Vacation days are dumb beasts. They don’t know there’s a pandemic. They keep reproducing, even though they’re unnecessary, since the prudent person never goes anywhere anymore. Busy yourself working — isn’t that the best?
Yet they keep reproducing, out-of-sight. Then when your attention is finally forced in their direction, say, by your company’s human resources director, you’re shocked to see there are now dozens of them, a flock, cooing gently under the porch.
Use those days or lose them, and the only thing I like less than taking vacation — if you’re not in the paper, you might as well be dead — is losing vacation. You feel cheated. So I winnow the herd.
I was going to start vacation two weeks ago today. But the paper had scheduled me for diversity training, and that isn’t something the prudent employee skips. “Maybe if you had attended diversity training, you wouldn’t have . . . ” insert some head-slapping blunder here.
My only thought, beforehand, was an imperative. “Say nothing.” This event is transmitting information to me, not drawing information from me. Now is the time to show off my hard-won shutting-up skills.
The two-hour meeting transpired on Zoom. And might have vanished down the memory hole, except two days later, a presidential memo barring such sessions in the federal workforce was released. “The President has directed me to ensure that federal agencies cease and desist from using taxpayer dollars to fund these divisive, un-American propaganda training sessions,” wrote Office of Management and Budget Director Russell Vought.
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