The thing I hate most about Christmas is the thing I hate most about working all of holidays, namely having to work. Now I know alot of people have to work holidays. But working a job like mine, in a 911 call center has particular issues.
Over the years I have worked a lot of Christmases (and Thanksgivings). My kids have opened gifts at 5am before I left for work, and have waited all day and opened them when I got home. Over the years they have gotten used to the long drawn out anticipation, studying wrapped presents all day waiting for mom to get home. Usually they had one big gift from Santa that was unwrapped under the tree to amuse them for the day.
You would think the most depressing thing about working major holidays would be separation from your family, or dealing with major tragedies on such happy occasion. And both cam be stressful. But the very worst thing about working the holidays is dealing with the people who don't appreciate their good fortune being with their families.
The morning on big holidays is given over to custody disputes. Sometimes one parent is late bringing the kids back so the other calls police. Other times the one parent decides to hide from the ex on Christmas so the other can't have the kids at all. People...if you are incapable of co operating on any other day, give it a try on Christmas. You're not hurting each other, you are hurting your kids, who will remember Christmas as just one more fight between mom and dad. And speaking of fights...
Later in the day the volume of calls usually shifts to family fights. Its understandable to some extent. When families only get together once or twice a year, especially occasions that involve alcohol, and sooner or later they will start remembering why they don't really like each other.
All of this is hugely depressing to the calltakers, police officers and firefighters who are spending their holidays responding to everyone else's chaos.
As it happens I have this Christmas off. But a lot of my co-workers don't. So take it from me:be extra safe this year. Drive carefully and don't plug too many strings of lights into the same outlet. Burglaries happen a lot so make sure you lock the car and house up good. And try to get along. You will have happier holidays, and so will your community's safety forces.
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