12 Stages Of Being Stuck At Work The Week Of Thanksgiving
During the week before Thanksgiving, being at work is almost laughably pointless. Your physical self might be sitting at your cubicle, staring out the window, but mentally, you're already far away from work. Somewhere beyond the fraying carpet and florescent lights, you are preoccupied thinking of things that truly matter, like what you're going to wear on Thanksgiving (what will most strategically hide the inevitable cranberry sauce stains?), or how on earth you are going to prioritize which side dishes to shove onto your plate first. And yet the more you fantasize about the caloric apocalypse that is nigh, the slower the clock moves.
The office becomes purgatory: Each hour that you spend there is just one more hour between you and gratuitous holiday drinking and eating everything in sight. Even lunch, the indisputable best part of any work day, seems to go on for an eternity. And it's not just you — everyone around you is every bit as restless and poised to bust out of the door on Wednesday evening (or, if they're savvy about it, to quietly disappear at lunch and never return). But still, you know in your soon-to-be-cholesterol-filled heart that you owe it to your employers to stick it out through the end of this short week (that still has no business being as long as it is), so you sit there and do your job while secretly thinking these many things:
Adorable, Unrealistic Optimism
When you look at a calendar, this week seems deceptively short. It's easy to be optimistic. This Monday is practically a Wednesday! Except no, not at all. These three days will drag on for a small eternity, but it's cute of you to try and pretend otherwise.
You powered through the entire first — wait, only 30 minutes have passed since the last time you looked at the clock? No. No, no, no — it must be broken.
Oh, God. It isn't. This day will last forever.
Boredom Unlike Anything You Have Ever Experienced Before
Even if you did miraculously get super revved up and determined to accomplish something, there is literally nothing to do. Everyone around you has completely checked out. Is this even a real job anymore?
Strange Fantasies About Food
The stapler has started to look like mac and cheese. Oh, also, only 42 seconds have passed since the last time you looked at the clock. A clock that now for some reason resembles mashed potatoes with bacon bits. (Help.)
One Last, Beautiful Second Wind
Somewhere around Tuesday morning, you see a glimmer that is either the light at the end of the pre-Thanksgiving work tunnel, or a pop-up ad that is about to make a bunch of noise and alert everyone to the fact that you were holiday shopping during work hours. Either way, you are suddenly inspired. There's no work to do? You'll find work to do. You'll conquer small nations, you'll move mountains, you'll finally impress your...
Uh, where is your boss? Are you literally the only person here?
So you were pretty sure everyone was going to be working this week, but somehow you're the only one in the office. Were you drinking crazy juice the day that your bosses specifically asked everyone not to take vacation days during the days leading up to Thanksgiving? Nobody is even here to be impressed by the fact that you stayed! And now that you've been spotted by that one coworker who would totally tattle on you, you are trapped here indefinitely. Or, you know, until five o'clock.
It's not fair. Why did you have to be burdened with such a commendable work ethic?*
*At least, in between rounds of Tetris. You are such a boss at Tetris.
Sheer, Unadulterated, Irrational Grocery Store–Related Panic
It occurs to you that you haven't even shopped for food yet, and now it is basically already too late. No matter how fast you run after your shift nor how late in the evening you wait, the place is going to be a mob scene. And just in case you were able to achieve some semblance of calm after having this thought, you immediately hear about the giant snowstorm about to hit the East Coast and destroy any and all chances you had of getting out of this godforsaken place.
At this point, you are so anxious for the end of the week that you have drained the office coffee machine single-handedly, and somewhere in your coffee-induced mania you start to go fully off the rails. You're still working, only now it's at an insane pace, and on things that really don't matter. LET'S START PLANNING THE SPRING PICNIC. Who cares that snow is actively falling outside? Everything will be GREAT.
By Wednesday, you are assuredly just going through the motions. You stapled some things. You're not even sure if they were your things or if that memo really needed to be stapled to a piece of day-old pizza, but it happened, dammit, and if anyone tries to give you flack for it, you can just stare them down with your lifeless, steely eyes until they leave.
A Burning Impatience That Makes Your Skin Crawl
Ugh, you would think having a miniature existential crisis would have made the day go by faster, but it didn't. As the last hours wind down, you're stewing in your own impatience and wondering how you got to this point in life where two measly days off is somehow as thrilling and impossible to fathom as summer break once was in college.
The magic time of day is 4:57 p.m. when you're JUST close enough to 5 p.m. that leaving doesn't seem irresponsible. Besides, you're way too keyed up to imagine sitting at your desk for another three minutes. SWEET FREEDOM! FOUR FULL DAYS OF CARBOHYDRATE-FILLED BLISS! You've earned it. Treat yo'self.
Images: NBC; Giphy (12)