08 December 2010

The no-party system

Friday afternoon will see my company throwing a Christmas potluck in the break room. Looks like  everyone's contributing some pretty good nosh and I suppose we in the design cave won't get much done in the afternoon, since we'll be filled up like a python that just devoured a goat. I plan on bringing a big bowl of coleslaw. My recipe is quite similar to what you'd get at Kentucky Fried Chicken. Eerily, uncannily similar...some would say, well, identical.

When I started at this company, they had regular off-site Christmas parties. The place I worked at before had Christmas parties.

I've never been to a company Christmas party, and, God willing, I'll never have to go to one. It sure seems to me like holiday parties with open and free access to alcohol are a minefield, to be treaded around carefully-or not at all. I'm not sure that anything good can come from them, and possibly a lot of bad. Things like employees infused with liquid courage giving their thoughts to the president of the company on how the company should REALLY be run; Bill in Accounting settling with Ken from Sales on who should get the parking space closest to the door by means of drunken fisticuffs; Hal from Engineering doing his terrible rendition of 'Let It Snow'; and Mike from Manufacturing drunk on the floor. I won't mention Dave from HR and Julie the secretary leaving early together-her dress looked painted on, and Dave's married, and they both hit the Christmas cheer a bit hard. Things happen.

It seems like companies in this country are steering away from big holiday extravaganzas for a lot of reasons. The economy is still sluggish, and the Christmas party is an expense that can be done away with. Stuff like what I described above can and does happen at parties, which cause hard feelings and awkward moments in the workplace that most bosses would rather not deal with. It's one less excuse for drinking and then getting behind the wheel. And I think a lot of employees (and company brass, for that matter) would rather not deal with spending a night with people they see for 8 to 10 hours/day. That cuts into precious time for family and getting ready for the holiday crush.

The first company I worked at provided a Christmas gift every year of a canned ham and a box of fruit. I for one was glad to get both. I don't figure any company has to provide big cash bonuses or lavish parties for its workers at the end of the year-but at the same time, a business owner can't go far wrong by giving a little something to the employees if it was a good year.

If any of you enjoy holiday parties, that's fine-have at them! Just give me the potluck in the company break room. I'm good with that. If there's a hundred extra dollars in the paycheck, that's even better.


It was thirty years ago today...

...and it doesn't seem like it. December 8, 1980-the day John Lennon was shot. Only forty years old when he died. That seemed so old to me at the time. Now- hell, he was just a young punk of forty, but he got a lot out of his life.

One wonders what Lennon would think of this world we have today, had he survived. I suspect he'd be a bit disappointed that the peace he wanted us to have would be as far away as ever. Maybe he wouldn't be all that relevant to the contemporary music scene. He'd probably still be stirring the pot on a lot of the issues and causes he held dear. Quite possibly, if he'd lived, he'd even realize that Yoko's singing really is, well, godawful.

I'll leave you with one that you can hear on most any classic rock station. It's one of Lennon's last hits before he died, but it's one that I still like a lot.

Someone send us a bit of sunshine!

yankeedog out.


  1. I always enjoyed myself at our work get togethers (yes sometimes to much!), but I don't really miss them. Enjoy yours.

  2. Being based remotely from the rest of the NZ staffers I actually enjoy a chance to catch up with them for a few ales and a bit of talking shop. Actually crashing head office's Xmas party in Auckland next week - up there on other business but staying for the food and the secret Santa presents. Though being a US company I doubt the alcohol will be in abundance...