Research Project

You may not know that I really like days off from work. (Maybe everyone does?)

As I review old Mayor’s Orders (and Commissioner[‘]s[‘]* Orders) I notice that it seems like DC government employees got lots of random days off that we don’t get off nowadays. It could just be that I’m seeing them in concentrated form. Pre-Home Rule there were days off when Presidents died. Such as Commissioner’s Order 69-147, granting two days off when President Eisenhower died, and 73-17, granting a day off for the Day of Mourning for President Johnson.

But of particular interest to me are December 24ths that fall on Mondays and December 26ths that fall on Fridays. This year has a Monday December 24th. So did 2007, and if memory serves, we had to work. Mayor Fenty was all about pushing workers to produce. This had its up-sides and its down-sides. If memory serves, December 24, 2007, was the day that I was by myself in the office, directly across the hall from the Mayor’s bullpen, and therefore terrified that if I left to use the restroom, someone [from the Mayor’s office] would come to our office, find no one there, and then I’d get it trouble. At around 4pm I finally said “screw it,” and when I walked into the hall I noticed that the lights were out in the bullpen and no one was even there. But I got stuff done that day. (I know that this day was not Friday, December 26, 2008, because I leave early on Fridays in the winter.)

This calendar trait came to mind because 1986 had a Friday December 26, and employees had the day off. (Mayor’s Order 86-217.) Same thing in 1980. (Mayor’s Order 80-275.)

I did some looking at a perpetual calendar, and since Home Rule** there have been four Monday December 24ths*** and six Friday December 26ths****. The question is: how many of those days were given as holidays and how many were work days? Anyone care to do the research for me so that I can advocate for having the 24th off this year? ;-)

* How would you write that without saying “Commissioner’s or Commissioners'”?)

** Not only was Home Rule approved on Christmas Eve, something that strikes me pretty much every day (Mayor’s Orders cite the Home Rule Act, so I see its approval date nearly every day) because really? Congress was working on Christmas Eve? (Or is that the date of the President’s signature?)…but it was a Monday Christmas Eve. So maybe I have no ammunition in my desire to have Christmas Eve off this year.

*** 1979, 1990, 2001, 2007

**** 1975, 1980, 1986, 1997, 2003, 2008


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