After mentioning his religion in passing to a co-worker last week, local Jew Jake Silverman announced Saturday that he’s ready to be an awkward afterthought at this year’s office holiday gathering.
“My presence is definitely going to cause some discomfort at the Christmas party,” the newly-outed workplace minority explained. “I’m anticipating someone printing out some clip-art of a menorah, and then taping it up next to the Christmas tree. Oh, and someone running out on their lunch hour that day to get me a Hanukkah card. Then everyone will probably quietly watch me open it. It most likely won’t be signed. Like, it’s going to be a blank card.”
Silverman, who works as a business analyst in Kentucky, is sure that won’t be the end of the last-minute anxiety his religion will cause. In fact, he explained that he’s prepared for an all-day affair, detailing a hypothetical situation in which a co-worker stands uneasily next to his desk to remind him he can feel free to bring any “traditional holiday dishes” he would like.
Despite personally being very relaxed when it comes to faith, he predicts the party itself is where the beliefs and practices projected upon him by others are really going to cause a headache.
“See, there’s a holiday CD my boss plays every year with a bunch of Christmas classics on it. It’s a fun CD. But after remembering I’m Jewish, I’m betting someone will take it upon themselves to stop the music, fumble in the silence for a few seconds, and then play “Dreidel, Dreidel, Dreidel” off their cell phone, and the volume will be loud enough to cut off some conversations. Of course, it will eventually be lowered to a more appropriate volume, but let’s be honest, the damage really will have been done at that point.”
He added, “I’m probably going to leave after that.”