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"Holiday" Party

 
Joe Ess
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My department's "holiday" party is today at lunch. Potluck meal and door prizes. If you're lucky, you get a $25 gift certificate to Best Buy. Not so lucky, you get some swag a manager picked up at a conference (tote bags for everyone!)
Once upon a time, I worked for a firm that did executive consulting for Fortune 500 companies and their parties were legend. Black tie, big band, open bar, go home with a new TV or that sweet young thing from Accounting. Those days are over for now (at least for me)
Is anybody going to have a good holiday party this year?
How about some stories from years gone by, if the statute of limitations has expired, that is.
 
Bear Bibeault
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The only company holiday party that came even close to swank (meaning that it didn't take place in the company break room) was a catered party at the Boston Computer Museum back in 1993 or so.
 
Ulf Dittmer
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go home with ... that sweet young thing from Accounting. Those days are over for now (at least for me)

Good for you. I mean, you're married, so there might be problems bringing someone home

My recollections mostly involve a rented bar or restaurant, a dinner buffet and an open bar. In one year there was a male stripper (an idea of the most senior female manager); in another a prize of a brand new PlayStation with a couple of Karaoke modules - but you had to perform a song yourself if you wanted to be eligible to win it.

One year we had a summer party at the Saratoga Springs race track. So you'd eat some, drink some, talk some, then place a bet and watch the race for a few minutes, and then do it all over again. That was a fun evening. Everybody got an envelope with just enough dollar bills so you could place the cheapest bet on every single race (I think there were 12 races, with a $2 minimum bet, so if you were so inclined you could have pocketed $24.) I bet on all the races and went home with about $50 winnings if memory serves.
[ November 14, 2008: Message edited by: Ulf Dittmer ]
 
Joe Ess
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Originally posted by Ulf Dittmer:
Good for you. I mean, you're married, so there might be problems bringing someone home


Yea, the little lady is picky about that sort of thing.

As for the door prizes this year, I walked away with a pilgrim hat and a Microsoft water bottle. It's got a carabiner so you can hang it on something and the carabiner has a compass attached. Funny thing is, the compass doesn't point north, it points due West. Must be pointing at Redmond. . .
 
marc weber
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I work for a huge financial services corporation. Years ago, we each received a $1 McDonald's gift certificate for the holidays. Managers were required to present these in person.

More recently, our department implemented a recognition program under which employees received plastic coins, and when you accumulated 3 of these, you could exchange them for a candy bar!

(Now they're trying to figure out why morale is so low.)
 
Pat Farrell
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Long ago I worked for a company that had a yearly party at Crane's Beach north of Boston, full clambake/lobsterfest, etc. They would fly the folks in from remote offices (me and others) for the day.

Years later, at another company that would rent all the ballrooms at a big hotel, more than a few of the sweet young things from accounting had a big surprise nine months later.
 
marc weber
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Originally posted by Pat Farrell:
...more than a few of the sweet young things from accounting had a big surprise nine months later.

You mean when they got the bill?
 
Bear Bibeault
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Originally posted by marc weber:
(Now they're trying to figure out why morale is so low.)

With a "reward" program like that, wouldn't it be better for morale to not have a program at all rather than to call attention to how little employees are valued?
 
Mike Simmons
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In past years, my company has found it a bit difficult to get everyone together in December, as there are too many other things going on - it's our busiest season. Plus people often have other commitments to family around that time. This year, we instead had a big party the week before Halloween, featuring a private concert by Jason Mraz. And a wet bar where each employee had coupons for 4 drinks (in theory, two for the employee, and two for their spouse/SO/guest(. Except many of our employees are LDS (Mormons - it's Utah), so they don't drink. But they're often more than happy to give their drink coupons away to their non-LDS coworkers. So let's just say that the non-LDS crowd (myself included) had quite a party.
[ November 14, 2008: Message edited by: Mike Simmons ]
 
Jeanne Boyarsky
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Originally posted by Joe Ess:
My department's "holiday" party is today at lunch.

It's November - what holiday? Veterans Day or Thankgiving ?
 
Mark Spritzler
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When I worked for an Electrical Contractor, they would rent out places like the Nixon Library, or a Car Museum, and have a nice dinner and casino tables. They were a lot of fun. Then we moved the IT dept into a smaller building, and so our parties that we went to were much smaller, but still very very nice. One year the small party got us to get onto the company Yacht and do a "cruise" in Newport Beach CA for their Christmas Boat parade, which the company's Yacht always won prizes for their lighting of the boat.

Since then, I had one luncheon x-mas party, and in the past three years, no party at all, but that is because I worked from home, and the companies I worked for had no offices in Southern California at all.

Mark
 
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