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the snowflake dance, the infuriating elves, and different tales of vacation insanity at work — Ask a Supervisor

Listed below are 10 of my favourite tales you shared about holidays at work earlier this month.

1. The snowflake dance

“I work for a large publicly traded company and during one Christmas party there was a game where people wore a Kleenex box as a fanny pack and had to twerk out all of the snowflakes that were inside. The person with the fewest snowflakes left was the winner. The CFO, who was present for the party but not paying attention, was visibly none too pleased as he stood next to others and finally figured out what he was going to have to do. The Christmas miracle was that once his discomfort was over, he had like 100% commitment and just twerked like his life was on the line. He won. After the party another executive went around and extracted promises that none of the videos taken would be released, though I can’t help but think it would’ve bumped share price up a little.”

2. The engineers

“I really like the engineering division at my outdated job for being The Most Engineers.

Their vacation reward trade is: everybody who needs to take part brings a $15 reward card. The reward playing cards are positioned in a bowl. Everybody removes one (1) reward card. Finish of trade.

Final yr they’d a festive vacation presentation on environmental compliance insurance policies as a result of ‘everyone’s already in the identical room.’ The compliance individuals put some holly on the primary web page of the PowerPoint.”

3. The elves

“Our workplace did Elf on a Shelf final yr to find out who labored the vacations and who didn’t. The workplace had all the time closed for per week at Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Yr with pay however the brass had determined they needed individuals working in workplace in the course of the holidays. As an alternative of telling us months prematurely so we might mitigate our plans and give you a good approach to distribute work and day without work, they informed us the week after Thanksgiving and thought it will be enjoyable to get a bunch of these creepy Elf on a Shelf issues, put them in each division and have the ‘Elf’ determine who works.

Each morning we’d get an organization huge electronic mail from completely different division ‘Elves’ narcing on individuals and whoever has essentially the most Elf ‘demerits’ needed to are available in over the vacations. Technically the managers had been the ‘elves’ on this situation in order a supervisor I acquired caught with quite a lot of rightly indignant workers.

Demerits had nothing to do with efficiency. Different managers selected issues like ‘being late,’ ‘not enough holiday cheer,’ or ‘Sara wore blue and Elfie hates blue!’ Deadass severe. We’d get dinged as a division for not having essentially the most inventive elf scene. Different departments made an enormous mess with powdered sugar and ketchup of all issues attempting to make an ‘elf scene’ so after upkeep gave us all a slap on the wrist I informed HR I wasn’t making my workers take part as a result of all of them had plans in place for months and that this complete factor was bizarre and exclusionary to our workers who didn’t rejoice the vacation and I used to be not making my workers are available in except they volunteered. To be trustworthy, I used to be very indignant about the entire thing. I had individuals in tears in my workplace day by day, and one among my greatest workers got here to me and really politely and professionally defined that this was a ultimate straw for her and he or she can be wanting elsewhere.

Apparently I wasn’t the one supervisor to protest this as a result of HR sheepishly admitted everybody was getting the vacations off anyway and that ‘Santa’ was going to electronic mail us all with the shock later in December but it surely was such a catastrophe they had been going to tug the plug on it. They simply needed to lift morale, I suppose.

They nixed it, to everybody’s reduction. My greatest worker stayed for some time however left on significantly better phrases. Our division stored the Elf. They named him F*ckface (which I permit as long as we preserve it chill) and blame him for errors and system outages. This yr FF lives in a tissue field turned outhouse within the provide closet and comes out on workers work anniversaries. So it did increase morale, simply not how they thought.”

4. The pager quantity

“In high school I worked for the company my dad owned. I had a few drinks at the holiday party and ended up making out a bit with one of the warehouse guys who, as it turned out was married with kids. Oops. I was fairly certain he didn’t know I was the owner’s daughter. When he asked for my number later on that night, I gave him my dad’s pager number. He quit a few weeks later.”

5. The subpar celebration

“A few years in the past, my boss on the time determined to ask the entire staff (plus spouses and youngsters) to his home for a Christmas celebration. And simply us – nobody else.

Now, you need to perceive – the boss was a kind of guys that exuded each ‘rugged country man’s man’ and ‘enough money to have fancy things,’ like some form of low cost Tim McGraw. He was managing a staff of programmers. Which isn’t to say something unfavourable about myself and different programmers, however… nicely, the closest any of us acquired to ‘rugged country’ was ‘having a back yard.’

So we present up at his house – in a fairly good subdivision in a reasonably wealthy city – with our spouses, and some children, for this Christmas celebration. And it was … nicely … Ever been in a room with six introverts and a taciturn man’s man who all know one another from work however don’t actually socialize outdoors of labor, a pack of youngsters who don’t know one another however at the least there’s Xbox, and a bunch of spouses who don’t know one another in any respect, one among whom is attempting to maintain socializing going as a result of it’s her home and her husband is failing at being a heat and welcoming host? For a Christmas celebration in a giant home with minimalist spotless furnishings and vacation decorations to swimsuit, with the adults standing across the kitchen counter and breakfast nook desk idly selecting at overly fancy snack meals and attempting to make small discuss?

