It's several Decembers ago, and this IT contractor pilot fish is set to start a new job at a big company as a SQL reporting specialist.

"I got word that I would be hired around the 16th, but we had to wait for the purchase order to go through before I could start," says fish.

"It finally came through on the morning of the Thursday before Christmas, and I had to drive to the facility some 50 miles away that afternoon to get my ID badge created, because the badge office wasn't going to be open on Friday or the week between Christmas and New Year's Day."

Which is when fish's first day at the new job falls, naturally.

Fish's family has plans for a get-together with relatives in New York state that week, but the new gig means a change in plans: Fish's wife and younger son head for New York, while fish and his older son stay in town.

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