Feb. 21st, 2011

athelind: (YAY)
After all these years, I understand the true meaning of this holiday.

I can look past the faux patriotism, the attempts at historical relevance, past Valley Forge and Gettysberg and the collision of two different chief executives from two very different historical eras.

I now understand what this day means to other people, and it has, for me, a deeply personal significance:

I have today off.
And I'm getting paid for it.

I think this is the first paid holiday I've had since I got out of the Coast Guard in 1990.

I've been paid on holidays, but it's usually because I've been working. This suited me just fine in the Coast Guard; I'd volunteer to take the duty shift on Thanksgiving and Christmas, since I didn't have any local family, and many of my fellow Coasties Puddle Pirates "Guardians" did. .

At the hospital, I continued my Coast Guard tradition. While my parents lived in the area, and, in fact, my stepfather worked in the same department I did, we officially Didn't Do Christmas. The sole extent of our celebration of the day was to have dinner together—and since Tri-City had an exceptional cafeteria that belied the hoary stand-up comic tropes about "hospital food", we had more than one "Christmas dinner" downstairs on my lunch hour.

Time-and-a-half was a fine Christmas Present—but it wasn't the same as a paid holiday.

Student workers in university jobs generally don't get holiday pay. Neither do most temp workers, or "short-term consultants*".

At Legends, of course, holidays are just a Slightly Busier Day, typified by customers constantly asking why we don't have a sale going on. Once or twice, as an experiment, Da Boss has had us open up on a holiday when most of the rest of the mall was technically closed, to see if we could catch some overflow business from the never-say-closed movie theater.

... damn. I have today off. I can finish laundry. I can work on the DC Adventures game I'm going to run. I can spend a couple of hours reading the last two months of comics that I finally picked up at my old job yesterday ("I'll clear out my box as soon as I get my first paycheck!"). I can do my taxes.

And I can do it all without feeling guilty for spending time I should be using to look for work.

* [SEMANTIC ANALYZER: "Short-Term Consultant" = "We don't want to pay an agency's commission fee for a temp."]
athelind: (Tiananmen Rebel)
One of the tags in my list is "The Revolution Will Be DIGITIZED". It's a play, of course, on the title of the song "The Revolution Will Not Be Televised. I first used the phrase as the title of a PoliSci paper I wrote around '92 or '93, concerning the role of new communications technologies in the fall of the Soviet Union and the sociopolitical implications of the then-emerging internet.

I've used the tag for a variety of reasons since I introduced it a couple of years ago, some overtly political and some ... less than revolutionary. Yesterday's Writer's Block post was the first time I really felt that I was using it in the sense I originally intended, back when I first wrote that paper.

Yes. The Internet, the cell phone, GPS/GIS, desktop publishing and 3D printing ... this is world-changing technology. It has changed the world. If you're reading this, it has changed your everyday life, the things that you consider "normal" and "routine".

And it is poised to change it even more. It's facilitating real revolution, producing "regime change" more deep-seated than invasion, occupation, and installation of "reliable" puppets ever could.

Mightier than the sword indeed, my friends.

Cross-posted to [livejournal.com profile] unitarian_jihad.

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