongs"), so they've learned to play along. When the thankful delivers a huge box of Godiva chocolates, I accept the box, then hand back an egg salad sandwich while proclaiming loud-enough-for-all-to-hear: "No, I cannot accept this egg salad sandwich at Christmas as a thank-you for all of my hard work." Or I pocket the $20 and hand back $1 while modifying the announcement, "I could never accept a dollar as a gift. Nope, never a single dollar. Cough. Cough."
All year long, we work hard for our customers. We get them to the right websites and show them where to apply for state aid or unemployment or even employment. We help them print their airline boarding passes. We listen to their complaints. We do hours of work that could cost them hundreds of dollars in the private sector and we charge nothing. We clean up their messes after they fuck around with everything.
So I don't understand why I can't have a treat once in a while. I have to take their shit, but I can't take their cookies. Why can't I ever say, "I'm sorry, sir, but as a government employee, I can't take your shit. It could be seen as a conflict of interest"? That would be great. "Unless you've brought enough shit for everyone. Did you want to give some shit to all these other people? Especially that big guy over there. Sir, this man would like to give you some shit."
So at least once a year, I try to remember how grateful I am to have a job that pays me pretty good money and keeps me out of jail. And Christmas is as good a time as any to remember and be thankful. Because I'm a Lorax and this is when we worship trees.
So at this moment of weakness, here are my New Year's Resolutions for 2009:
- I will try to not be mad when upstart blogs get thousands of readers only two months after they start posting; yes, I mean, Fuck You, Fuck You, Penguin, you NKOTB, hilarious motherfucker. Yes, I'm mad now, but I'll try to not be after the First. But for now, suck a fat one.
- I will continue to be more appreciative of all the hard work and effort others make in the world. I know that everyone has a job, and that job might suck, so I try to remember that when I interact with other people at their jobs. Most people try really hard to get things right, and I want them to know that it's working. So I smile back and say, Thank You, so they can think that maybe, just maybe, they kept that crazy man from murdering people: "I think I stopped this crazy guy from killing someone, like maybe a whole school bus filled with children, like a children's choir, who would spend their last moments singing, 'Oh, Holy Night' as he drove them off a bridge. Yeah, I think I kept that from happening."
- I will lose weight. Yeah, I know I've been letting myself go and you don't want to sleep with me anymore. But I'm still a man, damn it, and I have needs. So I'll lose the gut and do some push-ups. But you'll have to lose those panties once in a while. (Oh, wait, where am I writing this?)