Night Before Christmas — Rewritten Night Before Christmas — Rewritten | Shades of Crimson

Night Before Christmas — Rewritten

by Davina on December 12, 2009

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Remembering my dream job

When I lived in Toronto, I worked as a proofreader at a graphics studio that serviced a major advertising agency.

This was no doubt the best job I have ever had. It was more than the job that made this true; it was the people. They were the best group I’ve worked with in my entire career.

The job was stressful. It was a busy studio that had both a day and an evening shift. Some evenings I worked until past 2 am and was given a ticket to take a cab home. I felt valued and appreciated; part of a team.

During the day there were six to eight mac artists, two proofreaders, and about six production coordinators on the floor. Not to mention, there were always account directors and designers from the agency mingling and surveying the work. Jobs had to be turned over quickly, without sacrificing quality.

It was an exciting and creative atmosphere to be a part of. I thrived on it, appreciating seeing top-notch advertising be transformed from an artist’s sketch into the final product that I would later see in magazines, newspapers or on billboards.

Although the job was stressful, the staff handled it well. Jokes and puns were the order of the day… even at the height of a deadline crunch. In fact, they increased at this time. That’s what kept everyone going.

I actually looked forward to going to work, if you can imagine that. Sure, I had a life outside of work too, but rarely did I dread going to work. Life was good.

My first Christmas with them, I rewrote this Christmas poem, using everyone in the studio as a character. I had them printed and inserted into their cards.

I remember these people very fondly. Quite honestly, as much as I love BC I sometimes regret leaving Toronto and the Studio. Some people just have that kind of effect on a person. When a person spends that many hours of their day at work, being with good people is important.

So, in light of this Christmas season, I decided to publish this poem and share it with all of you. You won’t of course be familiar with the names, but I’m sure you’ll get the idea. :~)

Twas the Night Before Christmas

Twas the night before Christmas at the Graphics house,
where I sat at my computer, clicking my mouse.
The headline on screen had been kerned with care,
knowing Mister Mitchell soon would be there.

Neil strolled by with an ad to be read,
while visions of a cigarette danced in his head;
and Margaret at her PC and I at my Mac,
had just settled down with our ObusForm intact.

When down in the engine room there arose such a clatter,
we sprang from our chairs to see what was the matter.
Down the hallway we ran in a flash,
rounded the corner and stopped in our tracks.

Ron followed our trail, wanting to know,
if we’d bought our tickets for Lottario.
When what to our wondering eyes should appear,
but “Beatle” sitting there with work up to his ears.

Disappointed, I pulled up a chair to sit,
and said, “I thought for a moment that you were St. Nick.”
More rapid than the blink of a cursor they came,
hoping to join Dan for a computer game.

Hey Martha, hey Syd, hey Karen and Jerry!
Come Sharon, come Leesa, come Shelna and Betty.
But when they saw Beatle, the pile of work and all,
they dashed away, dashed away, dashed away all.

From the couch Johnny watched them as they ran by,
he waved in amusement and said, “Yah hi.”
So out of the studio the sidewinders flew,
with Errol and Bonnie chasing them too.

Then in a twinkling we thought we heard on the roof,
the prancing and pawing of each little hoof.
But soon we discovered as we each turned around,
it was Allison tapping her foot because the server was down.

Mike the technician, from his head to his foot,
his clothes were tarnished in toner and soot.
A bundle of cables he had flung on his back;
he studied us all before opening his pack.

Sharon and Margo’s eyes twinkled, their dimples how merry.
Their cheeks were like roses, from too many glasses of sherry.
Radigan’s mouth was drawn up like a bow,
and the beard on his chin was, well you know, as white as the snow.

Jin and Brad held a cigar in their teeth,
the smoke it encircled their heads like a wreath.
But who had the broad face and little round belly
that shook when he laughed like a bowl full of chili?

He was chubby and plump — a right jolly old elf;
we all laughed when we saw him, in spite of ourselves.
A wink of his eye and a twist of his head,
and suddenly there were no ads left to be read.

He had spoken no words, but went straight to his work;
stuffed all the ads in my stocking… then I awoke with a jerk.
I straightened myself from my slumbering pose,
whispered aloud, “I’ve worked too much overtime I suppose.”

I returned to my work, but was sure I heard a whistle,
and my imagination carried me like the down of a thistle.
I heard someone say, though there was no one in sight,
“Merry Christmas to all, and to all a good night!”

Have you found your dream job or have memories of one?
If you haven’t, what would your dream job be like?

