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(Wall Street Journal)   90% of businesses plan on having holiday parties, even though 95% of workers would rather just have cash or time off   ( blogs.wsj.com) divider line
    More: Obvious, champagne, Ferris wheels, staffing firm  
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5003 clicks; posted to Main » on 03 Dec 2012 at 1:43 PM (5 years ago)   |   Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»

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2012-12-03 01:55:17 PM  
we don't have parties for Christmas. Thank God.
2012-12-03 01:55:21 PM  

Vegan Meat Popsicle: In related news, wanting to simply be compensated for your work based on the time you spend doing that work instead of forced to engage in banal conversation with people you don't really like just because of the date on the calendar makes you "ungrateful, entitled and lazy".

I thought his statement was satirical and cynical, not literal.

Could be I've just been trolled.

Personally, I think we should encourage workers to be more lazy; laziness is the mother of efficiency.
2012-12-03 01:55:51 PM  

kid_icarus: 100% of me never goes to the Xmas party. I hate seeing coworkers in a social setting.

I hate seeing coworkers in a work setting. But if I stopped coming into the office - eventually the paychecks would stop.
2012-12-03 01:56:15 PM  
Office-mandated Cheer & Goodwill always blows. Gift giving is worse: you won't get what you asked for. Then there's the booze & drug-free 'parties'.... the religiotards take command over those.
Have a Pentecostal Christmas!

/would rather have an Xmas
2012-12-03 01:57:06 PM  
bullshiat, bullshiat, bullshiat, i work in catering and corporate holiday parties/sales are anywhere CLOSE to where they were before the housing/economy meltdown.
2012-12-03 01:57:33 PM  
My clients now are great they have a nice party before we break for the holidays. The best part is since I deal with most departments they usually invite me to their parites so I get loaded up with all types of goodies. My company Im based out of is lame as hell. Their work sanctioned happy hours and parties are even more stressful than work, all the area big wigs come out and watch us the last one I was at I left after an hour because it was just not worth the hassle worse than work. Then I get to go home and get the xmas card from my boss and hiss family on some sunny beach.
2012-12-03 01:57:59 PM  

kid_icarus: 100% of me never goes to the Xmas party. I hate seeing coworkers in a social setting.

2012-12-03 01:58:25 PM  
Since our division of about 20 broke off from the rest of the company (of about 300) a few years ago (owner kept us, sold the rest of the company) the Christmas parties haven't been too bad. We usually go to a high class restaurant on a Friday after work, all food and booze is paid for, there are prize drawings ($200 Amazon gift card was one last year). The owner goes through the business stuff for about 20 minutes, announces the employee of the year, and then everybody sticks around for a half hour chatting and then heads to a bar for the rest of the night (except for me, I live about an hour away and have children)
2012-12-03 01:58:28 PM  
It used to be that you could give an employee anything valued $25 or less and you didn't have to deduct taxes from it. IRS rules have changed. That $25 Target gift card now counts as $25 of income to you, and your company has to hold the taxes out of your paycheck. For a big company, that's a lot of additional transactions that have to be processed, at additional cost/resources from somewhere. Now you can only give a specific item that isn't a "cash equivalent", like a ham.

Now that so many people are actually working as contractors, it's also hard to give time off since that time still gets billed to a client...and if that wasn't part of the contract they're going to say "no".

So basically we live in a world* where not only was Scrooge never visited by ghosts, but he got put in charge of everything.

* whitewhine
2012-12-03 01:58:52 PM  
There are some pretty gnarly stories in here haha. Definitely having images of Office Space or The Office.

I work for a large video game company. They have enough money that the xmas parties are usually a big deal. Open bar, live music, catered food, etc. I go because it is free and at the very least I can get hammered and stumble around the dance floor. I agree with the sentiment though that you spend so much time with co-workers that socializing with them is just a bit much.
2012-12-03 02:00:15 PM  
We don't have a Christmas party, but we do have a big party for the company's anniversary. I guess I'm the 5% as I love the abundance of good food and top shelf booze.
2012-12-03 02:00:45 PM  
We have ours at a banquet hall. The food is catered and the company gives out several thousand dollars worth of gifts and cash via raffle plus a frozen turkey for everyone. We only have about 25 employees.
2012-12-03 02:00:53 PM  

China White Tea: I've maintained for years that if the company really wanted me at the Xmas party, it would be on a Friday and start no later than 2pm (it's always on a Thursday evening).


