I think it has become clear that morale isn’t at an all time high lately. So we are going to have some more “fun” events like we did at Halloween where they had a costume contest and encouraged everyone to bring their favorite treats to work. Of course, the word Christmas seems somewhat controversial and perhaps feels not so inclusive, so all the announcements use the word Holiday. Never mind that we have a tree up in our lobby and in most lobbies across campus and lots of lights. Just for that generic holiday season at the end of the year. We have a “Holiday” Choir that sings Christmas er Holiday carols.
I’m really not going to get into a rant about the fear of speaking the C word in corporate environments. Like most absurdities in the corporate world, I just find it funny. I mean they call it Christmas on the list of days we get off. Personally, I think it would be funny if they made it “Holiday” and “Holiday Eve”. Wonder if someone in HR is thinking about that.
Sorry, one last little corporate barb about this. Every year, they send out Holiday cards and, one year, to acknowledge that we are a global place, they put multiple languages on the card. Of course, the French and Spanish and German phrases used the translations for Christmas but the English line was Happy Holidays. I guess if you wouldn’t be offended by the Spanish, French or German on the card. As I said, I just find this stuff funny.
I’ve already told you that my group is big into Halloween so it probably shouldn’t come as a shock that they get into Christmas as well. Some years ago, somebody went to the dollar store and came back with a bunch of kind of cheap stockings with various patterns and paints and glitter so we could personalize them. As other people joined the group, they would get a stocking as well. So, right before Thanksgiving, they came out and are pinned to the cube walls along with other decorations.
I happen to have several USB light up things. One is a little purple tree and one is a Christmas cow. Why? I like cows, don’t judge. Also, because they are generally cheap and you can find them on sale at Target. This year, I inherited a string of lights from a good friend who retired in August so I’ve looped them over my computer screens. I’m all about the lights – what can I say.
But the point I’m making is that we do this every year and we’ve never needed any extra incentive.
So, the other day, notices started popping up in various places about a cube decorating contest. They actually talked about friendly competition and how there would be prizes to the best. All I could think about was the Charlie Brown Christmas when Snoopy is decorating his dog house and gives Charlie Brown the flyer about discovering the true meaning of Christmas by winning MONEY, MONEY, MONEY. Maybe I’m just a whole lot less competitive than the average person but shouldn’t you just want to put stuff up because it makes you happy. Not because there is some cheap prize available.
Plus, it now makes me look like the type of person who would actually participate in events like this. I’ve walked around the building and there aren’t a lot of people who are jumping on this idea (I think we’re the only group that really has fun) so maybe I’ll just win by default.
The other thing they are doing is a pitch-in, ugly sweater thing. Can I tell you how much I hate work pitch-ins. They are providing some sort of protein and then asking us to bring in side dishes or other things. I know there are those who seriously get into this stuff and more power to them. It is one thing to do something like this with family or close friends but there are maybe 100 people who work in our building and a lot of them I don’t interact with. So why would I want to hang out in our break area navigating the land mine of assorted home made items and making small talk with people wearing stupid sweaters.
You know, I probably take this individual thing a bit too far at times but I just have a hard time getting into things like this. The more popular something gets, the less I want to be involved. You can now buy ugly sweaters at various places just to wear to parties like this. Its just not real. And I hate sweaters anyway. I’ll wear a loose sweatshirt or some other kind of layer thing but sweaters always feel to constrictive. I want to just rip them off so I can breathe. Oh come on, lighten up and have fun. Well, I guess we just have different ideas of fun. Again, I think it is different in a small group of friends (although I still wouldn’t do it) where it can be more spontaneous and fun.
At the end of the day, a lunch pitch in where a certain number of people are wearing ugly sweaters really doesn’t seem like a solution to bad morale. But, like all corporate events, there will be those who are into it and then there will be those pretending to be into it just because it will look good if they participate.
I get into these moods where I just feel like writing a lot. It was funny yesterday because I was doing something else and had my phone near me and it kept pinging as someone was “liking” a bunch of posts. I don’t know why but, for some reason, that kind of fascinates me. I know people read this stuff but to actually see in real time that someone is reading your stuff at that moment seems a little different. And I think they read several posts in a row so it was almost like reading a little book by me. There is still this part of me that just gets amazed that anyone would really want to read this stuff but I appreciate the fact that you do. So sometimes I kind of hate to stack posts like this but I can’t help myself. The words, they just must come out at times.
OK, I’ve reached the end and I need to get ready for my lesson. Probably will generate another post tomorrow- just warning you.
I hate corporate functions. I work with these people, I don’t want to hang out with them for Pete’s sake. Those kind of things actually bring me down by making the holiday cheer feel forced.
I enjoy reading your “book.” You’re an interesting guy. And corporate morale boosting shenanigans are awful. The more they try and boost morale, the worse it gets.