Friday, December 28, 2012

So That Was Christmas

As we are all aware from copious adverts, blanket publicity and saccharine marketing campaigns from multinational corporations intent only on making us better people, christmas is a time for giving. There is nothing more noble and appreciated than giving, it would appear. I'm not totally sure about that because I gave someone a cold sore once and they were less than amused.

It's not just individuals who can give at christmas, but organisations as well. For instance, after sending my mobile phone back to my supplier because, as I told them, it had a faulty battery, they kindly gave it back to me still in situ only with a helpful label on it:

The new Samsung Faulty range was not a marketing success

Of course, it would have been more generous had they sent a working battery, but at nearly five quid that would have been far too generous for a tiny start up company like Virgin Media.

My own employer was also in a giving mood this festive period, and we had a new water dispenser installed in our ambulance station so we no longer have to lick condensation off the windows (which  was unnerving the firefighters in the adjacent station and putting them off their porn and fry ups).

Emblazoned in bold type on the front is the name of the water dispenser. Sure they could have gone for something corporately acceptable and expected  like 'AquaTech' or 'HydroSpurt' maybe, but no. The mind responsible for product nomenclature in this company, presumably ensconced somewhere on the right side of the autism spectrum that we all occupy to some degree, went for something much greater:

Behold, the Double Ay Double Three Double Zero Ex!

That, my friends, is the AA3300X.

An awe inspring name I think you'll agree, possibly more suited to a merciless robotic killing machine than a water cooler but that just adds to the impact. I insist on calling it by its full name whenever it comes up in conversation.
"Just going over to the AA3300X. Anyone want any AA3300X juice?"
"Are there any AA3300X cups?"
"Deploy the AA3300X!"

I'd like that trend to continue. Maybe bring out a new stapler called the PX-Buffalo or a Desk-Hawk Z9000 Tactical Hole Punch.

Anyway, this time last year I was in melancholy mood as I was at work, and blogged about it because that's what I do. I complained (a bit) about not getting into the christmas spirit which is understandable when one has to treat it like any other working day.

This year was a smidgen different though. I got given a new knife and a book on whittling, and also some booze because it's a classic combination, but I was also given a particularly valuable gift that would have been quite difficult to wrap.

I got gifted the gift of . . . *profound face* . . . time.

Obviously I don't mean someone gave me a watch, even if they are also difficult to wrap. No, this year I was one of the lucky few granted annual leave over the festive period, so didn't have to go to work and instead got to witness the full delights of my offspring opening their presents, open mouthed and agog at how prescient Santa must be to know exactly what they wanted, even though they've talked of nothing else since September.

Apart from the occasional thought about how much cheaper this time of year would be if I had naughty children, I really enjoyed myself and definitely did get into the spirit of things. I appreciated the food, the merriment, the indoor conifers, the stupid hats, the company and the giving. I suppose it seemed even more special because time off with my family . . . well, it's not a given.

I'm working over the new year, but I think I can manage that without undue grumpiness now.

Here's wishing you and yours a very happy one.