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As you all know, July 4th fell on a Monday this year. For the majority of us, that meant work on Tuesday would be hell. However, what I didn’t anticipate was the apparent stage-five hangover that many of my older coworkers weren’t even trying to hide. From millennial to baby boomer, almost everyone had either a Dunkin’ or Starbuck’s Iced coffee clutched tight, trying to avoid the shakes.
The amount of shivering and cold sweats in the office reached unparalleled heights, and for a brief moment, something amazing happened. The disdain that baby boomers have for millennials being lazy and entitled disappeared, and with it went the anger and gripes we have for them. For a brief day, everyone in the office was experiencing the exact same thing.
Seeing my boss struggling to stand while running our morning meeting is when my realization fell into place. We were all in this together. Individuals both young and old were just doing their best to hang on until the lunch break. Even the over-achievers and brown-nosers were barely keeping their heads above water. It was truly a sight to behold.
However, the pinnacle of this surreal experience was when one lone coworker walked in chipper and ready to take on the day. When he pretentiously asked the group, “Everyone feeling okay? Rough Fourth?” it was truly magical to see the entire office turn on him. The feelings of anger and hatred for the younger or older generation vanished, only to be replaced by an unrelenting rage all directed at this snobbish, sober fool.
As the death stares locked onto him, his once pompous demeanor turned to genuine fear that his targeted comment could put his career into a death spiral. For a brief moment, I thought that maybe his sobriety would be the hate-filled bond that two rival generations could share. A turning point towards a brighter future in which we could work together to remove all sarcastic hangover interrogators from offices nationwide. Alas, it was not meant to be.
After what felt like 80 hours instead of eight, we were finally free. The clock struck 5:00 and all but a few now recovered employees rose and departed as quickly as their broken bodies would allow. I imagined that the ties we created with each over would carry over into the next day, and then onwards throughout the life of our careers. Unfortunately, as I walked into work this morning, I could see that it was not meant to be.
Almost immediately, I could feel the familiar feeling of my older-coworkers looking down on me. I tried to remind myself that they’re just mad because my generation has a million amazing perks that they never got when they were younger and tried to move on. Nevertheless, the sinking feeling I got that the bond we created was now just a thing of the past was more than a little heartbreaking.
For now, though, I suppose we can take solace in the fact that next year’s Independence Day takes place on a Sunday. Despite the fact that we won’t get to share that special hungover moment with our older coworkers, at least we will be able to comfortably blackout in peace knowing that we’ll have Monday the 5th off. Enjoy your short workweek. .