General chatter - WARNING: Rant Ahead--Office Holiday Party Planning

10-19-2007, 10:55 AM
I am doing it this year. I've helped in the past, but this time I am doing the lead in the planning.

I surveyed the employees to find out what type of party they wanted this year--a family picnic (we're in Florida) versus an adult only party. For the past several years it has been a family-oriented, alcohol-free event with lots of stuff for the kids to do and LOTS of great gifts and door prizes.

This year, the majority of people wanted an adult party at a nice place with alcohol and a DJ. I've reserved a very nice waterfront dining room with a great dinner buffet. It will make a nice change!

You wouldn't BELIEVE the crap I'm getting from the people that wanted a family party! I even received a call from the wife of one of the employees (who do NOT have kids at home, BTW) griping about the party. I politely said "Your opinion has been duly noted," and hung up.

I don't need this crap.

My company has given me a generous budget to do something very nice for our employees. What some folks at my office tend to forget that this is a PRIVILEGE, not a RIGHT. My company does not OWE them a free Holiday Party!!

Some people are just unFREAKINbelievable!!

10-19-2007, 11:00 AM
Tell me about it! Stuff like that happens here, too. Just tell them you took a vote, and majority rules. If they don't want to go, they don't have to.

We don't get a party for free. We have to pay for tickets. That is what I get for working for the government though :)

10-19-2007, 11:12 AM
I'm extermely blessed when it comes to office parties. We have 2, an adults only party and then a separate one for the kids. Last year we had the adult party at a nice venue with dinner and dancing on Friday night, and then that Sunday we rented a bouncy jump type venue for the kids. Both parties were a lot of fun, for different reasons.

10-19-2007, 11:22 AM
I don't know what has happened in our world where people feel like they "deserve" everything! Like you said, it is a privilege not a right. I don't know if your company gives Christmas bonuses but if they do, you should tell the next complainer "you're more than welcome to use your bonus to give your family the type of party they so richly deserve" (all tongue in cheek, of course). As Lori said, they don't have to go if they don't want to.

I'm sorry you have to put up with all the bull; I am sure everyone who goes will appreciate the time and effort you put into their holiday party :)

10-19-2007, 11:23 AM
What a bummer - you're right, they're lucky they get anything at all!

You know what I have to spend to go to our christmas party at my work? $50 per person (that's $50 for me, and $50 for my husband)!! And we still have to pay for our booze! What a joke! We have the dinner "buffet" (where the servers serve you and you only get ONE serving... sorry but that's not a freaking Buffet!) You get one free drink per person, then have to spend $7.50 for each additional drink. Yea right.

They're lucky they're getting a nice free staff christmas party where they don't have to spend a fortune to have a nice time!

10-19-2007, 11:26 AM
I agree that the employees should be grateful. My company decided to have an adult party last year, catered, dancing, etc... only catch, no guests.

I didn't complain, but I didn't go either. What use is a nice dinner party and dancing if you can't bring a guest along?

10-19-2007, 11:34 AM
I agree that the employees should be grateful. My company decided to have an adult party last year, catered, dancing, etc... only catch, no guests.

I didn't complain, but I didn't go either. What use is a nice dinner party and dancing if you can't bring a guest along?

Agreed, Nelie! Our employees are allowed to bring one ADULT guest with them free of charge. The only thing that the employee will have to pay for is alcohol--that is mainly for liability reasons. If we don't supply the alcohol, we are not liable for folks who get drunk off their keister!

10-19-2007, 11:40 AM
Some people are idiots. Sorry you have to deal with this. Whenever I organize things and people complain, I give them a look (hard to do on the phone----frigid silence might be appropriate). It's like the little red hen. If they want to have a say, then they need to step up or deal with it.

10-19-2007, 11:50 AM
During the Christmas Season, at church, we have a Progressive Dinner. We go to a members house for cocktails and appetizers (all donated and provided by church members) another home for salads, then we come to our church for dinner, usually a choice of prime rib or chicken, then to the last home for desserts, again all donated by members. Church youth serve at the main course, music and entertainment is provided by members. A very nice evening of fellowship.

For many years I was the chairman of the Board Of Christian Life, we organized the dinner. I was the "whipping boy" ;) Not only did we organize the entire event, making sure there was enough donations and volunteers, we also did the cooking for the main course, always attended by over 100 people. We really did a lot of work in the preparation and cooking for the event....something that was streeful but also very rewarding.

The event is held on Saturday night. Most of the feedback has always been uplifting, a lot of thank-yous are handed out, which makes it worthwhile for all of our efforts. I always looked forward to Sunday morning's after the dinner....the pressure, cooking, prep and clean-up....which lasted until midnight most times....was over!

Well one Sunday I came out of church, headed for the coffee area, as I was walking I was stopped by 3 folks that just whined and complained their little heads off....about the cost of the dinner, the food choice, just about everything....they said it was the worst Progressive Dinner they had ever been to. I was crushed :(...we had worked so hard. Before I reached my coffee destination I was stopped by 3 other folks...OH NO! here it comes....nope! They said that after being members there for 15 years, it was the BEST Progressive Dinner that we ever had by far.

