Category: On the Job

The Christmas Party

The annual office Christmas Party – looks like fun, but is it?

There is nothing in social relations that produces more terror than The Annual Office Christmas Party. There is reportedly no worse source of nightmares. yet every year, we dutifully shuffle off to endure this one night of intentional torture.

It’s a party and it’s supposed to be fun — yet it is precisely not fun. Indeed, anyone seeking fun would most probably and more likely find it almost anywhere else. But we are governed by two truths:

Truth 1: Everyone at the party appears as though they are there to see and socialize with their co-workers, when really they are there only to protect their precarious economic position. After all, if two co-workers really wanted to see each other, then why do they communicate by email when they sit in adjacent cubicles?

 Truth 2: In its apparently voluntary nature, it appears to make people welcome and to feel like they belong to the corporate whole, yet the discerning observer will notice exactly the opposite. Namely, the fellowship degrades into intimate gatherings of gossipy individuals who have previously alienated themselves from the corporate whole.

The only thing I can think of that’s worse than having to attend the Annual Office Christmas Party, is having to host the annual office Christmas party.

Thursday, December 1

FROM: Patty Lewis, Human Resources Director
TO: All Employees
SUBJECT: Office Christmas Party on December 23d

I’m happy to inform you that the company Christmas Party will take place on Friday, December 23, starting at noon in the banquet room at Luigi’s Italian Bistro. This gathering is for employees only. There will be a pay-as-you-go bar, but plenty of free punch and eggnog! We’ll have a small band playing traditional Christmas carols… so feel free to sing along. And don’t be surprised if our CEO shows up dressed as Santa Claus! The Christmas tree will be lit at 1:00 p.m. and we will exchange gifts among employees. However, no gift should be over $10.00 to make the gift-giving easy on everyone’s pocketbook. A special announcement will be made by our CFO at the end of the evening!

Merry Christmas to you and your families,


Friday, December 2

FROM: Patty Lewis, Human Resources Director
TO: All Employees
SUBJECT: Office Holiday Party

   In no way was yesterday’s memo intended to exclude our Jewish employees. Christmas is an important holiday which often coincides with Hanukkah, though unfortunately not this year. The CEO has asked me to remind you that the company does not discriminate against any employees based on religious beliefs. However, to prevent this misconception, from now on we’re calling this event our “Office Holiday Party.” Also, there will be a “Holiday” tree present, and we will no longer be singing “Christmas” carols. However, we will have other types of seasonal music playing for your enjoyment. This same policy applies for employees who will be celebrating “Kwanzaa” at this time.

Happy Holidays to you and your families,


Monday, December 5

FROM: Patty Lewis, Human Resources Director
TO: All Employees
SUBJECT: Office Holiday Party

   Regarding the note I received from an employee who is a recovering alcoholic who was requesting a special “non-alcoholic” table… You didn’t sign your name. I’m happy to accommodate your request, but if I put a sign on a table that reads, “Alcoholics Anonymous” you won’t be anonymous anymore.


Tuesday, December 6

FROM: Patty Lewis
TO: All Employees
SUBJECT: Office Holiday Party

Forget about the gift exchange at the office holiday party. We will have no gift exchange since the Worker’s Union contacted me with a grievance saying that they are being coerced into giving gifts to management. Instead, the executive board has voted to add a $10.00 bonus to each employee’s paycheck. Again, THERE WILL BE NO GIFT EXCHANGES.


Wednesday, December 7

FROM: Patty Lewis
TO: All Employees
SUBJECT: Office Holiday Party

   What a diverse group we are! I had no idea that December 20 begins the Muslim holy month of Ramadan, which forbids eating and drinking during daylight hours. There goes the party! Seriously, we can appreciate how a luncheon at this time of year does not accommodate our Muslim employees’ beliefs. Luigi’s has agreed to hold off serving the meals until after sunset. For those of you with babysitters and have to leave early, you must stay until all the planned events are over and our own “little Santa in a red suit” makes the special announcement. Luigi’s can package your meals for take-home. Will that work?