/luckily, no Christmas parties
//owner of the company is Jewish
2012-12-03 02:01:20 PM  

basemetal: So, 95% of workers are ungrateful , entitled and lazy? Way to slam the workers of America, subbs.

Well, being that I've been around for a few years, I can remember when we had Christmas parties instead of holiday parties and they involved catered food, booze, door prizes (that were actually valuable), sex in the conference room and if Mary showed her boobs, the guys cheered and nothing was said come Monday morning.. The last holiday party I attended was from 4 to 5 in the conference room on a Wednesday. The company provided sodas and everyone brought in food that sucked. So - I'm going to have to back subs on this. I'd rather have the $1.50 and an hour off than hang out with a bunch of people I already spend too much time with.
2012-12-03 02:02:13 PM  
Our holiday parties used to be awesome. We rented out the convention space at one of the swankiest hotels in town. Our company president would fly in and buy tons of booze at the liquor store, and we'd all have a very merry time.

Our holiday parties now?

Balloon animals.
A fat employee dressed as santa.
Face painting.
Poorly catered meal.
and the GM giving us a hearty "thank you for busting your tail, enjoy the 50 bucks we invested on all of you for this great party!"

I swear our holiday party is more for kids than for adult employees. It's disgusting. I would rather they just ditch the whole thing rather than force us to see this embarrassment.

And they wonder why our turnover rate went from being non-existent to like 5 - 6 resignations a month. At this rate we wont have any employees by March of next year.

Before someone goes "omg ungrateful employee." I don't care if they do or don't throw a party. I don't want the money they spent on it. I just think if they're going to do something for a holiday party, make it worthwhile and cool. Not call a couple clowns to paint kids faces and make balloon animals, then have our food catered by like farking costco. It's just another subtle reminder of how little the new owners of my company give a shiat about their workers.
2012-12-03 02:07:18 PM  
Yeah, and the company I'm at now replaced the holiday party with a luncheon with the execs at the annual meeting... if you volunteered to work the meeting. Two days before the meeting, they announced that no one would get raises or bonuses (but having seen the president's pay, I know that's not entirely true). Time off and bonuses are for slackers and Jews, you dirty slaves, now get back to work.
2012-12-03 02:07:35 PM  
I look forward to our small-business office parties... we always go somewhere really nice downtown, rent out a private room, get shiat-faced and talk anything but shop.

We're leaving the office to hit the bar at 4pm and our dinner reservation isn't till 7pm.

Then we send the female employees home and hit up a strip club or call escorts and put plastic sheeting over the conference room table.

I'm conflicted this year though because our cute new HR/admin hire already pilfered my number off our emergency contacts list.
2012-12-03 02:08:00 PM  
I liked office parties when I was working at various law firms. Lotsa drama. The secretaries would bring their husband/boyfriend but their personal lives were always something out of a cops episode. So, it would the 3rd husband or Frank the meth addict loser boyfriend who would spice things up. If any of the secretaries or staff were hot they would have half the attorneys trying to hit on them. Worse was the partner who is bonking one of the secretaries and she's at the party, but has to play nice and shows up with the wife. Or the general having to show up with your gf/wife and that coworker you had some impropriety is also there.

Then there are the lawyers who end up a scotch too far and either embarrass themselves with the secretaries, saying some stupid shiat to the managing partner and/or vomiting - that's every year like clockwork. The drunks at the party are usually biatching a little too loud about the firm, their hourly billables or love life disasters. Sometimes there are successful hookups which will be discussed the next week. But unlike television, lawyers are not the best looking people on the planet, so its nothing to be excited about - the thought of lawyers coupling or reproducing is not a pretty thought.

The one good thing is law firm parties I've gone to never tend to be cheap - at club, restaurant, etc. and its ALWAYS open bar.

Recently moved in-house. This year will suck. No lawyers and no open bar. Just middle-aged hags. Bleah.
2012-12-03 02:08:31 PM  
Our company has cut so much over the last few years, I'm really surprised we still have one.