I realized right then and there the old saying..."You can please some of the people some of the time...but you can't please all of the people all of the time." So very matter how hard you try you can't always please everyone.

I had a good day when all was said and done...I knew how hard my crew and I had worked....for that I was proud.

10-19-2007, 11:57 AM
Yeah dh's company hasnt had a party, picnic ..anything for the last 5-6 years.

10-19-2007, 12:40 PM
As an event planner, I would definitly agree with the "You can please some of the people some of the time...but you can't please all of the people all of the time." Every event I have ever done had been awarded both praise and criticism. You just ahve to consider the source and the reasoning behind it to decide if it's valid, and if it is use those comments to do better next time. Some people just like to complain no matter what. :rolleyes: Learning how to let this stuff roll off my back when I need to has made my job (and life in general) much less stressful. ;)

10-19-2007, 01:58 PM
I know the company I used to work for had a nice adult only Xmas party, we too had a vote on weather we wanted a family party or not. We had to buy the tickets, but it wasn't that bad.
They were 15 for yourself, or 20 if you wanted to bring a guest, but that was only if you had paid for your caual friday (5 bucks a month) for the previouse 3 months and if you didnt the tickets were A LOT higher, so what most of us did if we didnt have a significant other was get two tickets, take a fellow employee, and split the cost!

We had a nice buffet, and believe it or not for the first 2 or 3 hours it was an open bar, the company paid for the alcohol, it was surpising.

There are going to be people that complain no matter WHAt you do, good luck!

10-19-2007, 02:15 PM
We don't even GET a holiday party where I work. People should just be grateful that they are with a company that cares enough to offer it to them, and stop complaining that they didn't get their way.

It was put to a vote, majority wins, sorry for the rest. Why do people have to be so snotty about things when they don't get their way? Sure, it might not be what they would have preferred, but it still might be fun!

I say just do your best to block out all those nay-sayers and you just plan the best freaking party you can!

10-19-2007, 02:21 PM
Here is a very funny joke, I think, that has been circulating for some time. Jen, I think you'll appreciate it. Sorry if it's a bit long! :lol:


FROM: Patty Lewis, Human Resources Director
TO: All Employees
DATE: December 1
RE: Christmas Party

I'm happy to inform you that the company Christmas Party will take place on December 23, starting at noon, in the banquet room at Luigi's Open Pit Barbecue. No host bar, but plenty of eggnog! We'll have a small band playing traditional carols... feel free to sing along. And, don't be surprised if our CEO shows up dressed as Santa Claus!

A Christmas tree will be lit at 1:00 P.M. Exchange of gifts among employees can be done at that time; however, no gift should be over $10.00 to make the giving of gifts easy for everyone's pockets. This gathering is only for employees! A special announcement will be made by our CEO at that time!

Merry Christmas to you and your family.


************************************************** **
FROM: Patty Lewis, Human Resources Director
TO: All Employees
DATE: December 2
RE: Holiday Party

In no way was yesterday's memo intended to exclude our Jewish employees. We recognize that Chanukah is an important holiday which often coincides with Christmas, though unfortunately not this year. However, from now on we're calling it our "Holiday Party." The same policy applies to employees who are celebrating Kwanzaa at this time. There will be no Christmas tree and no Christmas carols sung. We will have other types of music for your enjoyment.

Happy now?

Happy Holidays to you and your family.


************************************************** **
FROM: Patty Lewis, Human Resources Director
TO: All Employees
DATE: December 3
RE: Holiday Party

Regarding the note I received from a member of Alcoholics Anonymous requesting a non-drinking table ....You didn't sign your name. I'm happy to accommodate this request, but if I put a sign on a table that reads, "AA Only," you wouldn't be anonymous anymore. How am I supposed to handle this?


Forget about the gifts exchange, no gift exchange is allowed since the union members feel that $10.00 is too much money, and executives believe $10.00 is very little for a gift. NO GIFT EXCHANGE WILL BE ALLOWED.


************************************************** **
FROM: Patty Lewis, Human Resources Director
TO: All Employees
DATE: December 7
RE: 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 this time of year does not accommodate our Muslim employees'beliefs. Perhaps Luigi's can hold off on serving your meal until the end of the party (the days are so short this time of year), or else package everything for take home in little foil swans. Will that work?

Meanwhile, I've arranged for members of Overeaters Anonymous to sit farthest from the dessert buffet. Pregnant women will get the table closest to the restrooms. Gays are allowed to sit with each other. Lesbians do not have to sit with gay men; each gender will have their own table. To the person asking permission to cross dress, no cross dressing allowed. We will have booster seats for short people. Low-fat food will be available for those on a diet. We cannot control the salt used in the food thus we suggest for those people with blood pressure problems to taste first. There will be fresh fruits as dessert for diabetics since the restaurant is unable to supply "no sugar" desserts.


Did I miss anything?