   Meanwhile, I’ve arranged for members of Over-eaters Anonymous to sit the farthest from the dessert buffet and the two pregnant women will have a table close to the restrooms. There will be a table for “Single Gay Men,” but gay male employees are not required to sit there, they will be allowed to sit with each other at a couple’s table. The lesbians do not have to sit at a couple’s table with the single gay men, unless they want to. And yes, there will be a take-home flower centerpiece on the ‘Single Gay Men’s’ table. To the trans-sexual who asked if they can cross-dress, no. Cross-dressing will not be allowed. This is a Holiday party, not a costume party.

  Finally, for our ‘little’ people we will have three booster seats available, and of course, Luigi’s is wheelchair accessible. Low-fat food will be available for those on a low-fat diet. Luigi’s restaurant does not serve “sugar-free” desserts, but there will be a limited quantity of fresh fruits for Diabetics. Those on an Atkins diet will be seated away from the dessert table and will be provided all-meat, low-carbohydrate meal. A cheese-and-bean dish will be substituted for the meat entrée for the vegetarians and vegans (V&Vs) who will not be seated near the “Atkins” table. We cannot control the amount of salt used in the food, so we suggest for those people with high blood pressure to taste their food first before loading up their plate. Sorry!

Okay, Did I miss anything?

Thursday, December 8

FROM: Patty
TO: All Employees
SUBJECT: Office Holiday Party

   I have just been informed that December 22 marks the Winter Solstice. Local Fire Regulations prohibit the open burning of sage by our “Earth-Goddess-worshiping” employees, but we’ll try to accommodate your shamanic drumming circle during the band’s breaks. Okay???… I don’t know what else you can expect me to do, maybe sacrifice a naked woman?


Friday, December 9

FROM: Patty
TO: All Employees
SUBJECT: Office Holiday Party

   People, people! I was joking about the naked sacrifice. I realize NOBODY wants to see that!.

   Also, there was nothing sinister intended by my referral of the CFO as “our own little Santa in a red suit,” even though some employees have pointed out the anagram of “Santa” happens to be “Satan” and Satan wears red. And there is no evil connotation to my earlier remark that “he will be making a special announcement.” No one is losing their job! It’s a flippin’ tradition, folks! Like sugar shock at Halloween or family feuds over the Thanksgiving turkey, or broken hearts on Valentine’s Day. Get over it! Could we all just lighten up? Please?????????
Regardless, the company has changed their mind about making the special announcement at the gathering. Instead, you will get a notification in the mail sent to your home.


Monday, December 12

FROM: Patty
TO: All you #%&$**@ Employees
SUBJECT:The %#*&^%@*% Office Holiday Party

   I have NO FREAKIN’ idea what the G*&#&p;8^ announcement is about. What the %#&^??? I DO NOT KNOW if it is about a “Christmas-” or “Holiday-” or “Kwanzaa-” or “Ramadan-” or “Earth-goddess-worshiper” bonus! I DO NOT KNOW if they are increasing hours or cutting hours or reducing non-pay benefits, or taking away the health plan. I don’t know how or if the $10 bonus gift will affect your end-of-year taxes! I work in HUMAN resources — NOT FINANCIAL Resources. As such, I do not control your stinking financial situation!!!! I KNOW YOU’RE EACH GETTING A $10 BONUS and that’s all I need to know!!!!!!!!!!!!

   And about the last-minute address changes I have been receiving for the ‘special announcement’ mailing: I have been asking FOR MONTHS for everyone to update their mailing address. It is now TOO LATE. If ONE MORE IDIOT comes to me now to update their Fre@k!ng address, they’re going to get a letter opener in the gut! You come to my office and try to change your address now, and you are dead meat!!!!!!!!!!!! NO MORE CHANGE OF ADDRESSES!!!!!! Any one who tries… you will be found hanging from the ceiling in the warehouse!!!!!!!!!!!

I MEAN IT!!! Enough!!!!

