Monday, December 14, 2009

I'll Have a Blue Collar Christmas

Yesterday morning at work, my boss asked if I would take the day to deliver the rest of our firm's Christmas gifts to clients around the area. I thought I'd tell him I'd first have to tie up some loose ends, finish some work and make a couple of calls. But instead I did an internal double fist pump and skipped out the door.

I pictured the rest of the day waltzing in and out of Salt Lake's finest lobbies, being greeted by sweet receptionists I only dream of resembling, while they shower me with chocolate, gratitude and compliments on my yellow coat. What I neglected to realize, however, was that most of our "clients" are inventors, and most of their "offices" are factories. The receptionists weren't exactly "sweet" and I think my yellow coat hurt their eyes. They typically ranged from warehouse wives dressed entirely in gray sweats to teen-aged daughters (or more wives) of foremen. My gifts didn't phase them. But I still tried.

"I brought you a gift!"
--blank stare
"It's for Christmas!"
--blank stare
"Christmas is a holiday season celebrating happiness"
--blank stare
"Happiness is.... Ok, well I'll go move my car so your trucks can get in."
"Thank you."

There it is.

It went on like this for the most part of the day. I got pretty good at handling their indifference, and by the end of the day I began to love my industrial sisters throughout the valley. No chocolate, no receptionist voice, strictly business. It makes sense for them really. If you take time to smile, someone could lose an arm! This sentiment carried me all the way down the road, through a red light and into the heart of Layton City's police chief as he asked me if I was from around there. "No of course not, I went to college, see my vibrantly-colored coat? But I love these people." As Officer Terry left my car with a company christmas gift, and I left Layton City with a verbal warning, I thought I might even have seen a twinkle in his eye, but then again, it was happy hour in Layton City, so I guess I'll never know for sure...