Yeah. It was like we’d all forgotten Human. You couldn’t minimize the awkwardness with a knife, however solely as a result of we had been being suffocated by it.

Finally, one among our extra extroverted coworkers needed to go away to take their children someplace and began making apologies. That opened the floodgates. Concurrently, and with out consulting one another, all the remainder of us programmers and our households ALL mentioned our goodbyes and fled the scene like the home was on fireplace.

…The following yr, the boss ordered pizza and made us watch ‘A Christmas Story’ in a convention room as a substitute.”

6. The infant increase

“My former firm had a elaborate dinner at a resort celebration with an open bar. It was an amazing occasion. Many individuals acquired resort rooms however my partner and I went house. I will need to have missed one thing as a result of HR despatched out an electronic mail saying that sooner or later there can be a two drink restrict, beer and wine solely, no pictures or arduous liquor.

And as a aspect be aware, virtually precisely 9 months later there was a minor child increase within the firm.”

7. The ex

“We had an worker RSVP to our Christmas celebration for himself and his longtime girlfriend. They broke up a number of days earlier than the celebration, and he tell us in he was not going to be attending the celebration in spite of everything as a result of he was too upset over the breakup. Think about our shock when his now ex-girlfriend confirmed up on the celebration anyway! Our boss didn’t need to make a scene so she let her keep.

The ex-girlfriend proceeded to get very drunk. In the course of the reward trade, she grabbed a present that had been put aside for the house owners of the corporate. Let’s say we promote teapots, and this reward was a teapot that the workers had hung out protecting with photographs and memorabilia and signatures. It was not a helpful merchandise – it not was a functioning teapot, it was very clearly a sentimental and private reward and was nowhere close to the reward trade pile however the ex-girlfriend discovered it, claimed it, and refused to present it up. The workers had been upset, the house owners had been upset, and the worker that orchestrated the creation of mentioned teapot was in tears. Somebody messaged her ex, our worker, to see if he might assist however he was simply upset that we let the ex-girlfriend keep and he didn’t need to get entangled. Individuals had been attempting to commerce items along with her, however she wouldn’t hand over the teapot till she was bribed with money to take action – the workers took up a set and gave her $100 to purchase our reward again. She stayed for the remainder of the celebration (which wasn’t lengthy as a result of the temper had been ruined at that time) after which drunkenly staggered out of our lives and into firm legend.”

8. The stickers

“Yearly, at my firm vacation celebration, they place a sticker below one chair at every desk. When you occur to be the fortunate particular person sitting within the sticker chair, you get to take house the centerpiece! Wow! Besides nobody ever desires the centerpieces, and other people are inclined to say they don’t have the sticker even when they do. (They’re pretty, however massive, and never handy to haul across the after celebration and public transportation.)

Towards the tip of the celebration, if it looks like nobody is leaving with the centerpiece from every desk, the CEO will go round and begin figuring out the fortunate new proprietor of every centerpiece. There’s a well mannered however forceful questioning for those who decline.

Individuals tuned in to the sticker scenario and began pre-inspecting their seats in order to decide on one with no sticker. However! The planning staff caught wind of this, and there have been no stickers below chairs this yr. We turned hopeful! Maybe this yr the awkward centerpiece scorching potato dance could possibly be prevented! Sadly, we had been fooled—after his remarks, the CEO proudly introduced the stickers had been below the plates as a substitute!”

9. The enjoying playing cards

“My husband labored at a tech firm simply evolving past startup stage, and one yr as a part of the vacation items, they printed up company-branded decks of enjoying playing cards. Appears fairly innocuous, proper? EXCEPT. They’d the lovable concept to make use of headshots of senior management for the face playing cards within the deck, damaged out by gender and seniority. So they’d 4 C-Suite males because the Aces, 4 VPs for Kings, 4 extra high-ranking males because the Jacks… then apparently they couldn’t even give you 4 ladies in any management function in any respect, so two of the Queens playing cards had been simply left BLANK.

Oh, and the most effective half is that they printed the headshots on the BACKS of the playing cards, so the deck isn’t even really usable or playable. I nonetheless have it someplace, although, for the sheer wtf of all of it!”

10. The purses

“One yr, my boss’ uncle had a job as a distributor for Coach (the purse firm). He and the companion of the regulation agency determined to make use of the low cost to get myself and our secretary Coach purses for Christmas. With the intention to discover out what we needed, he requested us what sort of purse we advised for his girlfriend.

The secretary instantly printed out her favourite purse on the Coach web site and gave it to him. I, nevertheless, was centered on serving to him discover the right purse for his girlfriend. So I quizzed him incessantly on the dimensions, form and shade of his girlfriend’s present purse. He ‘didn’t know’ and stored asking me, ‘But what do YOU like?’ which I refused to reply as a result of “purses are very personal and every woman has a preference.” Lastly, I informed him to have a look at her present purse and get her one thing comparable in measurement and form and shade.

He took my recommendation and purchased me the Coach model of my then-current purse. (I beloved it!) When he gave it to me, he expressed his (comical) annoyance at me for not enjoying alongside, however then thanked me for educating him on purchase a handbag for his girlfriend. (She beloved hers too! And he or she’s now his spouse.)”

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