It was nearly Christmas.
Everyone was talking about their holiday plans. Most were going skiing in Europe and then back to South Africa for a beach holiday over New Year.
I could not even thinkkkkkk of taking leave. Firstly, I had only joined the company a month or two earlier and secondly, the most junior person on the team always stayed put. I accepted my fate maturely.
About 3 days before Christmas, and on the last real shopping day, I got the call I had been waiting for. I was free to pack up early and go home. I was elated.
I planned to light a candle for my deceased granny (old tradition), pick up my Christmas pudding from my mom, book my Secret Santa Girls Lunch and finally get all the little gifts for my family. I was excited.
As I was driving out of my office, I got a call. It was from a colleague. She needed my “help”.
She had a deadline to meet and was not going to make it.
I listened some more.
She explained that she had loads of “important” things to do.
I continued to listen.
She had gifts to buy, cocktails with friends, carols by candlelight and oh yes, a spa day. She simply had “no time” to do her work and she wanted me to do it. It was a 5-day job that required working over Christmas in order to meet a submission deadline.
She sensed my energy dip, so she added something extra. She explained that she had already talked to the CEO of the company and “cleared things” with him.
She ended her pitch by adding that she thought that I “wouldn’t mind” because I had “nothing exciting to do anyway”.
I stopped listening. My ears just stopped playing ball.
For a moment, the CEO ploy flashed across my mental dashboard as I envisioned beautiful gold stars next to my name and a promotion. Fortunately, that shit didn’t last long. I came to my senses. Quickly too.
I said “I can’t help, I’m afraid” and when she said “And why not?” I said “Ear trouble”.
I did! I could have high-fived myself right there, I must say!
I hung up and went to light that damn candle.
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