Nicole, the HR Manager, spent last year’s holiday season trying to boost the morale of her co-workers. Unfortunately, the office parties flopped and morale is still lower than a snake’s belly. The festive season faded into the cold drudgery of first quarter and everyone is mad.
Employees are mad because they haven’t gotten pay raises. The president is mad about the misbehavior at the holiday parties. He’s also worried that a key customer is about to take its business to a competitor putting a dent in the bottom line. As a result, the president has vetoed all budget increases, including pay raises.
Nicole knows about the budget problem because the president told her when he cut the HR Department’s budget. Then he ordered Nicole not to divulge this information to anyone because he’s afraid that if word leaks out, other customers will lose confidence in the company and take their business elsewhere. Not knowing why they didn’t get pay raises, the employees leaped to the conclusion that the president is a greedy jerk who doesn’t care about them.
Even Nicole is depressed. Her boyfriend dumped her on New Year’s Day, during a TV commercial break from the college football matches he was watching. Her cat hates the new brand of cat food she bought and snubs Nicole when she comes home each day. If her life was set to music, it would be an award winning country music song.
Nicole wonders if she’d be happier with a new employer. As she sits pondering this question, a delegation of employees appears in the door of her office. Keith, the leader of the delegation, says they’ve come to talk to her on behalf of all the employees. Nicole braces herself for the worst.
Keith tells Nicole that her co-workers are aware of how hard she’s worked for them. They want to thank her for her efforts on their behalf. Later that day a dozen yellow roses are delivered to her office, a gift from her co-workers.
The president sees the roses on Nicole’s desk and worries that he could lose her. He offers her a few perks, including a designated parking spot, to convince her to stay. Okay, that part is fantasy. The president is so wrapped up in the financial strains he doesn’t notice the roses.
Nicole knows that HR is often a thankless job and it’s not the first time she’s questioned her choice of career. But once in a blue moon, she has a day like the day she received roses.
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