Holiday Whine

There aren’t a ton of perks that come with what I do. I mean I have an interesting job, but it comes with precious few pluses beyond a paycheck. (Which I am grateful for. No instant complaint karma, please.) Yesterday, however, a glorious, wondrous, miraculous advantage landed in my office email inbox.

Available through a new subsidiary of the company: fifteen bottles of really good wine for $60. Shipped direct.

Haaaaallelujah! Haaaaallelujah! Hallelujah! Hallelujah! Halleeeelujah! (words by heavenly angels; music by George Frideric Handel.)

In the immortal words of Neil Diamond via UB40, "Red red wine, you make me feel so fine..."


Of course, you have to join a kind of wine-of-the-month club, except instead of like two wussy bottles a month, they send you a whole case every three months, but even then you get good stuff for like $10 a bottle. I’m so totally in.

Except I currently have $22 in my checking account, so maybe I’m in after payday on Friday, once I get done paying bills and doing Christmas shopping. But whatever. Same-same. And at first I thought, Wow, a case every three months… that’s a lot. And then I did the math and realized, Nnnnooo, that’s pretty much what I drink. Yep. Totally in.

Oh, relax. It works out to about one bottle a week.

This was the most beautiful moment of my week by far. I mean by far. This was a work perk that offered me exactly the amount of wine I’d like to have at hand, for a really good deal, and they’ll send it right to my house. The people at my liquor store will not have to give each other looks when I walk in.

A while back, I posted that my wine rack was full of empty bottles that made me look like I had a problem both drinking and taking out the trash. It’s really just the latter. And I cleaned all of those bottles out before summer and established a bit of a program for myself: in warmer months, when I tended to drink white wine, I bought a bottle of red whenever I could. The idea was to stock up for fall and winter.

It was very Billy Joel.

Aaaand I’m out.

So this wine club thing that we got in our email at work yesterday was serendipitous. Hooray! Good, varied wine in an endless supply! Cancel whenever I’d like! (Why the hell would I do that?) And cheap!

I investigated the situation as far as I could go on the website before they would make me actually pay. I didn’t get all that far. When I selected the red wine case as my choice for my first shipment, I was greeted by a red message.

The Holiday Red Wine case cannot be purchased. Please remove it to proceed.

Wha… wha… what?

My lip may or may not have trembled.

I unchecked that selection and tried for the mixed case of red and white. I really wanted reds because they make me feel all warm and fuzzy inside when it’s cold out, but… I could make do.

The Holiday Mixed Wine case cannot be purchased. Please remove it to proceed.

Bu… but… *sniff* … my Holiday Wine…!

They had an all-white case, but I didn’t want that. So I dialed the number provided on the website, grateful that there was one available. They were experiencing an unusually high volume of calls. Allegedly. But within five minutes I got a human, and explained to her my problem.

“Yeah, we might be out,” she said.

You might be what?!

I told her about how I’d tried two different selections and gotten the same message, hoping against all holiday hope that there was just some sort of computer programming problem, a glitch in the matrix.

“Yeah, I know we’re out of the red cases. We might be out of the mixed cases, too.”

And my poor little oenophile heart broke clear in two.

Dejected, I gathered myself. “Well… when do you think you’ll have a stock?” I asked.

“End of the month.”

End of the…? but… my Holiday Wine…!

“Oh.” I tried not to whimper audibly. “And will the deal still be the same then?”

“Oh, yes,” she replied confidently. “The deal is the same regardless of when you join.”

“Okay.” I took the phone from my ear. I had to sort of bend down to say “thank you” to her as I lowered it to its cradle.

And then I got kind of annoyed. A little bit. Because the parent company blasted out this email to all its gazillions of employees and within five minutes they sold out of the wine. Like they were Justin Bieber tickets or something. What kind of half-assed operation blasts a sale and doesn’t have supplies to last more than five minutes? This is bush league! Way to not deliver on a promise! I DEMAND THE WINE THAT IS RIGHTFULLY MINE AT A STEEP DISCOUNT THAT I DID NOT KNOW EXISTED UNTIL I GOT THIS EMAIL!

This is just like the company. Hold out a carrot and then take it away. Just snatch away my happiness for sport. And during the holidays. I could see the CEO (and yes, I know what he looks like), puffing away on a cigar, monocled eye squinted, sitting on vats and vats of precious wine, laaaaughing and laaaaughing and laaaughing like John Lithgow in “Santa Claus: The Movie” when he figures out how to sell massive amounts of a wayward elf’s concoction of reindeer flying powder in lollipop form.

I guess his monocle fell from laughing so hard.

Those bastards.

I appealed to one of my (six) bosses, who I knew for a fact had a case of wine in his office for weeks. He says he took it home last month. “I think you should give me some wine,” I said, “since the company can’t make good on its deal that it just told us about five minutes ago.”

He blinked.

“I know you have a case of wine. I don’t know where you got it and I know you said you took it home but I’m not convinced. Give me some wine. They’re out. There was the email and then they were out of wine and you have some. I think you should share. I am the 99%!” 

Yes, I really did say that.

He rolled his eyes.

“I’m going to occupy your apartment until you give me some of that wine.”

“Yeah, let me know how that works out,” he said, checking his phone.

He didn’t say no. So, you know. Fingers crossed.


17 thoughts on “Holiday Whine

    • Thank God, no. Yesterday he gave piddle pads to a coworker who’s pregnant. It’s apparently his customary gift to pregnant women at work. He doesn’t seem to know that changing pads are included in diaper bags these days. He also suggests sitting on it pre-delivery as the due date approaches, to avoid embarrassing messes should labor begin at work.

  1. That really stinks. I’m sorry you had the proverbial carrot dangled, then yanked from under your nose. It would seem to me that they would need to make good on the deal. I mean, you work for them right? Don’t you have ammo?

    • I work for a branch of the parent company from which sprung the new wine club branch (it’s a very big company with lots of fingers in lots of pies). My only ammo is my Occupy effort. Do you think it’ll work?

  2. I love the caption re: monocle. And I feel your pain. There are two things people shouldn’t f*ck with: your paycheck and your wine. Anything else is pretty forgivable, but those two? No. You ARE the 99%.

  3. My business has even fewer perks than yours (and not just because I’m mostly retired … DoD engineering firms are pretty stogie … maybe we’d get a turkey coupon). But a colleague … a programmer, for Pete’s sake … started making Pinot Noir on the side. He rented a facility in Santa Ynez (as in Sideways) and after a few years he showed up in Wine Spectator as one of the best new vintners. He now does it full time but still maintains contact with one of my clients. I end up with two or three bottles of his $60 Pinot a year. Not only is it a great wine, it’s a fun story … programmer becomes award winning wine maker. Oh, it’s called the Loring Wine Company and you can find his website here.

    Hope you’re eventually able to get in on the bargain.

    • Your turkey coupon comment made me laugh. In my previous job (same field, which I’ve obviously never specified in my blog…heehee), we got gift certificates to Heavenly Ham, for amounts far less than what a ham would cost. That was our Christmas gift – and it cost the company nothing because they got the certificates in a business deal. There were no bonuses or other gifts, at any point in the year, ever, and no company parties for the holidays. In fact, I think in my 15 career Christmases with four different companies, only two have featured corporate parties, in-house or out. But this wine thing, if they ever have sufficient stock to make good on their email blasts, is promising. I’ll check out your colleague’s stuff, too! Thanks for the link!

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