Workplace Culture

A Curmudgeonly Holiday Hello

By Rick Bell

Dec. 23, 2014

Hi. I’m happy Rick Bell. And this, this is curmudgeonly Rick Bell.

I really enjoy the endless mass holiday greeting emails that clog my inbox. Why, I must have received well over 100 of them these past two weeks! Add to that the duplicates that come to our general email inbox and that’s 200-plus! Curmudgeonly Rick Bell, however, wishes you had shelled out the 52 cents on a stamp and sent a real card with actual signatures and a personalized greeting.

To those cards arriving today … thanks, PeopleMatter Team, for the jigsaw planet puzzle card you emailed to me at 4:23 a.m.! I’ll be playing with it all day, even though I have a stack of work, which I’m more than happy to postpone until Christmas Day.

Curmudgeonly Rick Bell, however, thinks playing with an online jigsaw puzzle is a complete waste of time when he has performance reviews to complete, interviews to transcribe, contests to judge and stories to edit. Because unlike me — happy Rick Bell — curmudgeonly Rick Bell does not want to work over the holiday weekend.

And to Florence Delva Photography … wow, those sure are some swell wintry-looking pictures you sent at 5:33 a.m. in your holiday email titled “Happy holidays!” I’m planning to print them out on the color printer and hang them around my office. Curmudgeonly Rick Bell says if I print them out to do it in black and white, since your wintry scenery only depicts snow and dead trees. It’ll save the company money on color toner too, he adds.

And to the most recent greeting card we received today from IBISWorld, which I will say took forever to open but arrived at a very reasonable 8:23 a.m., thanks so much for the cheery holiday spending forecast infographic! It feels so personal to know that I will once again be spending more money on “other” rather than specific categories like electronics, gift cards, clothing or jewelry and accessories.

Curmudgeonly Rick Bell, however, says, Huh? That’s no greeting card! Whatever happened to Santa saying “Season’s greetings” or angels perched above a tranquil manger scene?

And to the dozens of you who emailed your holiday greetings this season, thank you so much for the thoughtful, personalized wishes! I opened each and every one! Curmudgeonly Rick Bell, however, just hit delete. Then cursed a little under his breath.

Rick Bell is Workforce’s editorial director. For comments or questions email

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