Free stuff

5 Nov

I love free things. It’s kind of a passion of mine, right behind writing a best-seller and anchoring Nightly News. So my job has been great this week, because there’s been a show relaunch (free gifts), election night coverage (free food) and post-election parties (free gifts and food).

Yes, I found another perk of working at this job: the plethora of free–and often useless–stuff we get here. First up:  an etched glass paperweight! What a thoughtful, perfect gift, considering NO ONE USES PAPER ANYMORE.  Of course, if I had an office, or a cubicle, or even a desk of my own, I could add it to all the little business-y tchotchkes one collects throughout their professional tenure.  But all I have is a communal computer and approximately 2 feet of space between me and my co-worker. Still, you never know when all the computers will break down and suddenly we start doing work by hand and using a courier system, so the paper-weight stays.

Then, news spread that they were giving out free sweatshirts, and the place cleared. After a stampede to the elevators, and a breathless “Do you have a medium,” suddenly the entire office looked like drones in light grey sweatshirts. Being swaddled in a jersey knit, cotton blend hoodie provides just enough extra padding for my hourly head pounding on my desk. So the sweater stays.

But this is just the week that keeps on giving. As a thank you for everyone’s efforts on covering election night, we were presented with a leather-bound moleskin and a pen. Pretty awesome! Now I can put into words all my desires and dreams. Plus, with the company logo stamped on the front, I’ll have a constant reminder of what’s holding me back from said desires and dreams.

Now, as a newbie, I was pretty pumped about all this free swagger. But of course, people love to complain. Immediately after opening our tastefully decorated boxes,  slipping on our sweaters, and digging into our free dinner,  remembrances of days (and gifts) passed started to clog my feel-good feeling.

“Remember when they gave out wind breakers and bottles of champagne?”

“Remember when we used to get benefits instead of notebooks?”

“Remember when they actually paid us well instead of spending the money on these dumb gifts?”

To which I say, beggars can’t be choosers, and also, ignorance is bliss. The golden days are over, but I’ve never known anything but the complete disintegration of every industry in America.  So just let me enjoy the last few remnants before we’re all given t-shirts and a stack of loose-leaf paper.


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