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the bacon monitor, the child growth, and different tales of holidays at work — Ask a Supervisor

Over time, readers have submitted an amazing variety of amusing tales about holidays at work. Listed below are a few of my favorites.

1. The cook-off

“Our workplace had a chili cook-off as soon as. The morning of the potluck, it was introduced that attributable to inclement winter climate and a few folks not with the ability to make it into the workplace, the potluck was canceled. Most individuals took this information with a standard degree of disappointment.

A colleague of mine, Barb, had a crockpot of chili cooking on the workplace. Chaos erupted when Barb learn the cancellation electronic mail. Yelling, punching issues at her desk, crying, screaming, and so on. She known as HR (who had determined to cancel the potluck, the perpetrator in Barb’s thoughts) and chewed them out abusively over the cellphone, after which known as her husband to blow off steam, and a handful of others. She yelled and cried on the workplace for 3 or 4 hours. (It was terrible and I complained to her boss.) She ended up demanding that HR reimburse her for the chili substances, they usually did.

At future potlucks, Barb proudly introduced to anybody close by on potluck day that she didn’t convey something to the potluck. Based on her, she had particular permission from HR to attend potlucks with out contributing to meals (as was the workplace etiquette) as retribution for a way they ‘screwed her over.’ We by no means had a chili cook-off once more.”  (2022)

2. The apricots

“My BigLaw agency, pre-2008-recession, threw critical occasions/events. At one occasion for ‘alums’ (i.e., for agency legal professionals to schmooze with/attempt to get enterprise from former agency attorneys now in home), each convention room on our assembly flooring was a distinct theme. I used to be speaking to a pal within the cheese room (which had assorted platters overflowing with cheeses, crackers, nuts, dried fruits, and so on.) and noticed my pal’s eyes go huge as she hissed, ‘Be informal, however flip round slowly.’ I did, simply in time to see a associate who was the pinnacle of her follow group and simply making just a few million {dollars} a yr tip the ENTIRE PLATTER of dried apricots into her designer bag. It needed to have been a number of kilos value. She then casually turned and walked out of the room. We speculated about ‘Tammy’ and why the heck she wanted so many apricots for years.”  (2023)

3. The bacon monitor

“In one in every of my final jobs, our occasion planning committee, used to do company-wide catering for many main holidays. I swear, each single time we did a breakfast one and included bacon, we all the time needed to have a member of the committee stand watch because the ‘bacon monitor’ and rely what number of items of bacon every particular person had. Apparently, just a few years earlier than I began, some folks would pile a plate stuffed with nothing however bacon, and nobody else would get any.”  (2017)

“My former firm had a elaborate dinner at a resort occasion with an open bar. It was an ideal occasion. Many individuals acquired resort rooms however my partner and I went residence. I should have missed one thing as a result of HR despatched out an electronic mail saying that sooner or later there could be a two drink restrict, beer and wine solely, no pictures or onerous liquor.

And as a facet word, nearly precisely 9 months later there was a minor child growth within the firm.”  (2022)

5. The engineers

“I like the engineering division at my previous job for being The Most Engineers.

Their vacation reward change is: everybody who needs to take part brings a $15 reward card. The reward playing cards are positioned in a bowl. Everybody removes one (1) reward card. Finish of change.

Final yr that they had a festive vacation presentation on environmental compliance insurance policies as a result of ‘everybody’s already in the identical room.’ The compliance folks put some holly on the primary web page of the PowerPoint.”  (2022)

6. The sunshine apps

“My worst story is a Friday night time vacation occasion with one spherical of mild apps (at dinnertime) and an open martini bar. Individuals acquired blackout drunk whether or not they meant to or not. No person may have a look at one another the next Monday.

Highlights: One man withdrew the max from an ATM and gave it to a stranger. A male supervisor patted a feminine staffer on the butt. There have been martini races. I acquired a piggyback trip from the IT man to a different bar. Underage interns had been served. There was a convention name the subsequent day to attempt to piece all the things collectively.