************************************************** **
FROM: Patty Lewis, Human Resources Director
TO: All Employees
Date: December 9
RE: Holiday Party

People, people! Nothing sinister was intended by having our CEO dress up ike Santa Claus! Even if the anagram of "Santa" does happen to be "Satan," there is no evil connotation to our own "little man in a red suit." It's a tradition, folks, like sugar shock at Halloween, or family feuds over the Thanksgiving turkey, or broken hearts on Valentine's Day. Could we lighten up? Please?????????

Also, the company has changed their mind in announcing the special announcement at the gathering. You will get a notification in the mail, sent to your home.


************************************************** **
FROM: Patty Lewis, Human Resources Director
TO: All #&$**@ Employees
DATE: December 10
RE: The #*&^@*^Holiday Party

I have no#&*@*^ idea what the announcement is all about. What the #&^!@ do I care...? I KNOW WHAT I AM GOING TO GET!!!!!!!!!!!! You change your address now and your are dead!!!!!!!!!!!! No more changes of address will be allowed in my office. Try to come in and change your address, I will have you hung from the ceiling in the warehouse!!

Vegetarians!?!?!? I've had it with you people!!! We're going to keep this party at Luigi's Open Pit Barbecue whether you like it or not. You can sit quietly at the table furthest from the "grill of death," as you so quaintly put it, and you'll get your @ #$^&*! salad bar, including hydroponic tomatoes. But you know, they have feelings, too. Tomatoes scream when you slice them. I've heard them scream. I'm hearing them scream right now !HA! I hope you all have a rotten holiday!

Drive drunk and die, you hear me!!!!!!!!!!!

The ***** from ****!!!!!!!!

************************************************** **
FROM: Terri Bishop, Acting Human Resources Director
TO: All Employees
DATE: December 14
RE: Patty Lewis and Holiday Party

I'm sure I speak for all of us in wishing Patty Lewis a speedy recovery from her stress-related illness, and I'll continue to forward your cards to her at the sanitarium. In the meantime, management has decided to cancel our Holiday Party and give everyone the afternoon of the 23rd off with full pay.

Happy Holidays!


10-19-2007, 03:12 PM
Why do people equate a good time with alcohol? You don't have to have alcohol to have a good time. Guess I am with the people who want a picnic...I'd take the picnic over a bar/alcohol anytime.

10-19-2007, 03:19 PM
OMG that is tooooo funny!!!!! I needed a good laugh, THANKS

I know our company does a holiday party, but honestly I dont know anything about it since this will be my first one with this company. I know since we have 2 locations it is held at our other location which means i have to drive 30 miles, but that is NOT TRAGIC by any means!!!!

10-19-2007, 03:29 PM

I need to send that to someone~~the person organizing our holiday party!

10-19-2007, 03:39 PM
Jay, Loved it!

Jen, IMHO, you're d*mned it you do, and d*amned if you don't. I would just continue on with what the majority responded to in the survey.

I forget about what nice things (like company parties) you can have if you work in the private sector. Working for the gub'mint in Mississippi, my employer never has enough money for things like holiday parties. :(

10-19-2007, 04:02 PM
Jay: Thanks! I SOOOOOOOOO needed that laugh!!

I feel so very fortuante to work for my company. This is the same company that has an awesome wellness program where they will pay for credited weight control programs like Jenny Craig and for gym memberships ON TOP OF offering cash incentives to lose weight and quit smoking! We also get nice sized bonuses every December 15th. Last year's bonus was less than the year before (profits were down a bit) and you should have heard people B*TCH about it!! It'sa BONUS people--BO-NUS!!!!

I've come to the conclusion that people would B*TCH even if you hung 'em with a new rope! LOL

10-19-2007, 07:27 PM
Being in construction most of our "holiday" parties consist of drinking beer and eating carne asada! We hang out in the shop, the boss gives us a turkey and some new tools! We were happy to get 'em. When I was in business me and the guys went to the bowling alley several years, had a few beers and a lot of fun.

The company I work for now, gets a banquet room in a very nice restaraunt near the beach in Dana Point, California. It's all you can eat and drink....but not buffet....right off the menu :woohoo: very classy. We take our wives, get all dressed up.....a very nice evening to say the least. No bonuses are given out....door prizes are....bonuses come in the mail. It's fun....the only problem...not ALL the guys get to come, just the big shots, the office folks, superintendents and a select few of the men....I like the old days...with all the guys!

Here I am front and center at our Pastor's party last Sunday....the one with the white shirt and the MGD's...empty! front of him ;) That's Angie next to me, my brother with the glasses, and the back of my ex-wife's head.

12-07-2007, 03:57 PM
Just wanted to update folks on this...

Tonight is the party, and everything is ready to go. I've got lots of door prizes and goodies for everyone, and a great grand prize for the employee drawing (a camcorder valued at $700 that I got for $500).

This year we have about a 60% participation rate, which is better than the last couple of years. So it looks like it doesn't matter what kind of party it is....some folks just won't come!

Anyway, thanks for letting me vent a couple of months ago. It really helped. I'll let you know how it goes after tonight!

12-07-2007, 04:10 PM
I'll be waiting to hear! :wave: