Thursday, May 21, 2009

The Vacation Hat (Theme Thursday...Vacation)

The Vacation Hat

Hey there, hi there, ho there! This is the Vacation Hat. What was once just bubble wrap, tape, and paper became so much more. In the doctor's office where I worked, we collected a wonderful group of people. We didn't have much money but we had great imaginations and even greater times. The tradition was that on the last day you worked before leaving on vacation, you had to wear the hat the entire day. It was an odd combination of celebration of your time off and punishment for dumping all of your unfinished work on others.



Over the years, the hat had many incarnations. We started using it for all kinds of celebrations. One man's trash is another man's treasure. What I treasure are the many happy memories held in this hat. I remember when Suzanna turned 30 years old. "Colette, wear this hat with pride. I know your mom did. Happy 21st!," proclaims the lavender Post-It note. Dr. Jamie's favorite sayings, which drove us crazy, are imbued in that hat. It was given as an employee award. And, conversely, it was used to identify, like a dunce cap, the office poop-stirrer du jour. Please note the phases of the moon illustrated by, well, the cottage cheese, moon-glute chart moving from waxing to full to waning. We were definitely students of anatomy. Oh yeah! The doctor made us so. By the time even the most short lived employee left our office, they were quite familiar with the glutes. We discussed, treated, and charged for more buns than are buttered on Thanksgiving Day.



Just like kids who have more fun with the cardboard box than the expensive gift inside, so it was for us. Until the day we left that office, we looked as forward to receiving that hat as we did to passing it on to the next poor chump. We valued this wacky, tacky, plastic Vacation Hat at the price of gold because it symbolized many years of friendship. For a time, we thought it lost. Its disappearance was the subject of many a baleful conversation. But, today, while cleaning the deepest, scariest reaches of my bedroom closet, I uncovered a small, beautifully decorated box that had been carefully tucked away. Upon opening the box, happiness filled my heart as I beheld the splendor of the Vacation Hat. And the ritual begins anew. To whom will it go next? The thing is is that if it is you, you will know that you are well loved.


29 comments:

Mrsupole said...

Ronda,

That sounds like such a fun hat to wear. I love the buttocks picture. You seem to have worked with a lot of fun people which must have helped with wanting to go to work each day.

Thank you for sharing the Vacation Hat.

God bless.

Brian Miller said...

lol. probably more for the dumping on... love these little fin things that make work tolerable. totems to friendships...great post.

Squirrel said...

I would have liked to see a photo of someone modeling the hat

( usually these photos include a cocktail of some sort as well.)

subtorp77 said...

Fun post, Ronda. Neat concept of th' "vacation hat"! And what is it with kids wanting to play with the boxes, anyway? No wait...I did that too :)I just can't explain it...

Poetikat said...

What a great tradition. I think you may like my take this week since it's kind of in the same vein. (Or not).

Kat

DineometerDeb said...

I love that idea! I am nearing vacation time and getting no slack from my coworkers. A hat might help but the problem is....I'm a telecommuter.

Candie Bracci said...

Hi Ronda!!This is great!!Have a nice day :)

Wings said...

Great that you all found a little way to keep things fun and interesting. Certainly helps!

Roy said...

Hmmm... I always knew medical professionals were a little crazy! Heh, heh!

Leah said...

That is so funny and wonderful, Ronda.

tony said...

You should 'em wear the hat on Holiday!(would make the holiday snaps interesting!)

Ronda Laveen said...

Sherry: It does make going to work far easier and tolerable when you have fun people there. Work and fun don't necessarily have to be at two different places. Sadly, not many business see the "profitability" incentive. I join Kris at This Will Hurt Me More than it Will Hurt You, in wanting to change that paradigm.

Brian: I think you are right, it was probably more for the dumping on, but what are friends for?

Squirrel: Oh, you are so right! Pictures would have been great. In our case, it probably would have involved more than one cocktail.

Subby: I can't explain the allure of boxes either. I like the cool, smooth texture and the endless array of things that can be created. They slide great too!

Kat: I will stop by and check your out.

