The Official Guide to the First Day Back at Work After the Holidays

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For many, today is the first day back at work after the winter holidays. As tough as that may be, don’t sweat it. I’ve got you covered with some quick tips on making this toughest of work days more manageable:

Sleep In: Stay in bed as long as possible. Technically, your vacation doesn’t end until you clock in. In fact, just show up at the office in your pajamas and pretend to sleep walk. They’ll just send you home because everybody knows you don’t wake a sleep walker.

Don’t Call In Sick: Everyone in the office knows what you’re up to, and everyone who has to pick up your slack will resent you for it. You know how guys in jail reserve the worst treatment for child molesters? I’m not trying to compare the two offenses, but the reactions may be the same. Don’t be surprised if Ted from Accounts Receivable greets you with an icy glare and a sock full of pennies.

Keep Discussion About How You Spent Your Vacation Vague: If anyone really cares, well, that’s what social media is for. If you’re not connected with somebody who genuinely cares on social media already, consider a restraining order against that psycho.

Don’t Be Nice and Bring in Coffee for Everybody:  You may want to seem like a saint but if you give them an inch, they’ll take a mile. Soon they’ll EXPECT you to bring in coffee. They’ll give you derisive, coffee-related nicknames. “Yo, Folgers Crystals, where’s my latte?” From there it’s a short trip to you getting a swirlie in the lobby bathroom before they tell you to “get your ass to Dunkin’ Donuts.” This never happened to me for real, but it IS an oddly specific fear I have.

Delete All the Emails Waiting For You in Your Inbox: If someone can’t respect the gentleman’s agreement we all have not to do shit in December, he or she doesn’t deserve to have an email answered.

Drop By Your Boss’s Office and Subtly Hint How You Spent the Holiday Doing Extra Work: “I’m glad you had a good Christmas, Mr. Edwards. I did because I got all my spreadsheets done on Christmas Eve. Nothing helps me appreciate the birth of Christ like knowing our budget for FY2017 will be balanced.”

Spoil Yourself For Lunch: It’s going to be a tough day, so treat yourself to a meal you genuinely enjoy. If you’re light on dough, help yourself to one of those free microwaveable dinners that every office fridge seems to be stocked with. If any of them have a Post-It note with someone’s name on it, remove it and share a quiet laugh with yourself, because that isn’t your name!

Be Tolerant of Others: The people who worked last week will stop at nothing to remind you of the fact that they slaved away while you cowered behind the long, furrowing cloaks of Jesus Christ and Santa Claus. “You look so well rested…you’re so lucky…must have been nice,” etc. First of all, no actual work gets done around Christmas anyway. Secondly, the guy who gets so dramatic over you taking a couple weeks off in December is the same guy who takes his loser family to Disney World for the entire month of February when it’s actually busy. I find that graciously delivered backhanded compliments are the best way to handle these people. “What a tremendous opportunity for you to actually know what having authority feels like!” Or, “I’m so glad you stuck around. I couldn’t think of a better person to keep the janitors company.”

Make It Clear To Your Other Co-Workers That Just Because You Rested Doesn’t Make You Weak: This is some 48 Laws of Power-type shit. Make sure everybody you work with knows you’re not soft. “While you were on your couch eating figgy pudding, I was sharpening up on my Microsoft Office skills. Hope your Powerpoints can keep up.” Then before they can respond, loudly clear your throat and bury your nose in a copy of Sun Tzu’s “The Art of War.” Knock whatever they’re holding out of their hands for added effect.

Work Late: Do this even if you don’t have any extra work to catch up on. Just surround yourself with a large stack of fake paperwork, roll up your sleeves, and furiously punch numbers into a calculator. Everyone assumes a guy using a calculator is busy. If anyone asks, just say some vague math-related comment. “These numbers are just NOT adding up,” you say, furrowing your brow while you type 8008 on your calculator to see the word “BOOB.”

Go To Happy Hour: Once the day is over, go grab a few drinks with some of your coworkers. Then leave before you get stuck with that one hammered guy who thought everyone was going all in and staying out for the night.

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One thought on “The Official Guide to the First Day Back at Work After the Holidays

  1. Pingback: The poetic end to your holiday season | JimEltringham.com

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