'Twas the night before Christmas, when all through the TAC
Not a PC was running, not even a MAC.
The rooms were all darkened, with locks on the doors,
No noises 'cept me, I was vacuuming floors.
The nerds were all home, asleep in their beds,
While Dungeons and Dragons they played in their heads.
And I in my uniform's comfortable shoes
was working so late, I was starting to snooze.
When out on the floor, there arose such a crash,
I thought it was Gladys, who empties the trash.
I looked out across the big empty room,
My eyes were adjusted to darkness and gloom.
The light from a printer that sat near the wall
Was shining on someone, a sickly green pall
The shape was revealed of an engineer girl,
Her flashlight was shining, her hair all a-twirl.
She carried a clipboard, some keys and pen,
Her movements were quick, her patience was thin.
I watched as she moved from one cube to another,
Smiling at computers, like she was their mother.
I quietly watched as she wrote down their names,
along with their hardware, their software and games.
Approaching her shyly, to soften our meeting,
I entered the lighting and uttered a greeting.
She jumped back and screamed and she gave such a start,
Then she took a few minutes and started her heart.
She gave me her name, and I gave her my own,
I asked what was she doing, up here all alone.
"It's a big inventory of everything here.
I'm trying to finish before the new year."
She showed me her paperwork, nearly all done,
The desk she was checking, her very last one.
I said that was nice, she could finish and leave,
But she said that she couldn't, and started to grieve.
It seems that her task was only half done,
Spending the holidays, working alone.
I held her and squeezed while she sobbed on my shoulder,
She cried like a child, though she looked rather older.
"I have to create an online database,
And fill it with stats from all over this place.
Then I have to create some HTML art,
And make it an interactive seating chart."
She spoke of the children who needed her home,
But she couldn't go to them until she was done.
"Well, this cannot be" I said, making a choice,
"Have no fear", then I used my best intercom voice.
"Come Hector, Come Herman, Come Eunice and Hazel,
Come Jeffrey and Mary and Gladys and Basil"
The cleaning staff came out from various places,
With worry and helpfullness filling their faces.
I told them of what we all needed to do,
So that this young lady would finally be through.
First Hector, a master of website design,
Who lost every thing in the year ninety-nine,
Would work on the seating chart's new interface,
And fit it to Herman's SQL database.
And Eunice, who in Greece ran her own ISP,
Would work on the spreadsheet with inventory.
And Hazel, a student attending night school,
Would parse all the data and make it all spool.
While Jeffrey and Mary, who had once worked at Google,
But had both been laid off when the market went frugal,
Looked over the data and then checked it for errors,
While I consoled Ashley, and calmed all her terrors.
While all the excitement was happening here,
Basil and Gladys got the pizza and beer.
In no time at all, just an hour or two,
We looked up from our work, our high-tech cleaning crew,
And we showed it to Ashley, who looked at the server,
At what for just one person would have taken forever,
Then slowly a smile crept onto her face,
Which after this night looked almost out of place.
She looked at the pages and let out a laugh,
When she spotted Hector's little, funny pie graph.
The data was good, and the scripts free of bugs,
And Ashley began giving all of us hugs.
Then she turned off the lights and she fed all the fishes,
And she gave each of us three Christmas-time wishes.
As she skipped out the doors singing "la la la" songs,
She waved once again, wishing us her so-longs.
And away she sped, filled with Christmas' meaning,
So I smiled and turned back to my vacuum and cleaning.