Yes. It's that time of year.
Fucking office Christmas parties.
Awkward conversation. White elephant gift exchange. Secret Santa. Shelling out money you probably don't have for people you hate. Getting the boss an expensive present. Potlucks. Bad food.
And you know what? Office Christmas parties suck. They fucking suck. Where do I begin?
My first job was for a private health care company. I frequently processed expense reports for the lobbyists where one lunch tab was easily an entire paycheck for me. All the VPs made at least $120,000 — four times what I made. At our Christmas party, we were given two libation tickets for beer and wine only; the bar was quietly cut off right before lunch was served. How...generous and thrifty.
Later, I worked with someone who fucking downright insisted on doing a Secret Santa and awkward potluck. We had to. In all the years I worked there before she did, we didn't. But now we were having one in lieu of getting the goddamn afternoon off. The results were a bunch of useless, secondhand junk passed around, really awkward conversation, and a case of food poisoning one year on my part. If you didn't want your piece of shit tchotchke, then why on earth do you think anyone else does?
A friend of mine is an attorney. At her Christmas party, only certain people were allowed to have champagne. You had to have a particular glass that was handed out by the leading partner to get champagne at the bar. If you didn't, tough shit.
Office Christmas parties used to be a way for bosses and the other higher-ups to show gratitude to their employees. Now they've morphed into just another task for the employees, including collecting and giving money to people who make ten times what they do.
The office Christmas party is supposed to be for all the employees. So it's not really a nice perk or a gift if the workers have to plan it, organize it, bring/pay for the food, and clean up themselves. I don't tell you I'm going to be giving you a dinner party, expect you to come over and cook everything, and then have you to give me a cash gift just because.
Instead of being all doom and gloom, here's my suggestion: instead of spending money on a party, hand it out in the form of a bonus and give employees the day off to spend as they wish. You're going to lose that work time anyway with a party.
Thoughts? Horrendous Christmas stories? Share 'em!