Friday, December 16, 2011

Nurse the Hate: Hate the Gift Exchange

Once again I find myself trapped into the “White Elephant” Christmas gift exchange at work. This is an area fraught with perils that can end with you in lengthy training sessions regarding your understanding of diversity and/or harassment. For example, I worked at a radio station where a guy wrapped up a double headed dildo and left it under the tree. The random woman that unwrapped the three foot long rubber monster was not what one would call “laid back”, and immediately shot forth a flurry of legal paperwork that would have kept the Clinton Administration at bay for a decade. She was later fired for buying cigarettes with her company gas credit card, and the legal actions faded slowly into distant memory.

These “forced fun” celebrations at any public company are now best remembered for their catering to the lowest common denominator. The lawyers sucked all the fun out of this event years ago. Now these “parties” are usually dry, have cafeteria style food in foil tins, and have tables full of people craning their necks to see if the boss has noticed how supportive they are being. One sad woman is usually walking around taking pictures, as this may be the only holiday gathering she will be invited to in this holiday season. “Say cheese!” Judy from accounting will then force a smile as she shovels a forkful of cold lasagna into her craw.

The “party” will then move to the gift exchange section, where people that have no inclination to normally buy each other gifts of any kind, will then offer up hastily wrapped gender neutral gifts. As there is always a ridiculously low budget placed for these exchanges, it is almost impossible to buy anything that anyone actually wants. Last year I got a fucking coaster set and TV remote caddy. What the fuck am I going to do with that? It is like someone gave me garbage to put into my car. It’s still in my trunk one full year later. Someone paid $18 for that horribly ugly useless piece of trash, when they would have been better off just slipping me a twenty. Or better yet, skip the whole farce.

The other move is the gift certificate. One time I got a gift certificate to Chi-Chis for $20. You couldn’t have paid me $20 to go to a Chi-Chi’s, much less have me willingly go in there to eat deep fried flash frozen lard. Or how about a $20 gift certificate to Home Depot? “Hey, thanks for the $20 towards a riding mower. That will really come in handy.” That is the move that shows such little thought put forth, you should just say “Fuck it man. Here’s $20. Blow it at the Track.”

I also hate lottery tickets. The lottery is a scam made to take money from the poor, and then send it back to them in “education” with plenty of middlemen taking their cut first. I would rather be seen mainlining heroin in a bus station than be seen scratching off a lottery ticket. I think people would think better of me with a spike in my arm than with silver flakes all over my sleeves. Nothing says “loser” like a stack of worthless scratch-offs. No one ever wins that shit. Don’t give them to me and stain me with your scent of failure.

I always go one way in those gift exchanges. Small pets. I have wrapped up fish bowls, gerbil habitats, and lizard terrariums. It’s like packaging up Unwanted Responsibility. There is no better moment than seeing some woman you barely know open up a gift wrapped box to discover that she is now responsible for a gerbil. You thought you were going to get a Starbucks mug and a $10 gift card, didn’t ya? Wham! Here’s a gerbil! The best part is that you can’t give it back, as no one knows who put it under the tree in the first place. Well, most people assume it’s me, but they can’t really prove it, so what are they going to do?

Have a Merry Passive Aggressive Christmas! Each and every one of us!


At December 17, 2011 at 8:20:00 AM EST , Blogger Field Marshal Rommel said...

My sentiments exactly on the lottery tickets.

When you guys played my place a few years ago, just after we had remodeled, your job that night was to perform an exorcism. You see, the stage was built at the exact location where the lottery machines were located just a few months earlier. They had been there for over 30 years.

Of course it was no shock the Daredevils sent the lottery demons, uh, to borrow a phrase from Brother Ed, "fleeing the place with their dicks in their hands".

And speaking of it, we should probably perform another of those exorcisms in 2012, I'd say we're due.


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