b Papa Dog's Blog: Chinese New Year Bonus

Papa Dog's Blog

A Thing Wherein I Infrequently Write Some Stuff

Monday, January 23, 2006

Chinese New Year Bonus

Last Thursday and Friday there were UPS delivery notices waiting in our mailbox. The sender was Harry and David. Since Harold and Dave is our Christmas gift vendor of choice, we thought perhaps one of our Ho Ho giftees was returning the favour late. Not wanting the box to go back to H&D after the third delivery attempt, we asked our neighbour if she could receive it for us, and she said yes.

I was quite taken aback when I got home tonight and saw the size of the parcel. We just send people a little box of cookies. This box looked big enough to house our paper shredder. Since Har and Dav don’t traffic in paper shredders, though, I knew it wasn’t that. It turned out to be the Colossal Tower of Treats, one treat-stuffed box after another, each one designed in a different way to prevent us from losing weight. Chocolates, cookies, candied cherries, fudge, baklava, cheese, jam, salmon (that there’s for Mama Dog), nuts, popcorn, and an afterthought of apples and pears. “Open present?” baby Dog asked, having the right idea immediately.

The sender turned out to be the LN, for whom I do freelance work. He’s very much of the old school. Back in the days when we worked for the same company, he would unfailingly leave some sort of Christmas bonus for me, often in the form of cold hard currency. Some years that really made a difference for me at holiday time, particularly before Mama Dog put me on the road to fiscal responsibility. Since we stopped working in the same office and my labours on his behalf have been on a contract basis at half again my normal rate, I figured I had seen the last of the Christmas bonuses, and so I had until now. I guess I must have come through in the clinch a few times this past year, though to be honest it’s all such a blur that I don’t remember. Also, the card enclosed identified the occasion as Chinese New Year rather than Christmas. I liked that. It’s very San Franciscan.

Mama Dog, the keeper of the manners, has ordered me to send a thank you card before a full day goes by. I’m actually not certain of the etiquette – I mean, is it a seasonal “gift” or a seasonal “bonus” to someone in a service position? Does that make a difference? I don’t know. I do know that, as mentioned before, Mama Dog excels at thank you cards whereas I blow at them. Perhaps if I give her some more Bing cherries, she’ll write a card for me. Or perhaps I’ll give her the cherries and still do the thing myself.


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