It's always at a local restaurant on a Wednesday or Thursday. Last year, the boss didn't even show up.
2012-12-03 02:10:15 PM  
Our xmas party last year had a contestant from Iron Chef cooking the meal. It was awesome. But after I found out what they spent on everything. I would have been happy with a gift certificate to Outback and a small raise.
2012-12-03 02:12:38 PM  
People at work don't seem to understand that I don't want to spend "my time" with a large group of people that the company has to pay me to associate with in the first place.
2012-12-03 02:13:16 PM  
My employer is awesome about the holidays. The entire organization is shutting down Friday at noon before Christmas and we have paid vacation through New Years Day. This is in addition to the 4 other weeks of vacation we are given, as well as 5 sick days
2012-12-03 02:13:24 PM  
I am taking the week before Xmas off specifically so I do not have to hang around the office and do stupid holiday BS.
2012-12-03 02:16:13 PM  

Nitrox: My employer is awesome about the holidays. The entire organization is shutting down Friday at noon before Christmas and we have paid vacation through New Years Day. This is in addition to the 4 other weeks of vacation we are given, as well as 5 sick days

My company gives you 2 - 3 weeks of vacation(depending on tenure), which includes your sick days and floating holidays.

Then only gives us the day of xmas off. So we have to be here the monday before, and all the days after until Jan 1. Same story on Thanksgiving. No work Thursday, but you better come back in Friday.

Again, they wonder why their turnover rate has shot through the roof. It never used to be like this until this bastards from the east coast invaded our lovely little company. We went from "we love our employees" to "raise the bottom line, fark the lot of you! you're all replaceable!"

/anyone looking for an IT guy in the Idaho/Oregon/Washington area? Will move for position. Get me away from these people.
2012-12-03 02:16:22 PM  
Mr. Coffee Nerves: "Perfect...just polished off the final packet from last year's Hot Cocoa Sampler Box this morning."

+1 internet
2012-12-03 02:16:57 PM  
i1151.photobucket.comView Full Size
2012-12-03 02:17:22 PM  

redkingca: People at work don't seem to understand that I don't want to spend "my time" with a large group of people that the company has to pay me to associate with in the first place.

An outstanding summation of my feelings as well.
2012-12-03 02:17:29 PM  
I'd appreciate some co-workers if they weren't all out to steal my precious.
2012-12-03 02:17:52 PM  
My company has a really big Christmas party. Actually one per division. It's a huge deal, quite fancy.

My wife and I never go. The parties are so big it's possible that we might never bump into anyone we know and we're not social enough to arrange to meet people ahead of time. Plus, why do I want to see my co-workers in a social setting? I like them well enough and I respect them but I don't have any interest in carrying anything to do with work over to my personal life.
2012-12-03 02:18:35 PM  
My husbands' company used to rent out a big space and host spouses and kids. They had gambling games people could buy into and possibly win money. I'm so grateful they decided that was too exorbitant. For years, I was expected to take a portion of my pay ( I worked full time before we had kids.) to purchase a dress suitable for this occasion so I could be trotted around among people I didn't know and feign interest in a company that I did not work for.

One year at one of these functions some twit announced a "mandatory" softball game and tried to bully me into playing softball. After a few polite attempts to decline, I snapped "I don't work here." Unashamed she shot back with "Your husband does." I was so pissed I shouted several feet across to my husband "Get your resume in tip-top shape tonight!" The CEO/Owner came over and told Ms. Priss she couldn't demand a mandatory game with or without people who were actually employed with the company. My husband and I left and argued for three days. Thank G-d, I was not consuming any alcohol or the incident with Ms. Priss could have been unseemly.

Then the kids came. "Oh" I said "It won't be any fun if you have to drag us along. You just go and have a great time and I'll stay home with the kids." Nope, that didn't fly. Too many people in the office were "excited to meet the kids". We had to go. Mind you, these weren't normal two to four hour office parties. These parties lasted for hours and hours and hours. I didn't drive at the time so going to the party meant the kids and I were stuck until my husband decided to leave. After four miserable hours with two babies, who were highly uninterested in the party, I started to beg to go home. Several times my husband said "Well, we'd better get going." Only to have a someone senior to him say "Oh No, you can't leave yet. We haven't had the drawing for .../ the Santa visit/ the some other highlight I could not have cared less about yet." Finally, at more than 6 hours in we were walking out the door. The supervisor of my husbands' department walked up and tried to stop us from leaving. He'd been drinking and was in a fabulous mood. I lost it snapping "We've been here 6 hours! This is not a party. This is a work day. I want to be reimbursed!" We left quite quickly after that.

