Advent Calendar 2014: Day Nineteen

by Steve

Out of office

Today is my last day of work this year. Hurrah. Etc.

I usually work right up to Christmas Eve. There is something fun about rushing home on Christmas Eve, picking up some last bits on the way, London finally festive and friendly.

There are also practical considerations. The trains empty out on those last few days before Christmas. The loveliest commute of the year. The office is virtually empty too. There is little work to do. Much better to take your leave when everyone is busy and make the most of those occasions when you can arrive late, take a long lunch and leave early.

It doesn’t always go quite to plan. I remember working in one place where I was the only one in on Christmas Eve. I arrived with a monumental hangover and could barely open up for the shaking. I had one job to do that day. One job. Just send out a festive email to all our contacts. But there had been IT issues. And there were now hangover issues. And before I knew it I had sent a blank email to thousands of contacts. I cut my losses,¬†locked up and headed home.

That is the other thing about Christmas Eve. It is usually a half day, although you have to take a whole day’s leave if you want the day off. Although the half day thing doesn’t always work out either. In another job they laid on a full English breakfast for staff in on Christmas Eve. Everyone made a big fuss about it. “Just turn up for the breakfast, pop up to the office for a glass of wine, then head home.” I couldn’t wait. Yet, by 3pm, sitting at my desk, with no sight of anyone going home any time soon I wondered what exactly had gone wrong.

So, this year no Christmas Eve shenanigans, but a lovely two weeks off work. I can’t wait. It feels like Christmas can properly start now. I might even start my shopping soon.