Dear Wendy
Dear Wendy

Weekend Open Thread

Here we are on the second to last Friday of 2020, so that’s something, right? I hope you all are hanging in there, and that those of you who have been sick with Covid are feeling better and that your families and loved ones are safe. I’m pretty hunkered down here in Brooklyn these days. I go out for walks/jogs in the park most days, and go grocery shopping once a week, but other than that, I’m mostly home. We did take the kids ice skating last weekend and it was too crowded and I felt panic-y the whole time so I guess we don’t do that again any time soon. It’s hard to find the balance between getting the kids out for fresh air and exercise and maybe a teeny bit of socialization and protecting everyone’s safety. I foresee many movies and hot chocolate over the next few weeks (mine will be spiked with bourbon). Anyhoo, here are some links you might find interesting:

I thought, especially after this week’s discussion in the forums, that a lot of you might relate to this one: The pandemic has destroyed friendships and divided families

A year like no other: 2020 in pictures

There’s something for everyone on this crazy list of last-minute Christmas gifts. (I like the hydration bangle, myself).

I feel like this might be one of the more depressing headlines of the year in a year full of depressing headlines: “22 holiday Zoom backgrounds for your virtual office party and seasonal gatherings”

Related: Your Office Doesn’t Need a Virtual Holiday Party

The 20 Phrases That Defined 2020

The Best Things About the Worst Year Ever

ER doctor Cleavon Gilman, a veteran of the Iraq War, says it’s still hard to communicate the brutality of a disease that kills people in the privacy of a hospital wing, not on the streets.

“That 300,000 Americans would be dead and life would go on and people would not have empathy for their fellow Americans,” he says. “I can tell you this is worse than being in war.”

Throughout the pandemic, Gilman has shared photos and stories of people who’ve died from COVID-19 each day on social media. He wishes someone in every city or town of America would do the same.

“All the people that you’re not going to see a big article about and you’re not going to hear about them anywhere else,” he says. “It’s really important to honor them.”

— How Do We Grieve 300,000 Lives Lost?

7 comments… add one
  • avatar

    ele4phant December 19, 2020, 5:11 pm

    I liked my team’s Holiday “party”. We did a virtual white elephant which gave us a focus for conversation, we kept it relatively short, and the company they partnered with local resturants to provide everyone with a nice takeout dinner.

    Was it the same as a normal company Christmas party? No, of course not, but it was fun and I appreciated the company’s effort to do something nice for their employees. And frankly, normal parties aren’t always that fun either. At least this way I got to wear my sweats and I didn’t have to count the minutes until I could reasonably leave without it being rude.

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  • avatar

    Kate December 19, 2020, 5:49 pm

    My team’s zoom party was bad. I’m biased because I’m a bitch, but really. It could have been a lot better. First of all it was at 9am because we have two people in Bangalore. Then we were supposed to go to a certain very simple URL to play a trivia game, and several people were ~challenged~. I felt like I was in a nursing home. Like just unnecessarily incompetent with the internet. Then we played a company approved game that involved zoom breakout rooms and was just awkward. Then we looked at a PowerPoint. Also, people were told to dress festive but they just used the zoom filters.

    Then later I had the stupidest client call of my career, which is saying a lot.

    Earlier in the week an old white guy called me Kiddo.

    I’m exhausted.

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  • avatar

    bloodymediocrity December 19, 2020, 9:24 pm

    Ugh Kate – that sounds awful. The only thing worse than an awkward work party is an awkward work party ON ZOOM at 9AM. That sounds like hell.

    Being able to skip out on the annual “holiday meal” provided by my work – catered by the local grocery store with the weakest of vegetarian options – is one of the few silver linings of the pandemic.

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  • avatar

    TheLadyE December 20, 2020, 3:19 am

    We’re not even having our holiday team “party” until January. I appreciate my boss and her boss trying, I really do. But the point of holiday parties is to get dressed up, have dinner and drinks and get to know your colleagues outside of work, just like the article says. I started a new role at an incredible, global company in April and I haven’t met really any of my team in person, including my boss.

    I’m the type who loves getting dressed up for holiday parties. I have 3 freaking amazing dresses that I rotate in and out. I go ALL OUT. And this year, if we could have met in person, I could’ve brought my boyfriend whereas every single other freaking year I have gone to my company’s holiday party solo.

    I look forward to next year, when hopefully things will be back to normal. Maybe it’ll give me time to lose the COVID 19lbs I’ve gained in quarantine, heh.

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    • avatar

      Kate December 20, 2020, 6:26 am

      My boss, kudos to her, wore a red sequined dance dress and a Santa hat. Everyone else disappointed me though. Oh and! I wore a cute T-shirt that said “It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas” and a Santa and reindeer headband, and I put on a red and green plaid shirt unbuttoned because I don’t have a red or green cardigan. My friend was like, “Kate, you look lumberjacky! I thought you’d be glam.” I was like, fuck you, literally the only thing you did was use the Rudolph filter your son showed you.

      I miss the drunken hot mess parties we used to have at my old company before a big boring company bought it. The CEO’s wife used to get wasted and say incredible things. And we always dressed cute.

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      • avatar

        ktfran December 20, 2020, 3:02 pm

        Years and years ago, before our small, 300-person company was bought by a multi-national behemoth, our holiday parties were similar to a wedding reception, without all the bullshit speeches and cake cutting and entrances and first dances. Women in cocktail dresses, men in suits, open bar, DJ, lots of food!! On a Friday or Saturday night. I started there in 2003 and that lasted until 2008. Ahh, the good old days.

        The last few years, our holiday party was at a local bar/restaurant on a Thursday. Apps and two drink tickets and a raffle. Some of us would go out after. You’d always know who really went out by those who didn’t come to work the next day.

        We’re not doing anything this year and I’m totally fine with that. A few of us who don’t regularly work together and actually like one another are doing a quick happy hour on Tuesday to say hi. That’s it.

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  • avatar

    Copa December 20, 2020, 1:55 pm

    We had a Zoom holiday party at noon on Friday. We were randomly assigned to teams for trivia and went to break-out rooms for it. My boss was on my team and so intense about it. Like, chill, bro, it’s virtual trivia and it’s all holiday themed with bad questions. But my team did win and now I guess a prize will be arriving in the mail — I assume a gift card. But the whole thing felt like a waste of time. December is one of my two busiest months of the year and I had stuff to do.

    Our usual parties are just okay. I work out of a smaller satellite office so it’s normally a nice lunch with our executive team from HQ. Our executive director is kind of weird and it’s a small enough group that’s he’s kind of unavoidable. After lunch, a bunch of us — usually the younger crowd only — go out for drinks on the company and that’s the fun part.

    The one thing I like about work in December is that our office close between Christmas and New Years and we’re still paid. I don’t have to use PTO and there’s zero expectation of working. I’m usually scrambling to get through my workload leading up to our offices closing but that true break from work feels amazing. If things were normal this year I’d probably have tried to take PTO that first week of January to extend my time off and take a trip somewhere warm when holiday rates end.

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