Christmas is coming! No, Christmas is here already and this year
Christmas falls on Wednesday, which is in the middle of the week, and
I am wondering what is going to happen in our city with all government
offices for the next two weeks.
I know I have written about this many times before and I have to
remind everyone that most of the government entities that are created
to make government bigger have nothing to do with me and many of them
I have not visited in a long time or have never visited before.
But the public, the residents, the constituents, the taxpayers — or
whatever we call them — use these offices at one time or another all
year long and perhaps they are going to use them the week of Christmas
and New Year’s; but, most likely, as past experiences tell me, these
offices will be partially shut down.
Why? What makes me think that? Well, look at history and you will see
what I am trying to say here.
Wednesday is the official day of Christmas and officially is a paid
holiday in most places and it is the law; I am sure that the
law-abiding government will follow that law with no problem… perhaps
it may be one of the few laws the government follows to a T.
I have no problem with that; what I have a problem with is how the
government allows their employees to manage the official holidays off
in many cases.
Typically the majority of government employees, most likely those with
“inside connections” or supervisory positions, take the day before the
holiday off because they try to “get ready” for the holiday party;
then they also take the day after off because they have to
“recuperate” from the party.
And that is OK for “the morning after”… if the morning after happens
to be a Saturday, but what happens if the day after is on a Friday and
half of the personnel in that office are off “recuperating” from the
holy-day party and the person in need of the services of that office —
who probably only have that day in which to take care of business in
that office — need that office to be open for business, for whatever
That will make it a three-day week for which the personnel get paid
for a five-day week from taxpayers’ money, plus the fact that the
office is losing a whole extra day that could have brought more income
to that government office, when the government is crying poverty all
This year both Christmas and New Year’s Day are on a Wednesday so that
may cause a big problem because most employees will take the whole
week off: Monday to “organize” the party; Tuesday to “get ready” for
the party; Wednesday (the holiday) to have the party or celebrate; and
then of course comes the “recuperation time” on the day after. Gee
whiz! Why go to the office at all for only one day?
The female employees will say that “it is only one day” and she needs
to do the laundry and organize the house after the party; or the kids
are off from school and they can spend some prime time together, even
if the kids have a plan of their own with their friends that does not
includes the parents and their prime time together.
The guys will say that it is a shame to unwrap a fresh dry-cleaned
shirt for just one day, or that they forgot to shine their shoes and
“if it is only one day,” they would rather take their black suit to
the cleaners and play with the kids, even if the kids already left to
meet that new cute girl or boy in their life and won’t be coming back
No ladies and gentlemen, it is not “only one day”; do you remember
Monday, Tuesday and Thursday (the day after)? Friday is not “only one
day” — it is a domino effect and I explain why.
The government office is almost closed, staffed with only a few
unlucky employees who have no juice or connections, and who are either
busy up to their eyebrows, or — if lucky enough — finding time to chat
on Face Book or Twitter or make some personal calls to someone that
who will listen to them complain because they “have to be at work,”
not realizing how lucky they are by having to be at work and getting a
pay check every week.
Then the store where most employees buy their candy bars, cigarettes,
and all their miscellaneous items will not have as many customers that
week and consequently will not have as much income; in fact the owner
may lose money because he/she has to pay for an employee that may not
make enough income to even cover his own salary.
The restaurant where the employees normally eat will have less
business and either close early or send the food server home or lose
more money by staying open.
If the food server is sent home earlier he/she is cheated out of some
earning hours and gets no tips, which means less money for the
employee to go to a bar for a drink after work or go have a haircut so
the barber can make a living, or even go to the beauty shop to have
her the nails done.
Can you now see the domino effect? And the business owners in the
private sector can do whatever they want to do with their money, but I
seriously doubt that they are going to allow the luxury of having a
full day’s pay with no show.
I am not picking on the public servant, I am merely stating that they
are being paid with taxpayers’ money, and if they want to conduct
business that way, the least they can do is give the taxpayers the
respect they deserve as the owner of these offices and ask if it is
okay for them to take that many days off for one single holiday, and
in a year like this it will amount to two weeks with pay — and that
is, in my humble opinion, not fair and it needs to stop.
Everyone in this community is important and I don’t think that
government employees should be treated differently than the rest of
the employees in the private sector; if anything they should be
Every time I write about this issue, I have to hear from many friends
I have in those government offices because as they point out they also
do lots of work after hours that people either don’t know about or
don’t see; but I believe that that will be up to their bosses.
I am sure that every time they do some extra work they have an extra
day off somewhere along the line and that is okay because it will be
just a sporadic day off and the repercussions will not be as bad as
when the whole office closes.
However, the reason that I am so bothered with this issue is because I
feel that it is not fair that people who work for the system should be
treated better than everyone else.
I have lots of friends in some of those government offices and I know
how hard they work and I appreciate it very much, but the fact is it
is not personal; it is just business and most people would like to be
able to tend to their business as they please when it is convenient
for them and not for the people that are supposed to serve them.
So the bottom line is that some of these people at the end of the week
will go home and will not return until next year; so for those who
will disappear for two weeks I apologize if I upset you and would like
to wish you a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year. For the rest, I
will see you all during the week while your co-worker is enjoying a
two-week paid vacation at taxpayers’ expense.
My name is Rolando Larraz, and as always, I approved this column.
* * * * *
Rolando Larraz is Editor in Chief of the Las Vegas Tribune. His column
appears weekly in this newspaper. To contact Rolando Larraz, email him
at: Rlarraz@lasvegastribune.com or at (702) 699-8111.
Christmas is coming! No, Christmas is here already and this year