Tuesday, December 13

FROM: Patty
TO: All YOU A$$H0Le5
SUBJECT:The F******* Office Holiday Party

   BIO-SUSTAINABLE ORGANIC-VEGANS!?!?!? I’ve had it with you people!!! We’re going to keep this party at Luigi’s Italian Restaurant whether you like it or not. If you don’t like it, you can sit quietly at the table furthest from the “grill of animal death,” and eat the hydroponic tomatoes, the stinking bean sprouts, and the rancid tofu from the #$%^&*! salad bar. — But you know, tomatoes have feelings, too. Tomatoes SCREAM when you slice them! I’ve heard them scream! I’m hearing them scream right now! HOW MANY INNOCENT TOMATOES HAVE TO BE TORTURED AND KILLED to feed your fat arse? >>>>>>> HA, HA, HA !
I hope you ALL have a rotten, lousy, stinking, depressing, joyless, hopeless, revolting holiday! Drive drunk and DIE!!!!! I don’t care anymore!

The B—- from HELL!!!!!!!!

Wednesday, December 14

FROM: Terri Bishop
Executive Director and Acting Director of Human Resources

RE: Patty Lewis and the Holiday Party

  I’m sure I speak for all of us in wishing Patty Lewis a speedy recovery from her stress-related illness and subsequent hospitalization, and I’ll continue to forward your get-well cards to her at Covenant Mental Health Facility. In the meantime, company management has decided to cancel our annual Holiday Party and give everyone paid time off for the afternoon of December the 23rd to spend time with their family and loved ones.

Happy Holidays everyone! and enjoy your family time,



The USS Abraham Lincoln

The USS Abraham Lincoln with an escort

This dialogue is based on an actual radio conversation between a U.S. Navy aircraft carrier (U.S.S. Abraham Lincoln) and Canadian authorities off the coast of Newfoundland in October, 1995.

Canadians: “Calling U.S. Aircraft carrier. Please divert your course 15 degrees to the South to avoid a collision.”

Americans: “This is the Captain of the USS Abraham Lincoln. Recommend you divert your course 15 degrees to the North to avoid a collision.”

Canadians: “Negative. You will have to divert your course 15 degrees to the South to avoid a collision.”

Americans: “This is the aircraft carrier USS Abraham Lincoln. I say again, you will have to divert YOUR course.”

Canadians: “No, I say again, you divert YOUR course.”


Canadians: “This is a Canadian lighthouse. Your call.”


The Fire Engine

Some firemen were sitting outside at the station house on the fire truck when they notice a little boy coming down the street. The boy is in a little red wagon with small wooden ladders hanging on the side. He is wearing a fireman’s hat and has two ropes tied to the wagon. The two ropes are tied to a dog and a cat, and the dog and the cat are struggling to pull the wagon.

As the boy approaches, the fireman says “Hey little boy. What’s your name?” The boy answers, “Joseph.” “Well, What are you doing, Joseph?” The little boy says “I’m going to be a fireman and this is my fire truck!”

The fireman walks over to take a closer look. “Well, Joseph, that sure is a nice fire truck!” “Thanks mister”, says the boy. The fireman looks a little closer and notices the ropes are tied to the dog’s collar, but the cat’s tail.

“Joseph”, says the fireman, “I don’t want to tell you how to run your fire truck, but if you were to tie that rope around the cat’s collar, instead of his tail, I think you would go faster.”

Joseph says, “You’re probably right mister, but then I wouldn’t have a siren, would I?”


Hot Dog

The Dalmation, an icon of every American small-town Fire Engine Company

When my daughter, Rachael was in elementary school, her class took a field trip to the local fire station to learn about how firemen protect the lives and property of our people. Arriving at the station house, they saw a huge red pumper engine with its shining chrome hardware filling the engine bay. But the children’s attention was diverted away from the huge fire engine by a different firehouse attraction: the company’s fire dog.

History tells us that the iconic Dalmatian fire dog dates back to the 1800’s. Dogs and horses are very compatible animals, so the dogs were easily trained to run in front of the engines to help clear a path and guide the horses and the firefighters to the fires quickly. They are still chosen by many fire fighters as pets in honor of their heroic service in the past.

This particular fire company had a mascot that all the children clamored to see and pet. Eventually, they began discussing the purpose of the firehouse dog.