Photo credit: Alice Popkorn

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{ 19 comments }

Lance December 13, 2009 at 4:10 am

Davina,
What a great gift to give your coworkers! I believe it’s the personal touch that makes all the difference, and you are with these words.
.-= Lance´s last blog ..Sunday Thought For The Day =-.

Julie December 13, 2009 at 6:38 am

You’re a gem! Quick, witty, and fun! And so very generous, too. I’m sure your coworkers were thrilled and that you all had good laughs with your terrific poem. :)

You were inspired by a wonderful “family” of coworkers. Yes, I had a family like this, too, and though the “siblings” and “parents” changed over the years, we’ve still remained close. Lance is right; when we open our hearts, our days are brighter—even at work!
.-= Julie´s last blog ..Nothing =-.

Jannie Funster December 13, 2009 at 12:26 pm

Again, you are so talented, Davina!! I loved this and I bet your associates did too. And I bet they think of you often. Do you still keep in touch?

And for me it would be Vancouver over T.O. any day!!

Betsy Wuebker December 13, 2009 at 5:00 pm

Hi Davina – Love your reminiscing! I’ve been fortunate enough to work at two jobs where the combination of people made for a magical work experience: once more than 25 years ago, and once again about 10 years later. Sometimes the planets just align. I’m nostalgic about both. At one office, we had the “Wall of Shame” instead of the “Hall of Fame.” We’d take newspaper or magazine articles and photos and splice people’s names and photos in to make fun of them. Some of those still crack me up to this day. Oh, and the gag gifts – so much better when there are insider jokes, yes? Thanks.
.-= Betsy Wuebker´s last blog ..Soothing Scrubs – A Great Gift to Make or Keep for Yourself =-.

Davina December 13, 2009 at 11:27 pm

Hi Lance.
You know how they say it’s better to give than receive? Well this was one of those times… :-D

Hi Julie.
I like how you used the word “family” here. That is what it was like. Granted, there were politics and personality conflicts, but was all taken in stride; at least from my perspective anyway. I’m glad to hear you had a family like this too :)

Hi Jannie.
Wow, thanks… again. Just poured my little ol heart out is all :) I’ve been back to visit twice in the last 9 years and both times I stopped in to say hi. Was like I’d never left. Kept in touch through emails too, but the frequency has dropped off over the years.

Hi Betsy.
Isn’t reminiscing great? You are another lucky one — “magical” yes! It really does happen :) I love the idea of the Wall of Shame; that’s absolutely priceless. And the gag gifts and insider jokes… oh yeah. They seem just like yesterday too right?

Barbara Swafford December 14, 2009 at 1:05 am

Hi Davina,

It sounds like that was a fabulous job with awesome people. I’m happy to hear you still stay in touch. I’m betting they miss you.

I’ve been fortunate to have jobs I liked. After a certain period of time it can start to feel like “home”. When we spend 8 or more hours of our day at work, it’s inevitable we form bonds with coworkers and enjoy seeing them day after day. For me it was always sad to leave those jobs, but new challenges were calling…..
.-= Barbara Swafford´s last blog ..Sexy Bookmarks, Toolbars & Time Savers =-.

Hilary December 14, 2009 at 2:23 am

Hi Davina .. wonderful that you can write a poem based around the Studio, as it’ll bring back memories of the people and is a social time capsule too – smoking, cables, soot etc etc

I’ve had good jobs and not so good jobs and preferred working for small businesses or organisations .. my mother though has people who write now and say ‘what a wonderful atmosphere’ she created for them and that they loved their time with her – now that’s worth having. It shows the boss must love their work (or the business they started) too …

I’ll remember your poem and the people – we don’t need to know them – we can feel their sentiments at that very busy time ..

I love your shades of crimson stars picture – it is so heart warming!
Hilary Melton-Butcher
Positive Letters Inspirational Stories
.-= Hilary´s last blog ..Cricket Ball Squash, Santa Claus, Italy and us … =-.

Rose December 14, 2009 at 9:49 am

Davina, this was wonderful. I love parody poetry. Thank you for sharing your entertaining poem with us.
.-= Rose´s last blog ..Oh Christmas tree- Oh Upside Down Christmas tree =-.

Jim December 14, 2009 at 12:04 pm

What great poem and gift for your coworkers. Maybe if the owner of the studio had visited Vancouver, he would have moved the studio to Vancouver. The best of both worlds. Thank you for bringing back memories of my favorite job. I was part of a great crew that built a log house up the coast of British Columbia. Two weeks work and one off. It was like camping for two weeks with work thrown in to keep you busy. Only people can make a work environment truly memorable.

