Modern Middle Manager
Primarily my musings on the practical application of technology and management principles at a financial services company.
The Holiday Party

Friday, December 13, 2002  

Once a year my company has a Christmas, er, Holiday party. The last couple of years it was held at the CEO's palatial estate; this year it was moved to the Santa Ana Performing Arts Theater. Smack dab in the heart of downtown Santa Ana, this ex-Masonic temple is a stone block monument to the architect's sublime achievement -- a building that resembles nothing quite like a child's rendering of a short, squat medieval tower. Or, as our parent company's Chairman said to me, "This building has history. Unfortunately, none of it is very interesting." At least he gave me his drink tickets. Oh yes, we were limited to two drink tickets. However, for those of us who are a little more resourceful, more drink tickets could be had. I believe I still had half a dozen unused by the time I staggered from the party. But I digress.

The main event at the Holiday Party, besides the bar and seafood buffet, is to present awards. There's an award for internal customer service, external customer service, leadership, mentoring, sales excellence, department excellence and the Eagle award, a four-foot tall monstrosity capped with a chicken-sized eagle, which nominally goes to the best all-around employee. Frighteningly enough, I did receive a blob of plastic letting me know I had been Mr. Mentor for the year. All of the threats, beatings and psychological warfare I waged on my staff, as well as the bribes used on the selection committee, finally came through. Oh yes, a check was included with the award. I'm not sure what I did with little plastic award, come to think of it, but the check has already been spent.

Every year the Holiday Party is held on a Thursday, presumably to keep people like me from doing what I did last night while whoring for drink tickets -- buy scotch all night until I was one of the stragglers remaining, listening to the jazz band playing. Considering what it normally costs for a night out, sitting around drinking free scotch, eating free filet mignon and listening to a free jazz band is probably the most cost-effective after-hours experience I've had in a while. Thank you, clients! That's where those fees go...

posted by Henry Jenkins | 12/13/2002 01:15:00 PM

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