Freelance Writers: What You Will Be Missing

I have talked about the difference between the freelance writing life and office life before, but this time of year really makes me think about what it was like to work in an office. I've worked a number of thankless and exploitative jobs, but the holidays somehow brought out the weirdness in employers. Even though I'm the resident humor blogger, today's post is 100% nonfiction. I really wish I could have somehow invented some of these anecdotes but no, they are all true. Please read, enjoy, and feel superior. And happy holidays!

  • I got my tonsils out the day after Thanksgiving strategically because I had the long weekend to recover. It turns out that all the other clerks had taken the weekend off, so I had to come in, doped all to heaven and back on oxycontin with a little thermos of potato soup that my mom had made me. Fortunately, due to my presence, we were able to sell a total of $67 in merchandise that weekend.
  • Employers who were budget conscious decided that it would be depressing for everyone who had to work on the holidays, so they decided graciously to purchase a meal for us. Unfortunately, they were skinflints to the point where Scrooge would look generous, so we ended up getting only one tray of enchiladas for a staff of 75. That's nearly .5 enchiladas per person!
  • Some businesses are really packed on Christmas, such as movie theaters. Silk screen printers, less so.
  • The unofficial office decorator excitedly asked me what ornaments I wanted on my Christmas tree name tag. When I explained to her that I would prefer a menorah, she patiently explained right back that I would have to make my own [adjective censored, but it was very much contrary to the spirit of Christmas] name tag.

    Lest you think the request I was making was unreasonable, it was a holiday party and most of the employees didn't celebrate Christmas. In fact, nearly 50% of us were either Jewish or Muslim, both of whom really enjoyed all the free alcohol and pork tenderloin

    Oh, and it was a mandatory holiday party. Mandatory party is one of those phrases that should call to mind feelings of helplessness and desperate attempts to raise flagging morale because, well, that's what it is. On the plus side, if you're salaried, your per hour rate goes down for the entire month of December!

  • Nothing says happy holidays like watching your boss get drunk and make inappropriate comments about your date, who is too polite and terrified to create an effective defense. You could play the white knight and interfere, but nothing says happy holidays even more like endless meetings with human resources on into the New Year.
  • To show your employees that you value you them, be sure to give them a little holiday bonus. Be sure to give them easily verifiable and different amounts, though, so that they can all resent each other. Peace on earth!

Being a freelancer isn't always easy, but hopefully I've shed light on some very compelling reasons to stick with it into the New Year. Merry whatever to you and yours. I'm off to don my yarmulke in peace.

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Clint Osterholz is a freelance writer who thinks he's awfully funny, and is surprisingly not a disappointment to his parents. You're always free to check out his portfolio if you'd like someone to be funny, or maybe write something a little more serious. Subscribe to my posts (only posts from this author).

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1 thought on “Freelance Writers: What You Will Be Missing”

  1. Thanks for the hearty Yuletide chuckle! Did you make an extra large name tag with flashing lights??? I’d be tempted. Happy Holidays to yourself as well.


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