Hyppo and Critter: The Snot Heard Round The World
And a bonus from the Hyppo and Critter archives…
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Singer/Songwriter Tom B. Taker
The Two Days of Christmas
What Boss Is This?
Which is the reason for the season? Business or Christmas? Or, perhaps, the business of Christmas? It can get complicated. And it depends on many factors.
Of course, if your boss is Scrooge, you can pretty well guess how it’s all going to go down, right? Suddenly it’s all too simple.
My last two bosses have a lot in common. No need to rehash the whole thing. In short, they both love to eat money, they both are in retail, and they both have fake Photoshopped pictures of their business on their websites. They both consider themselves to be virtuous paragons of Christianity, too.
And they both hate to shut down for any holiday.
The day after Thanksgiving? No brainer. We’re open, of course. They’ll reluctantly shut down for the big day, but that’s it. Go on. Take the time with your family. Enjoy the day. Just don’t try to travel anywhere. Feel free to visit all of the relatives you want as long as they live in the same town.
Wow. How thoughtful.
Of course, we all know that day is called Black Friday. Even for a tiny little operation, that’s a day devoted to the unbridled lust for money.
It’s about the same for Christmas, too. Thanks to my bosses I have some precious memories of Christmas:
- Two bags of cat food, a container of kitty litter and a bottle of Pine Sol. (The Christmas Bonus song.)
- Another trip to WalMart with a Christmas “bonus.”
- Last, but certainly not least, the time my previous boss wanted me to attend his party on Christmas Eve. I declined, saying I had family coming into town. (The truth.) He told me I wouldn’t get my yearly bonus if I didn’t attend. Classy tidings of comfort and joy!
As an atheist, Christmas is a very important time of the year to me. It represents the holy grail of the most precious gift of all. Time away from my job!
Christmas and the Calendar
What’s the best possible scenario for Christmas scheduling? I think it’s when Christmas Eve falls on a Thursday and Christmas Day falls on a Friday. If you have a half-way decent boss, you just got yourself a four-day weekend! Even if your boss is a dick you still get a three-day weekend.
What’s the worst possible scenario? Have you looked ahead to December in 2011 yet? Take a look. Read ’em and weep.
Yep. This year we are facing Christmasaggedon. That’s Christmas Eve on a Saturday and Christmas Day on a Sunday. That’s absolutely the worst possible Christmas scheduling that mankind has yet devised.
If you have a greed-based boss, he’ll have an evil twinkle in his eye, rub his hands together, and exclaim, “God bless profits, every one! No extra days off for Christmas this year!”
Naturally us grunts assumed he’d at least make it a three-day weekend, even though days off are unpaid. (It’s well worth it.) No such luck.
Luckily, however, I anticipated all of this, and I thought to look ahead before my coworker thought of it. Days off request, baby. I took Friday and Monday off. He approved the request then talked about it in the office. Oops. Now the coworker knows. Too bad, so sad!
Sweet four-day Christmas weekend bliss.
Thank you, Father Christmas, that I had the foresight to plan ahead! At least someone is looking out for me. (Yeah, me, myself and I. We discussed this during our last meeting.)
Merry Christmas to me!
Remote chance of Christmas miracle
Ever since we added a Roku to our family, life has been pretty good. (But still negative, mind you! Don’t get too carried away!)
But there was still one little fly in the ointment…
The Roku was wired up to display a picture on our TV and the audio through our home stereo. Finally, Pandora through the big speakers and it sounded good.
Our state-of-the-art home theater system features a Sony receiver my wife cleverly picked up at a yard sale for only $5. That has got to be one of the best bargains we’ve ever seen.
But it did not come with a remote control.
So there I was, enjoying my Roku and living the good life with 42 different remote controls – and no way to remotely control the volume on my home theater! It was agonizing torture of the worst possible kind.
See, the Roku* isn’t perfect. One of its problems is that one channel will be quiet as a mouse, so you’ll haul your lard ass out of the comfy chair and adjust the volume way up. Then, when you switch to another channel, suddenly your head is blown off and the wife is yelling at you (even though you can’t hear what she’s saying).
I started to develop channel switching phobia due to this phenomenon. The volume level would sometimes change dramatically even while on the same station. Pandora even has the problem.
Apparently, as a civilization, we have yet to master the technology to make our devices work properly. That isn’t a component of the Information Age. I have dubbed the next age, assumed to be inevitable, as the Volume Equalization Age. Personally I can’t wait.
Anyway, you can easily imagine the living hell on Earth where I found myself stuck. I was literally forced to get out of my chair all the time just to make volume adjustments. Physically touching the home theater system was simply distasteful. The situation was unacceptable. And I was dangerously close to burning an actual calorie or two. Something had to be done.
I began to tell friends and family about my plight. I was hoping against all odds that one of them would put it all together and get me a universal remote that could control the volume level on my home stereo. It could happen, right?
Birthday came and went. No remote. Then Christmas itself came and went. No remote.
It was the most helpless feeling in the world.
And then, the miracle happened…
For some odd reason I actually stopped and looked at the remote controls I already owned, all 42 of them. The one we used to control the TV had lots of buttons. I squinted and tried to read some of the tiny print on buttons that were never used. Lo and behold, guess what? One of them said “Receiver” on it! What the hell?
I looked on the back. It had a web site! I sprinted to the computer. Conversation in the house paused as all watched me with a growing sense of dread. I never move that fast. The computer was already on and actually worked. Two more miracles! This was getting good. I punched in the web site and it actually loaded. Miracle number four!
Long story short, the web site gave me a four-digit code that I punched into my little remote control. I dashed back to the living room and gave it a test. It worked! It worked! It worked!
It was a true Christmas miracle!
It turns out that the answer to remaining the laziest human that ever existing was literally in my hands the entire time. It breaks my heart to think of the two years wasted getting up to adjust the volume when the answer was right there, within my grasp. Pathetic, really.
Now you can add me to the list of the true believers in the miracles of Christmas!
* Roku Glitches We’ve Seen So Far
- Volume levels are not consistent
- Some channels have long loading times
- Just like most routers I’ve ever seen, there is no “on/off” switch
- The unit has crashed twice requiring reboot by reaching behind and unplugging the power cord (again, just like most routers I’ve ever seen)