Now that everyone is nicely in debt, suffering from the flu, and ready to get back to work, I now must take a step back and see the world that I am part of and ask myself why people do what they do, especially pondering the question of why is everyone so pissed off this time of year? Since the new year has started I have noticed a shift in the people around me, and more so from those who I work with, but this also applies to some of my friends too. However, I think there is more to it than meets the eye?
We just got off of two long weekends in a row with two paid statutory holidays. We went through, for most cultures, the most festive season in the calender; of course, I am the exception as I don’t celebrate the Christian, Jewish or Muslim traditions, but the Season of Tom (sic), which is 365 days per year–I am not a lemming. I enjoy everyday and treat everyday like it is New Years. So most people gave each other gifts and had fun with family and friends, and I am sure it was time well spent, but what happened afterwords, when it is time to go back and renew the year, the week, and continue on with our jobs?
So why does everyone seem so pissed off? Is it becuase the party is over? Hum? No, I think it goes deeper than that?
I think part of the answer is in the frustration that times are leaner, and becuase of the tight economic era that we now live in, people are “taking it out” on the first person that they encounter becuase they are frustrated with themselves . People have over spent. As the cost of living shoots upwards, so does the cost of giving in the monetary sense. So far since I have come back to work I have heard nothing but complaining about how in debt everyone is, and how expensive things are getting. Also, the labourers seem unwilling to motivate themselves as one person put it, “How can I work for this much when it now costs me more to do the job in the first place…” When they complain, the management resorts to apathy towards them. When they come to me, they act sometimes so vulgar and pathetic that I tune them out too.
Take for example the “Coughing More-On.” Today while I was setting everything up to start my day, this one guy comes in coughing and hacking his lunges out becuase he is in the full throws of the flu. First, he shows up at work so sick that he could pass out from coughing so much. He then starts coughing without covering his mouth. He told me that If he caught it, then it should get it passed around also so he can “give it back” to whom ever he caught it from down the line. Stupendous logic here, eh? I know for someone with AIDS, there is a section in the Criminal Code of Canada that deals with that, and under the Infectious Diseases and Control Act, there are provisions for dealing with those people, but there ought to be something in there to the flu too, especially on the job. But I ask this question, because he is sick, does that mean he must make everyone else around him sick too?
So money and health seem to be the first casualties of the new year. This does not surprise me? I heard on CBC Radio One that the stats on consumer spending surveyed by the Bank of Montreal says that Canadians are confident about the economy. First, a Bank telling us that we are happy with the economy – now that is a joke. But it also says that if the Banks are happy with the way we are spending, and unemployment is still increasing, than that only leave debt as the only logical answer to this social phenomenon. Throw in some flu germs and you now have the recipe for Post New Years Disorder.