Today I went back to work for the first time this year. One of the first things I did was take down the old 2009 calendar. It was not a calendar I much liked, being a freebie given to everyone in the company by some vendor. But free is free, and I can be pretty cheap sometimes.

How cheap? Read on.

Once the calendar was in the recycle pile, I opened a drawer in my desk and pulled out a pile of old calendars. Right on the top was a calendar I had ordered from This calendar is filled with wonderful spoofs of those awful motivation posters that hang in the hallways of large companies such as the one I for which I formerly worked. These posters say things like “Teamwork” and feature a bunch of athletes in a rowing skiff. Then below that it says something completely inane.

The despair calendars (and posters) are far superior. They say things like “Apathy” and feature a photo of a cobweb-laden telephone. Beneath that it says “If we don’t take care of our customers, maybe they’ll quit bugging us.” Now that’s the kind of message I can get behind!

As it happens, that calendar depicts the year 1999. And also as it happens, the 1999 calendar is identical to the 2010 calendar. There are, after all, only 14 calendars. Several years ago I went through my entire collection of wall calendars (I’m still short of 14, and I did not care the add the free one I used last year to that collection) and I figured out which future years they would represent. Then I wrote the next two or three years for which they would be valid on the front cover. This is the first time I get to re-use Despair, and I could not be more pleased!

That’s how cheap I can be!

So if you really liked your old 2009 calendar, tuck it away in your desk somewhere. You can use it again in 2015.