And that’s the final time we had an occasion with nearly no meals.”  (2023)

7. The locked lavatory

“My husband had a superb over-the-top firm Christmas occasion at our home yearly for his small firm. In our city, the college was well-known for his or her co-op program and the corporate had a number of science college students. One acquired actually drunk and managed to move out in our slightly small powder room. His quick supervisor tried to awaken him by banging on the door and couldn’t, so we acquired fearful. He had fallen ahead so even selecting the lock didn’t work. The door needed to be smashed off its hinges and eliminated.

All was ultimately forgiven and he was employed when he graduated, however by no means lived it down.”  (2022)

8. The lawyer

“Probably the most epic work-related celebration of the vacations that I encountered throughout my working years concerned a three-day, that’s THREE-DAY, occasion placed on by an legal professional who labored with plenty of federal businesses and courts. It was mainly an open home with free-flowing booze and catered meals. It began as a half a day occasion, however so many individuals wished to attend that it was expanded to a full day, then two days, then three. Some folks in my workplace would take PTO so they might attend all three days, for the complete 10 hours or no matter it was. I swear a few people stayed drunk all the three days and slept on the ground of their workplaces. There was nice grief within the authorized neighborhood when this legal professional retired and the events stopped.” (2022)

9. The gazpacho

“A coworker as soon as introduced in gazpacho (soup that’s served chilly) and couldn’t perceive why there was a lot left on the finish. All of us thought it was salsa and ate cheap salsa-sized parts with the tortilla chips that had been positioned straight subsequent to it. The ladle and bowls didn’t tip us off.” (2022)

10. The Christmas countdown

“I as soon as had a coworker who lodged a grievance along with her supervisor’s supervisor that her supervisor was making her take her hours to Christmas countdown (sure hours, not days) off a whiteboard that was wanted for one thing else. Wasn’t even prefer it was the week earlier than Christmas at that time, fairly positive it was not less than a month earlier than. She was getting up and altering it just a few instances a day.”  (2017)

11. The on line casino

“There was a office the place the Christmas occasion was a giant buffet lunch with theme leisure afterwards. We did need to pay for our tickets, however not an excessive amount of. They saved including extra themes onto the preferred ones from earlier years, like line dancing from the western one and leis from the Hawaiian one. Additionally, there have been as soon as piñatas, so that they saved doing these. The on line casino was so fashionable that they discovered extra themes (Vegas, Mardi Gras, and I overlook what different theme) that gave them an excuse to maintain utilizing the video games of probability, which had principally been custom-built on web site.

It seems that it’s very onerous to construct a perfectly-balanced spinning wheel (like a Wheel of Fortune wheel), so I’d simply look ahead to a few rounds to remind myself which was the favored section, and would then win extra play-money taking part in the sport of supposedly-chance than my colleagues who thought they had been poker stars.

After which there was an public sale for every kind of strange prizes with the play cash, normally culminating in one of many male staff leaping out of a field in a fancy dress. And did I point out that the play cash all had the division head’s face on them, and there was a giant dialogue whether or not or to not reprint once we acquired a distinct division head, contemplating which of the division heads could be extra offended to not be on the cash.”  (2017)

12. The reply-all

“My group hosts an annual Christmas occasion the place employees, spouses, volunteers, and board members are all invited. We get an electronic mail despatched out when tickets can be found in order that we all know when to go forward and get them.

Just a few years in the past, one of many board members unintentionally hit Reply All to the ticket announcement electronic mail and requested the organizer to make sure that he wasn’t seated with our volunteer firefighters, since he was caught at their desk the yr earlier than and none of them wished to speak to him. Inside a minute, another person had hit Reply All once more saying that he could be honored to be seated with these firefighters, as they’re prepared to danger their lives to maintain our neighborhood protected. Just a few different emails went flying backwards and forwards congratulating the firefighters for his or her onerous work, and the board member quickly despatched out an apology electronic mail.

To make issues much more awkward, one of many folks making a speech on the firm Christmas occasion did take a couple of minutes to commend our volunteer firefighters. I’m positive the board member couldn’t have appeared any extra uncomfortable as the remainder of the room toasted them.” (2018)



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