COLUMN: Ever feel like the whole world (but you) is on holiday?
Sometimes it seems like the whole world is on vacation.
Don’t know about you, but I’m here in this box, at this terminal (double entendre?), the second week of August doing the same thing I was doing the first week of January.
Don’t get me wrong (Hi Boss!), I love the job.
Just feeling a bit cranky, and I kind of despise teenagers right about now.
They’re easy to spot, all sun-bleached hair and nut brown in tank tops and flip flops. Struggling with huge decisions like do I go to the beach or the mall? Or flake out at the park? What a drag.
Then there are the teachers. Easy to spot—the ones feeling a little blue right about now because, you know, it’s August already? Just three or four weeks left of summer?
A friend teaches college.
We’re talking four months. Does hate the sin, love the sinner apply here?
I’m going to stop myself now, because this pity party is not making me feel any better.
On days like this, it seems the world is one big beach and all I see is a chained-link fence.
The park across the street from my office is crazy with lawn chairs and bocce tournaments. My neighbours are packing up their SUVs for the Island, and for Okanagan sun.
Right. The bright side…
The drive into work is kind of nice.
There’s no one on the road. And wow! There are parking spots galore once I get to work!
Maybe those pleasures outweigh the aggravations of being on holiday.
Those beaches can get busy.
And don’t forget how hot it can be out in the sunshine between dips in the ocean.
Sunscreen is expensive!
And drinking a beer or two out on the deck in the afternoon every day can put a few pounds on that waist line.
Perhaps perspective is needed.
Is anyone out there? Maybe I’m not the only one, sitting here, by myself, while all of you, you know…
My brother lives in Denmark, and his Facebook page is full of updates from Mallorca, the cabin and great dinners with friends under the northern sky.
In Scandinavia you don’t say you’re going on vacation.
You tell folks when you’re going back to work.
“Yeah. Just for a couple weeks, then I’m off for another five.”
Somewhere in Copenhagen, Oslo and Stockholm there must be hidden factories where replicants do all the work.
I was pleased to hear Stephen Harper is using Europe’s economic troubles as an opportunity to teach all those Continental layabouts a lesson, and perhaps nudge them into reconsidering their awful socialist tendencies.
Harper told them they’re on their own. There’d be no cash from us—Europe is rich.
Instead of taking our money, they need to raise the retirement age like us, dammit, and stop having so much fun!
Perhaps we’re all headed the way of Asia.
Instead of mandatory vacations of four and five weeks (and more) like one finds in Europe, we will be more like Taiwan, where you get seven days, or Thailand’s six calendar days, or even China, where you get five. After 10 years it goes up to 10.
Considering all that, maybe it’s time for me to shut my trap a little and count my blessings.
And keep marking Xs on that calendar until the break arrives.
• Chris Bryan is editor of the NewsLeader, and just a tad bitter.