I work in business sales. My company is huge and is doing very well and year over year my colleagues and I arrive early, stay late and push ourselves and each other to do well. Our department is one of the strongest performing departments in the company and we make our shareholders very happy.
Every year we find out in late autumn how much money the company is allowing us to put towards a party. Some years there are big parties in every major city for every employee in every department. Other years we have smaller get togethers and everyone always has a great time. Usually the amount that we are given is not enough to cover all of our costs and so we are used to having to pay a little extra. But the gesture from our senior leaders is very appreciated all the same.
This year was an especially hard year. We had a few internal changes that made our jobs exceptionally difficult. We had national errors that affected nearly everyone’s pay for a couple of months. We had policy changes that require us to work harder than ever. But we were still successful as a whole and we were thrilled when our VP sent us an email to say that we would all be given $20.00 per employee towards a party. It doesn’t sound like a lot but we can make that go a long way. We were thrilled.
And two weeks later we were sent another email thanking is for our hard work, encouraging us to keep it up and apologizing for having to take back the offer of the money for the party.
Now if our company was in any sort of trouble then I would be able to understand this. But our share price is up, our performance is up and our VPs bonuses are very good. Everyone was and is pretty disgruntled over the whole thing. To tell an entire division in a company that they have help paying for a party and then renege two weeks later after planning has begun is a really lousy thing to do.
There was a silver lining in this though. Our office banded together and made an effort to do a lot and to not get discouraged (much). One of the women organized a Secret Santa. A few people drummed up some funds through some great fundraisers and used that money towards a lovely little cocktail party that didn’t cost employees much extra. We realized that having a good time isn’t about the budget we are given as much as its about being together. We succeeded as a team and, like the Whos in Whooville and the characters in A Christmas Carol, we still managed a wonderful Christmas. 1221-13