Tuesday, October 2, 2018
No mall this year
I called the Santa company in September to ask if there were going to be contracts this year - the previous company contacted us in June. I was told yes, and that I'd be getting a call.
I did get a call the following week, and they offered me a position. They said they would mail the contract. That took another few day. It finally arrived.
No raise - even though I'd been there for some 13 years.
Then I started wading through the forms - which bore repeated threats about the contract being void if I didn't complete it by a deadline.
I don't like threats.
I continued, signing this, filling out that, measuring and responding to a survey.
Then I got to the background investigation form.
It struck me the wrong way. I've been checked before as a teacher. I've been drug tested many times. I've gotten diocesan clearance to play in a church band with teens and to teach in a Catholic school. I've even been checked as Santa before - but this paper seemed so formal, with references and all that.
At that point I remembered all the rigamarole and poor planning and lack of responsiveness last year. I remembered the long hours, the rushing to get there after working all day. I remembered all the rude parents and kids - in numbers far more than any other year. I remembered how at the end of last season I said there was a good chance I would not go back with the same company.
And I thought of all the things I could do with my wife with the free time. Niagara Falls for the Festival of Lights. The It's a Wonderful Life festival in Seneca Falls. The Mass in the barn in Spencerport.
I e-mailed the company and said I would not be working for them this season.
I will do some Santa gigs. Already set up for my parish. The Knights of Columbus asked if I could come for their party. A woman asked if I could come to her house.
But no mall this year.
Maybe never again.
Pax et bonum