Home for the holidays

So did Santa bring you what you wanted? If you work for the federal government, in Washington, D.C., Baltimore, Dallas or San Francisco the short answer is yes and no. It has been a wild ride but the good news, if you are in need of some, is that shutdowns and near misses this year let the public know in a small way how many federal workers are essential.

When I was a starving (and hence, much skinnier) reporter working horrible night shifts at The Washington Post, I don’t ever remember being forced to work on Christmas Eve or Christmas Day. I often did because I needed the holiday pay, but I rarely had to, even if I was on the schedule.

That’s because one of my Jewish colleagues would invariably ask me if I wanted to trade shifts, even if he or she had a nice 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. gig and I had the 6 p.m. to 3 a.m. shift. Some of them weren’t particularly religious but they were all nice, and considerate.

I think of that every Christmas, and it gives me extra appreciation for folks who are required to work holidays, either because of their jobs or dedication, or because they are covering a gap for somebody for whatever reason.

So if you are on duty this holiday for whatever reason, thanks. Many of us do understand and appreciate it. And if you are off like me, enjoy yourself.

Merry Christmas, happy holidays and here’s to a safe new year.

Nearly Useless Factoid

By Amelia Brust

It’s believed that humans are never more than 10 feet from a spider no matter where they are. To be truly “spider free,” one would have to enter a fumigated capsule.

Source: How Stuff Works

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