Basically, the gist of the deal is this: the management puts all the non-management employee's names into a hat. They then draw teams for each manager. It is the job of each team to decorate said manager's window in the spirit of Christmas.
It is a competition, and outside judges are brought in (usually some of the managers' spouses or friends) to judge the work, and grant kudos to the winning team. (The winning team, by the way, wins not a physical prize nor something crass like money, but rather, the respect and admiration of their peers.)
In this manner, people from different departments can Work Together(tm) on something Fun(tm), and thus get to know each other and have more ... um ... well, here it breaks down a bit, but something good, anyway, that's for sure.
Unfortunately, last year, there were, shall we say, some less-than-thrilled employees. Yes, there were some who felt (if you can imagine it) that the company should pay for the decorations, or that there should be some leeway given to work on it on company time, if it was required. Several employees spent several dollars of their own money to decorate the windows, so when it came up again this year, there was a bit of a ... how shall I say? Protest.
Yes, that covers it.
This year, it was made very clear that no one was to spend over $10.00, and that it would be preferable that NO money be spent on the decorations. It was also made very clear that this was VOLUNTARY, and that participation was not required of any employee.
Cool, I thought. That pretty much lets me off the hook. I basked in the relief of not having to come up with some stupid idea for our window (that of the Web Design Manager, by the way), until our office executive assistant send out an email: "DON'T FORGET THE CHRISTMAS DECORATING CONTEST!!!"
I was *trying* to forget! I nearly HAD forgotten, in fact. But she had to bring it up.
So, okay, I was thinking. Not a problem. No one else on my team had put out any feelers, so maybe no one else was interested anyway. Still, that nagging little bit of company team spirit kept poking me and prodding me and nagging, nagging, nagging like an itch that wouldn't go away even with eight tablespoons of Benadryl liquid. I sighed a bit, pulled out the crumpled up piece of paper that listed the teams, found mine, and sent them an email.
Sent: Thursday, December 15, 2005 11:18 AM
To: My Team
Subject: Christmas decorating thingy
I think we're a team for ... um ... decorating Dave's window?
So ... are you guys up to it, and if so, any ideas? I have a bunch of
christmasy junk (like branches from a fake Xmas tree, and stuffed animals,
stockings, etc) we could tack up.
If you don't want to participate, speak up so at least we know who's in,
if anyone. :-)
I waited. No response. Woo-HOO, I thought! Um, I mean, "too bad."
Unfortunately, there was a response from one team member.
"I'm in. NO ideas though"
Ohhhkay. I guess I was obligated to go for it. I didn't hear from anyone else for the rest of the day, so I sent out another email saying that if I didn't hear from people by 10:00am the next morning, I'd assume they weren't interested, and we'd just go ahead.
I went to sleep wondering what the hell we were going to do.
My dreams were troubled.
Then, at 5:30am, I awoke with the glimmering of an idea. It would be easy. It wouldn't cost anything.
And, most importantly of all, it would be funny.
In fact, this might end up being the Christmas equivalent of Halloween's AK-47-toting Glambo!
I was ready.
To be continued