A Thanksgiving without a Turkey

I pulled into a parking spot in the team member parking lot, fake ducks floating in the pond and the fall leaves leaving the trees almost completely bare. I fobbed past the door and began the trudge up the stairs, hung up my track jacket and walked to the time clock. Not much of a surprise to find that I was section two, yet again, I began lining the bread baskets with the tan napkins that always happen to be in twenty different shades.

Tyler Barnett
Tyler Barnett

My supervisor called us for stand-up, which is a version of a two minute debrief that, in reality, turns into twenty minutes of the same repetitive reminders we all hear every day we work. But this day was different.

As usual, I stand there and suddenly I hear the six words that would forever change my life: “The Thanksgiving turkeys have been cut.” And I do not mean cut, as in the birds have been carved and are waiting for our personal enjoyment, but I mean cut, as in we are not getting one at all.

At this moment, my eyes bulged out of my head and my jaw dropped to the floor. My attention shifted, like a goldfish eyeing up the cat, which was suspiciously walking around its fishbowl.

My supervisor went on to explain that with the uncertainty of healthcare, the upper management had decided that they had to make some cuts.

They cut our turkeys.

It was obvious to me that the upper management had underestimated the ability of a Thanksgiving turkey to brighten up our lives. Like the sun to the world, the turkey is a big benefit, especially to part-time employees. A resident appreciation gift, otherwise known as a Christmas bonus, a free birthday cake, and the gift of a turkey are three benefits that employees can claim.

Days later, reality hit me like a meteor crashing into the earth.

Yes, I may be losing my twelve pound turkey, but that turkey only holds the value of twenty to thirty dollars, but the value of better health benefits to those that I work with every night is worth so much more.

Reality can be hard to accept at times. It creeps up behind us and hits like a cold cement block. But reality is something that we all must accept at some time.

While talking to a fellow employee this past Monday, I realized that her health benefits actually included a switch in their health insurance company. Needless to say, the company offered many pros that the previous had not. It is also the health insurance company that my family and I are a part of and we enjoy it quite well.

I have come under the realization that there are times that the world is not fair. Maturity allows us to realize that the world will continue to rotate around the sun, and that world does not rotate around ourselves. The feeling that you have sacrificed something that brings benefit to others is a feeling that more people should experience. And it is that feeling that I will carry in to the Thanksgiving holiday.

By Tyler Barnett