Deb: No need to deprive your co-workers of their guilty pleasure, there's always Skype.

Candie: TY...U2.

Wings: This was only one way we kept things fun and fresh. We had many.

Roy: Truer words were never spoken!

Leah: Thanks.

Tony: It would make nice "snaps." But we had an even more interesting tradition at holiday I will share sometime. I keep going to your site and Windows can't open it all of the sudden. There were a few others I encountered last night w/same problem. Am trakcing it down.

Marianna said...

I love stories like that...and interestingly (and strangely) enough I love this hat! I think it is because of the history behind it :)

Happy that you found it again!
Happy TT
xoxo

The Clever Pup said...

Nice tradition. Thanks for sharing. My husband's office building has a designated fire warden per floor. They get the cool red hat.

Baino said...

Excellent. I'm very partial to a silly hat. We wear them on Melbourne Cup day in November and I made one out of shredded paper once. Looked like a Simpsons character. Great fun!

otin said...

That is an interesting idea, I had never heard of anyone having that same kind of ritual.

Dot-Com said...

What a great idea for adding a bit of fun to what can be more work for others!

Sandra Leigh said...

I want to work in your office, please.

Jaime said...

that's great! i'd love to see some of the stiffs at my office sporting that hat!

The Silver Fox said...

"[M]ore buns than are buttered on Thanksgiving Day." Love that line.

Your Vacation hat story was great, and it reminded me of two things from my own employment history.

The first was a paper hat I wore as a cook at a Howard Johnson's restaurant in the late 1978. They were of the disposable, one-use-only variety. This one -- which I still have -- was signed by almost all the waitresses I worked with. They had to give me a kiss before I'd let them sign!

And I never had any ritual for before vacations other than annoying my co-workers during my last few days before mine began -- "Three more days until my vacation," "Seventeen more working hours until my vacation," "Four more hours and twenty-three minutes until my vacation," etc. -- but on my very last day at my job as a baker in a supermarket chain, I hung a sprig of mistletoe to the back of my apron.

Ronda Laveen said...

Marianna: I know, that kind of grows on you (me).

Pup: I'd love to see picture of your husband's floor fire warden's wearing their hat!

Baino: Do you have a picture?

Otin: Probably not. We were a goofy bunch but all fit together so well.

Dot-Com: It made the extra work load less of a drudgery...you are right.

Sandra: Me Too! But, unfortunately, the office no longer exists except for all of the people I still see from there and a few treasured rituals like the "Vacation Hat."

Jaime: Me too! It's kind of hard to be a stiff wearing bubble wrap. Makes you kind of humble.

SF: It does look like a cooks hat doesn't it?

Maybe some day you will give us a picture of your signed hat and use it in one of your stories. I don't know, your ritual of torture and kissing sounds good enough! Mistletoe on your apron? Must've quit at the holidays.

Megan said...

This is wonderful. Wonderful! You've given me an idea, too!

Ronda Laveen said...

Megan: I'm so glad I could help you. Would love to hear about what you came up with.

books,coffee,etc.... said...

Hi! Ronda Laveen,
What a interesting story to read about a hat that represented a time for rest and relaxation for one very fortunate employee, but a full work load for other employees' "left" behind to work!...even though I know your story about the "hat" meant so much more than a fellow employee vacation.

Thanks, for sharing!
DeeDee ;-D

Brian Miller said...

hope you have a great memorial weekend!

Ronda Laveen said...

Miss DD: TY, yes, that hat represents a whole lot of life, love and friendship! Thanks for stopping by.

Brian: you too. Hope you and your family have some fun things lined up:)

Evening Light Writer said...

I think it is terribly ironic that last week's Theme Thursday was Vacation..and here I was on vacation.

I like butts.

Auntie, aka Dog Girl said...

What a fun group of people you must work with, to kid around like that!
The butts pictures are very funny.
How could ou bear to go on vacation when you have so much fun at work?
(Just kidding)
Great post.

Ronda Laveen said...

Mindy: I think that means that you win for best post!

DG: Well, I didn't want to go but they pushed me out the door. Don't know why!