The first little boy said, “The dog is there to brin the firemen good luck.” The second boy said, “No, the dog is there to keep the people away from the fire while the firemen put out the fire.”  Then a little girl chimed in, “You’re both wrong.  It’s the dog’s job to find the fire hydrant!”


Congrats! You’re Cured!

A new doctor puts out his shingle

A retired metropolitan doctor decided his small hometown could use the services of a seasoned medical provider, so he left retirement and hung out his shingle for the second time in his life. To drum up business, he took out an ad in the local paper announcing his return to the practice of medicine. The ad said, “Experienced Doctor opening medical clinic in town, is now accepting new patients. ‘I Can heal any condition for only $300. Results guaranteed or I will give you $1000 cash back.’”

Eventually, one of the younger doctors in town started losing business to the older man. He decided to take revenge on the older provider. He would pretend to be a patient, and fake an illness that the older doctor couldn’t possibly heal. Then he would collect his $1000 cash reward.

The younger doctor went in and said, “Doctor, I’ve got an illness that no other physician has been able to cure. I have lost all sense of taste in my mouth. It is so bad, I can’t enjoy food any more.”

The older doctor called out, “Nurse, bring out a medicine dropper of Formula #2 and put three drops on the patient’s tongue.”

As the nurse placed the drops on the young doctor’s tongue, he screamed out, “Are you trying to kill me? That tastes like kerosene!!!”

The older doctor said, “Congratulations! You’re cured, that’ll be $300.”

A week went by and the young doctor returned for a second round. “Doctor, I have memory problems. I can’t seem to remember anything.”

The older doctor asked, “How long has this been going on?”

“How long has what been going on?” replied the younger doctor, feeling mighty smug.

“I see,” said the elder.” Nurse, please bring out a medicine dropper of Formula #2 and put three drops on the patient’s tongue.”

“No way!”, said the younger doctor, “‘Formula #2’ tastes like kerosene.”

The older doctor said, “Congratulations! You’re cured, that’ll be $300.”

The younger doctor pouted for a week then decided to give the old man one final challenge. This time he would pretend to be blind. Donning dark glasses and a cane, he went to see the older physician. “Doctor, I’ve gone blind, I can’t see a thing anymore.” he said. After a series of inconclusive tests, the young man said, “Doc, just admit you can’t do anything for me and give me my thousand dollars.”

The older doctor says, “You’re right, I may have been a little ambitious in my claim. Here’s your thousand dollars,” He counted out loudly: “$100 – $200 – $300 – $400…” as he placed ten $10 bills in the patient’s hand.

“Hey, that’s not a thousand dollars,” objected the younger doctor, “that’s only a hundred. What are you trying to pull?” To which the elder replied, “Congratulations! You’re cured, that’ll be $300.”



A young couple was wanting to adopt a child, so they went to an adoption agency. The social worker started the interview with a basic question, “What do you do for a living?”

Life as a circus performer has its unique challenges.

The husband replied, “We are circus performers. I work with the large animals and my wife does acrobatics.” “I see,” said the social worker. Then after a delayed pause she began to express her concerns. “I’m not so sure that a life in the circus is a suitable environment for a young child. Lions, tigers and elephants can become aggressive and can pose serious threats to a small child. Additionally, the constant travel and transient nature doesn’t allow a child to ‘put down roots’ that are so vital to developing stability as an adult.”

“Well, I have to disagree,” said the husband. ” Our animals are tame and very gentle, and I go to great lengths working with them. I think their is no better way for a child to learn about animals and their nature than to live right among them and observe them daily.” The wife chimed in, “And as far as the constant travel, we own a 55-foot luxury travel coach with a custom-built nursery. And I’ve hired a great nanny to tutor the child in reading, writing and arithmetic as well as a instruct them in music and a foreign language.” “And as for civics and history, there’s no better education than seeing and experiencing America’s historic sites first-hand,” added her husband.

“Well, I admit you make a compelling argument for your unconventional lifestyle, and we have several children in need of adoption. So, what age child are you wanting to consider?” the social worker asked. “It really doesn’t matter,” said the man, “as long as they fit in the cannon.”


What I do