Is There Anything Worse than Working on New Year’s Eve?

Humour

Is There Anything Worse than Working on New Year’s Eve?

Illustration: Shruti Yatam

I

n India, we have a New Year for every season. There is one during Diwali, another on Ugadi, yet others on Gudi Padwa, Baisakhi, Pateti, Nowruz… the list goes on. We are a people of many cultures and we love our holidays. But the December 31 is everyone’s favourite party. Whether it’s going to a pub, having a party at home, or just relaxing, everyone loves to chill on New Year’s Eve. It’s the equivalent of the entire world having a birthday together: Everyone is dressed to the nines, great food is involved, you are expected to have fun. In fact, fun is a demand placed on you, whether you desire it or not.

But there are people who have rotten luck. And then there are people who find themselves working on December 31. Think traffic cops, bartenders, the dudes who deliver food home, and even the people in charge of leading you to the bathroom to puke.

Working on the last night of the year is the grown-up equivalent of doing homework during the summer vacation when all your friends are out on the ground, playing. Remember these folks with fondness in your hearts. So many of the people working on New Year’s eve are taking one for the team so that everyone else can enjoy their time off.

Traffic cops and public transport officials, for instance, have to deal with so many drunk uncles (drunkles?), they might as well be replaying Devdas. They also have to deal with heated debates (that is, fistfights) over the lack of parking space. If only as a country, we were as passionate about minor issues like the economy and healthcare as we are about finding a nook for our bruised Nanos.

Working on the last night of the year is the grown-up equivalent of doing homework during the summer vacation when all your friends are out on the ground, playing.

They say not all those who wander are lost, but that is clearly the case with some Uber and Ola drivers who are left at the mercy of people who couldn’t walk from the living room to the bathroom if their life depended on it. The driver is expected to “drop” these drunk people in what turns out to be a task right out of Grand Theft Auto San Andreas.

The staff at hotels and restaurants also have no choice but to work since NYE is probably one of the best days of the year for business. They cater to a wide range of audience, all present with one singular goal – to vasool the ₹999 they have paid as cover charge for the party. The only parties restaurant delivery boys have the privilege of attending are the ones they are allowed a peek into when dropping off food. In fact, we should have a delivery boy index: You can tell how cool your party is by judging a delivery boy’s reaction to it the moment you open the door.  

But the worst-hit are the folks stapled to their desks, rushing to close reports and presentations as time is of the essence, and December 31 is a deadline set by bosses and clients who worship at the altar of Satan. Yet, being stuck in office and hating on your situation with other office folks, comes with its own sense of satisfaction. “I’m having a horrible time, but at least there are seven other people who are also having a horrible time,” school of thought.

It’s bad enough that some people have to work on New Year’s Eve, while most of us are out there partying. Do our bit, by being kind and generous toward them. Let’s make New Year’s Eve Great Again.

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