Chris Edgar December 14, 2009 at 3:40 pm

“Visions of a cigarette danced in his head” — heh. For me, my dream job is what I do right now — which includes my desire to make progress beyond where I’m at. Hope your holidays are treating you well.

patricia December 14, 2009 at 8:48 pm

And the talented Davina emerges again! and I am sure that memories of work are dancing in your head….very nice, personable and fun…yes the gag gifts and treats are worth the connections!

I am doing my dream work right now…I have never worked in a fun office, I cleaned office buildings, though a few times I worked in consulting arena with some very lovely and talented folks along the way….but that was usually very limited contact.

I think I envy my partner working his dream job and then having lovely energy efficient, sustainable buildings that show his art all over the State.

cleaning houses and stocking grocery store shelves all night long does not really make for chums or work place friendships…

My favorite job so far was teaching ethics, problem-solving, change, developmental psychology, and conflict resolution at the local College…but I never got paid for my 5 years….they did give me health insurance the year I was pregnant with my oldest child.

Lucky you…to have fond memories and a great poem parody to share…Thank you
.-= patricia´s last blog ..Donuts, Coffee and the Wisdom of Daughters =-.

Cath Lawson December 15, 2009 at 4:49 am

Hi Davina – That is brilliant. It sounds like you really loved the job. I have had jobs and people I’ve worked with that I miss – and ones that I definitely don’t miss. But I’ve never had a dream job yet.

Davina December 15, 2009 at 12:07 pm

Hi Barbara.
You were fortunate. Not a lot of folk enjoy their jobs. It makes a huge difference when management and co-workers appreciate the work that each other is doing. Does wonders for morale.

Hi Hilary.
That is a great photo isn’t it? Lucky to find it early on in the search. Atmosphere is everything I find. Even liking a job and doing it can be difficult if the atmosphere is uncomfortable. Your mother must appreciate those letters.

Hi Rose.
Thanks. And you’re welcome :)

Hi Jim.
They were supposed to open an office in Vancouver actually. It opened and then closed after a short time. That must have been a great experience working up the coast; the country is gorgeous. And there’s just something about a log house.

Hi Chris.
You’re in your dream job. Excellent! Happy holidays to you.

Davina December 15, 2009 at 3:01 pm

Hi Patricia.
You too eh? Yayy. Thumbs up!
I hear you; stocking grocery shelves all night long… zzzzzz. Depending the group though… could be a lot of fun. The baker and decorator I worked with in a donut shop (midnight shift) were loads of fun. Problem-solving, developmental psychology and conflict resolution sounds really interesting.

Hi Cath.
“Ones that I definitely don’t miss.” :-) More fond memories… but that’s another story right?

Tess The Bold Life December 15, 2009 at 7:52 pm

Davina,
This is so great. You’ve experienced what so many people never do. The poem must have brought many laughs. I agree with the Funster…you are so talented. Thanks for sharing this poem with us. I also wonder if you’re in touch with them.

If not some things aren’t meant to last forever. But it sure gives us a snap shot of what life at work could be.

Davina December 16, 2009 at 11:07 pm

Hi Tess.
It was a great few years, yes. Some things aren’t meant to last forever… dammit!

Julie Walraven December 19, 2009 at 5:17 pm

Thank you, Davina, for sharing your gift to them with us. It must have been challenging but fun to work there and a great place to build experience. We all move on eventually and can look back at some things with fondness. What I like best, is that if we are purposeful with our job search, we can continue to find places where we can be happy and serve others. Merry Christmas!
.-= Julie Walraven´s last blog ..Christmas Presents for your Favorite Bloggers =-.

Jodi at Joy Discovered December 19, 2009 at 5:51 pm

Hi Davina!
I like your poem, how sweet! It was also a joy to read about how much you enjoyed that job. I had one like that, too, once, where you are always busy but you feel valued and work with good people. It really is wonderful!
Happy holidays to you! Thank you for sharing this with us! Jodi
.-= Jodi at Joy Discovered´s last blog ..Love, Love, Love =-.

Davina December 20, 2009 at 12:09 am

Hi Julie.
“Where we can be happy and serve others.” That is the most rewarding part I think — thank you for bring this up. Obviously we “need” a paycheque, but knowing we have made a difference and have brought value to the table… well, that is priceless.

Hi Jodi.
It is SO wonderful to feel valued and work with good people! Yes!!! Happy holidays to you too :-)

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