I hated those parties so much. Now they have a normal afternoon office party with some snacks, non-alcoholic beverages and a silly gift exchange. No spouses or kids attend and they get off work an hour or two early. Thank G-d!
2012-12-03 02:19:37 PM  

TrainingWheelsNeeded: whistleridge: In fairness to my employer, we always have a holiday party, at noon, and then everyone leaves early afterwards. And it's not like we do much beforehand either. So it's celebrating the holidays with our co-workers AND getting time off in one. And we get paid for it.

Also, depending on when Christmas falls, it always seems to be timed in such a way that it's effectively the last 'working' day before the holidays, and we get a day or two off to boot: Christmas is on a Tuesday this year, and our party is on a Thursday. No one will be in that Friday or Monday unless they really want to be, so it's a nice little bonus.

you must work for the State. ;)

Better. A big pharmaceutical company :p
2012-12-03 02:20:20 PM  
After years of no "official" party our new VP -- who was old enough to talk about that whippersnapper Hannibal and his wacky elephant ideas -- put together a real hootenanny.

From 3-4PM on a workday we were all invited to come to the conference room where there were TWO three-liter bottles of Ghetto Cola and a giant bag of popcorn -- the kind that KMart sells in the "So you're totally out of ideas" gift section -- available for your dining pleasure. We also got our "present" -- a cheap color photocopy of the CEO's official portrait.
2012-12-03 02:22:37 PM  
When I first started at my company, our Christmas parties were fantastic drunken displays of hilarity. Then we moved to a more family friendly Christmas party without booze, and they were dull and tedious.

Now they just give us bonuses, which is way better.
2012-12-03 02:23:08 PM  


My company gives you 2 - 3 weeks of vacation(depending on tenure), which includes your sick days and floating holidays.

What you're talking about here is paid Time Off (PTO), not vacation. Typically vacation time carries some monetary value in that the company will usually pay you for any accrued, unused vacation time if you resign but won't pay you for accrued sick time.
2012-12-03 02:23:23 PM  
A good Christmas party is probably a solid bang-for-your-buck investment in keeping employees.

As long as your office environment isn't toxic to the point that nobody wants to be around each other a second more than is necessary.
2012-12-03 02:24:20 PM  
Our show is having a holiday party. It's on a Friday at 7PM. Of course, most of us will be working until at least 6 PM, so as usual the party will be mostly interns from the office. And, it's on the 14th, even though we go on a 2 week holiday hiatus after the 21st. So instead of having the party right before the break, we have to come back and work another week after the party.
2012-12-03 02:24:29 PM  
I get a large budget to throw the annual party for my team

One year I personally cooked the entire dinner, bought great wines, and had everyone to my home for a nice evening.
- "OTHER departments took their staff out to a nice restaurant and gave them (illegal) gift cards! We don't feel appreciated."

One year I reserved a nice restaurant and had a raffle.
- "The raffle winners got gifts, but most people didn't! And that wasn't personal; you just wrote a check for the evening."

So screw it - no party at all!
- "Everyone else has some form of recognition, except for this department. You want us to work all year and then not recognize us for the work?"

OK, then we'll have a party. Any ideas?
- "We're here enough. Now you want us to come in on our time OFF? Can we bring our spouses?"

Well, I have a fixed budget. If we double the number of attendees, it'll have to be a less nice place. Like my house....

/I am not making this up.
//To be fair, it's only a few that complain like this, but they poison the rest of the team's attitude.
///Every year, about this time, I get crazy anxious about this topic - when it should be a pleasant thing.
2012-12-03 02:25:35 PM  

meat0918: I'm always surprised when my work gets us anything, but if they do give us anything this year, I hope it's just cash.

Last year was a camo cap, with the ladies getting pink camo. The ladies were less than pleased...

