Holiday Horrors Past

Another update from the Jungle…..

It’s December and Adele is planning the company’s holiday party again. It’s one of her least favorite duties in the whole year.  The company is a manufacturer.  During the Great Recession, the company clawed its way back to profitability by finding new markets and replacing a quarter of the employees with industrial robots.

The original workforce consisted of individuals who abandoned school at the earliest opportunity and who disappear for a week each year when hunting season opens. They remain skeptical of the company’s promise to not replace them with a robot. Supplementing this group is a handful of IT geeks who program the computerized robots.  Adele long ago decided that it is impossible to plan a holiday party to suit both groups.

When Adele joined the company, she discovered that the company’s owner, Emmitt, stocked the break room with gallons of cheap booze and handed out gift cards for a turkey or ham at the local chain grocery store. Adele spent years trying to improve the quality of the holiday party only to see it all go horribly wrong two years ago.  She still shudders when she remembers.

Hearing strange noises from the plant manager’s office, she and Emmitt went to investigate. Opening the door, they found the plant manager and Emmitt’s wife enjoying a much more private party.  Emmitt leaped into the room, clearly intent on murdering someone. Adele tripped him, allowing the plant manager to grab his pants and run for his life. Emmitt’s wife hid behind the desk, shrieking hysterically.

Adele is still in therapy hoping to un-see what she saw. Emmitt is now divorced, a teetotaler, and has gotten religion. Last year, there was no booze and everyone was forced to watch a performance by Emmitt’s daughter’s mime troupe.  Adele circulated through the room discreetly urging co-workers to remember that one of the teen-aged mimes was closely related to the guy signing their weekly paycheck.

What are some options available to Adele this year?

  1. She can give up on the holiday party and suggest they give a paid day off to everyone so they can party on their own.     
  2. She can make reservations at a local entertainment facility for workers and their families and set a drinks limit.       
  3. She can use all her accrued leave to take a long sea voyage until January.

Companies are becoming more creative with their holiday activities, opting for entertainment packages like laser tag or themed parties and volunteering at local non-profits.  Whatever your company does, enjoy the holiday season. 

If your company is struggling with HR issues, Corporate Compliance Risk Advisor can help you create HR policies that are appropriate for your company’s size and then serve as a resource to your staff as the policies are implemented.

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