Working Over Christmas: My Best Story
On Christmas Day most of us are cocooned in our homes with family, friends and relatives while warm Christmas lights twinkle softly in the background.
But there are some folks who don’t get to spend December 25 with their loved ones because they’re working.
Essential service providers must be there 24/7 365 days a year because you never know when an emergency will occur. Others, like the ferry worker, the kid who pumps gas or the mill worker work in businesses that are open Christmas Day and they have to work.
It can be tough, but it can also mean great stories. Here are a few.
Garden Court Restaurant
Town Centre Hotel
One year a gentleman came in for Christmas Dinner. He’d been coming for many years with his wife but she’d just passed away so this year he came in all by himself. Another family, who didn’t know him, asked me if I knew him. I said yes, why? They wanted to know why he looked so sad. I told them he’d just lost his wife. The next thing I knew they asked him to join them!
First Aid/Protection Officer
Catalyst Paper Powell River
I used to work for the Coast Guard and one year I decided to make a Christmas dinner for the crew as most of them were from out-of-town and away from their families.
The power kept going out, as there was a heck of a good storm that year. Eventually I gave up on the oven and I wrapped the bird in tinfoil and finished it on the barbecue. A crew of very hungry sailors was about to sit down to a very late dinner and lo and behold our pagers went off! We threw dinner in a big tray and took it with us.
We kept it warm on the engines of the lifeboat. Hours had passed by the time we finished up our call and by then we were all pretty wet and “hangry.” We tied up the boat and ate our 2 am Christmas Dinner right there at the dock in the pouring rain.
Let me tell you that was the best barbecue/manifold dried out turkey dinner ever!
Primary care paramedic
Christmas can be a time of cheer and a time of sadness. Tragedy and loneliness hit harder at that time of year. This makes tough calls sometimes tougher. But it’s what we do, all part of the job and as paramedics we know what we signed up for. I find working Christmas rewarding. It’s nice to share Christmas cheer and spirit with the families and patients we help, as well as co-workers, and the other emergency services we work with.