Saturday, December 26, 2015

It's That Time of the Year

And now it comes, the time of year between Christmas and New Year's when all seems at a standstill - the old year done - the new yet begun.

Christmas is over and with it all the hustle and bustle and stress; the preparations - gift buying, wrapping, baking, sending greetings, family tensions, spending too much, the searching for that perfect gift - trying so hard to make every detail just right for everyone else while neglecting one's own needs.

Ah-h, time to relax, to reflect, to contemplate the New Year's Resolutions! (Lose weight, be a better person, organize that closet, be kinder, volunteer, take a class, etc., etc. etc.)

When I was still a working woman, i.e., gainfully employed, it seemed like the week between Christmas and New Year's was a dead space. Often the head honchos took the entire week off; very little actual work got done.
I was working for Edwards and Kelcey Engineering, a New Jersey consulting firm doing a feasibility study for the Iowa State Highway Commission, when the above photo was taken in December 1973. My 30-hour a week job was considered part-time, so I may have had much of that week off. My 'bosses' weren't in town very often anyway.

Two years later, 'official photo',  same dress, different job - Director of Public Relations and Alumni Affairs at the College of Osteopathic Medicine and Surgery. (Now Des Moines University.) The faculty and students were gone for the holidays. Did we shut the whole campus down? I don't remember. If I did go in to work there wasn't much that had to be done.

I remember buying this outfit specifically for job interviewing. I would have sworn it was for the one with The Graham Group, but the photo is dated on the back as September, 1987. That means I was still at Wright Tree Service in West Des Moines, even though I had begun looking for a new position.
Wright Tree was one job where there was plenty of work to do between Christmas and New Years. In addition to the month-end accounting tasks, there was also moving the previous year files into storage boxes and making up file folders for the new year. Some management personnel might have taken the week off, but most of the clerical staff was present and busy.

The following February I did wear the above outfit to an interview and got the job at The Graham Group in downtown Des Moines.

Instead of a cubicle, I had an honest to goodness office with four walls and a door. I got to decorate my space as I pleased. This was the last place I worked in the big city. It was my favorite place of employment. I was there for almost eight years before moving back home to be near and help out my Mother.
End of the year at Graham Group was very quiet once the office party was over. Most of the executives did take the week off or only came in for part of the day. The policy there was you could not hold over any vacation time, you had to use it or lose it. I rarely had any vacation time left, so to work I went. It was actually a very mellow time to be in the office. I know I used the time to make up new files for the coming year and any other tasks of that ilk. I had seven different sets of books, therefore seven different sets of file folders and computer binders.

Now there is very little I have to accomplish during this week after Christmas and before New Year's. I just have to remember to send my youngest grandchild's birthday card and be sure to get a new calendar for the coming year. Easy-peasy compared to years gone by even though it still seems as though this week is one of limbo.

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