Wrapping Up the Old Year

Back in the days when I was still gainfully employed, this time between Christmas and New Year’s Day was one of my favorite periods. I always took the week off, and after the mandatory Christmas hubbub it was nice for the three of us to get away for a few days to a hotel with an indoor pool.

We generally went across the border to Niagara Falls, New York. We could get there easily, it was never all that busy down near the American Falls, we could enjoy the light show just as well on the American side and there were always those outlet malls to visit. When we started, there was one right at the Rainbow Bridge but that mall couldn’t compete with the larger one out on Military Road. The Rainbow Mall closed around 2000.

That week off was great because I never looked forward to the New Year for various reasons:

  • All the taxes for Canada Pension and Employment Insurance returned so my paycheck went down in the New Year.
  • If there were any personnel re-engineering moves (i.e. people got fired) these inevitably happened when we returned after the holidays. Nobody lost a job at Christmas, but in the New Year…watch out!
  • After New Year’s Day was always the time when some newfangled HR initiative would get started. Pardon me if I’m cynical, but all that Performance Management stuff was just another¬†Theory X¬†(command and control) scheme inflicted on the workforce. I never saw anything positive in it or out of it.

No matter. In the brief week between Christmas and New Year’s we had a great family time – even I enjoyed it and you know how much I look forward to outlet malls.

Today we’d likely head down to Syracuse – but that time has passed. Sarah has her own family to entertain and as for Maria and me – well….

After Christmas 2004 this whole vacation week became moot because when I finished work on December 20, 2004 I knew I wasn’t going back in January. It’s nice to wind down after Dec 25 but the HR initiatives, organizational re-engineering and payroll taxes are far in my rear view mirror. And that suits me just fine.



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