I once worked for a company that passed out "you are appreciated" caps with the company logo on them the same day they laid several of us off.
2012-12-03 02:28:51 PM  

CapeFearCadaver: kid_icarus: CapeFearCadaver: kid_icarus: 100% of me never goes to the Xmas party. I hate seeing coworkers in a social setting.

I've been to a couple of them, they're just weird. Gave my NotRSVP today.

You work here?

Looking over your shoulder right now.

Interesting. Are you hot?
2012-12-03 02:29:26 PM  
I guess I'm pretty lucky. I actually like hanging out with my co-workers, some of whom I've known for years prior to working at this company and recruited them. We're having a nice after-hours holiday party with food and a hosted bar and will probably walk to the local tavern afterward. SOs are welcome this year (last two years were employees only). Judging by how busy we've been this last quarter, we should get a little bonus, too. It makes all the sacrifices we made (personal and financial) to survive the Great Recession seem worthwhile.

I feel for those of you who don't like your co-workers. We have to bust our asses to get stuff done in the irrational time frames our clients demand, but it's much easier to keep your collective noses to the grindstone when you all get along. (And when you see the fruits of that labor at the end of the quarter.)
2012-12-03 02:30:13 PM  


As long as your office environment isn't toxic to the point that nobody wants to be around each other a second more than is necessary.

It's not really about toxic vs. non-toxic. I have been lucky enough to work with a lot of great people, and still cannot think of a realistic situation in which spending free time at work with co-workers would be better than not spending free time at work with co-workers.
2012-12-03 02:30:40 PM  
Guess I'm one of the few lucky ones. My workplace cuts out early (around noon) and we all head over to a midrange restaurant for a nice dinner and rounds of beer. Then gift baskets are drawn for the employees -- enough for roughly 1/3rd of the staff, so often we go home with extra stuff. Plus we all get our Christmas bonuses. It's usually a pretty good time, actually.
2012-12-03 02:30:54 PM  
At FoxConn I heard they strung festive Christmas lights all through the suicide nets.
2012-12-03 02:31:31 PM  

dmax: I get a large budget to throw the annual party for my team

Summary: no matter what you do, you're dammed.

Dude, I hear you. I was in charge of such things at a previous office and there's no way you can please even half of the people.

So what I finally did was this: took a poll and asked if people wanted a party, or did they want to go home early?

I had a budget so I divided it up so that, say, it worked out to Y dollars per person. When 20 people wanted a party, I did the math - Y x 20, and used that figure to plan a party at a local restaurant.

The rest of the money I gave out, in equal amounts, to the people who wanted to go home early.

Did that work. Of course not.

"He got to go home early and got a check - that's unfair!"

"She got a nice party at the restaurant, I went home to my cat. That's unfair!"

In the intervening years, both my mother and my brother died at Christmas time, so now I have an "official" excuse to hate the holidays and most people leave me alone about it now.

/not that I'm advocating family murders to avoid the office holiday party . . .
2012-12-03 02:31:37 PM  

dahmers love zombie: This probably puts me on some kind of "spectrum" or other. I prefer to think of myself as simply antisocial.

I'm fairly sociable, but I choose the people with whom I socialise on grounds other than "happen to work in the same building".
2012-12-03 02:31:53 PM  
On the other hand, I had an ex who worked for a fairly big ad agency. They always had a huge blowout holiday party. Fancy venue, full open bar, catered dinner, sometimes even black tie. Always lots of booze.
2012-12-03 02:32:31 PM  
You ever read a story think "Jesus Christ. I hope they're divorced now for his sake." Because I just did.
2012-12-03 02:33:55 PM  

BMFPitt: A good Christmas party is probably a solid bang-for-your-buck investment in keeping employees.

As long as your office environment isn't toxic to the point that nobody wants to be around each other a second more than is necessary.

2012-12-03 02:34:21 PM  
Christmas party this year is an employee-only breakfast off-site. No family members invited. After that is done, we are expected to come back to the office.

Much better than previous company (WFS) - they just outright did their best to humiliate everyone. Glad I got downsized from that one!
2012-12-03 02:35:37 PM  
I work in a pub. Our Christmas parties are *AWESOME*

/Hot female bartender at 12 o'clock.
//Man the torpedoes.
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