Monday, December 26, 2011

My Annual Christmas Tradition


This year, I am spending my Christmas Day the same way I do every year.  It is a tradition that I have taken part in for over a decade, ever since I worked at Oracle Corporation.
Oracle is a family-friendly company.  They give flex time and comp time and vacation time so you can work as long as you like.  The Oracle buildings are even open if you should feel the need to get work done on weekends or in the middle of the night.  There’s also a florist if you need to send flowers to your wife for missing her birthday party.

Later, you can eat at the cafeteria for three meals a day, have your clothes taken care of by the dry cleaners, and sleep on the cushy carpets under the cubicle desks.  Oracle also has powerful internet connections, in case you need to download pornography over the weekend.
"Oh, hey they have Seinfeld on streaming!"
Not that I would, uh, do that.

One day after I spent a few hours not downloading porn, I noticed something: I got a lot more work done when the office was empty.  I started working more evenings and weekends.  Then, one foggy Christmas Day, I went in to the office and, instead of downloading porn, I worked.

Okay, so I stalked Larry Ellison a bit, but mostly I did work.  A lot of work.  In the six hours I worked on Christmas, I completed several projects I had never been able to finish and easily completed three times the work I would have done in a normal day.

It was an exhilarating feeling.  It was as if I got a surge of work-energy from all the millions of people slacking off that day.  From then on, I decided to do work on every Christmas.

As I write this (and the other four blog entries I plan on writing in the next hour, not to mention the game design work and work on my novels) I sit at a Starbucks surrounded by old Jewish men grumbling and snorting into their laptops.
Lattes for $3?  Mazel Tov!
I sip my vanilla latte and smile: It’s the only day of the year I can call myself productive.

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