December 30, 2003

Is there anything more depressing than being one of the 20 or so employees of a company that didn't have the vacation days to take off between Christmas and New Years? Sure, my vacation days went to good use to allow Melissa and I to have the most widely-travelled year of our lives (Chattanooga, Orlando, Pennsylvania, London, Los Angeles & North Carolina), but I wish to Allah that I was spared these forsaken days of pseudo-work.

These last days of december are "The Great Anti-Work." It's like a black hole, only for employees. It is a series of days so bereft of purpose and work that it swallows everything around it. Not even productivity can escape.

A total of six people on the entire wing of this building are still here, only three in my division, and no one has any work to do. I've already organized my desk, filed this year's paperwork, shredded anything over two years old and prepped my HR documents for the new year. That took all of yesterday morning, WITH frequent checks to my e-mail. So I've now got two days to revel in the complete lack of anything useful to do. Even CBT's (Computer-Based Training modules), the bane of any programmer's existence, and the only company-endorsed way of passing down-time, are not viable, as the server is down. Melissa asked if the managers would be sending us home early, under the circumstances, but I don't think anyone with that kind of power is still here.

It is a mental prison, this desert at the end of the Fiscal Year, and the only way out is to think up activities and projects for yourself. I'm usually able to do so, but I have hit a mental block this time, faced with a stretch of days so abysmal.

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