Company Christmas Parties

by admin on December 4, 2009

The first company Christmas parties I attended were held by a grocery store chain. I worked my way through university stocking shelves at night for four years (I don't recommend doing that, it was murder on the gradepoint average, as I had a tendency to fall asleep in the lectures).

Groceries guys are smart when it comes to providing for food and other little logistical details. The Christmas organizing party got a cut from the pop machines and other vending machines in the employee staff room so they were able to offer subsidized tickets and nice door prizes.

When I went into the prepress business, I first worked a number of years at Elty Publications, which puts out the Real Estate Weekly. In the years before the internet, they did boffo business. They were REALLY tight with wages but they held a nice Christmas party and didn't charge for tickets, so I gotta give the owner points for that (even though some friends and myself  really busted his chops when we tried to organize an union there back in the mid-nineties. Ah, fun times.)

Spent a few years in the service bureau business, when a guy could buy an imagesetter and pay $2.00 for a sheet of film, rip some data on it, and then sell it on the street for $15.00. The company was called Laser's Edge and run by a couple of pretty good guys. They had some great parties, one on a cruise boat with an outstanding buffet. They traded some prepress work for it. Again, pretty sharp negotiating.

For one year I worked at a reprographic company run by a couple of owners who were desperately trying to sell the business and it showed. The Christmas dinner was brutal, tickets were reasonably priced but the catering was awful. I remember the peas were canned and quite possibly the turkey was boiled. You could tell that the company hadn't put a single dime into the Christmas party.

Onward to Creo, which became famous in Vancouver for their Christmas parties. I mean, they bordered on  being decadent. In later years, Amos got some flack for throwing such elaborate parties but let me tell you, after one of those bashes, you would run through a wall for that company. Plus too, people forget that Creo was one of the largest hi-tech employers in BC during the glory years,  so they had huge pricing power.

In the last year I worked at Creo, they cancelled the Christmas party, that's when the Burton guy was trying to do a hostile takeover and basically fire everybody. What a scrooge.

As a contractor/consultant, during the mid-00's, I didn't get invited to any Christmas parties, which didn't exactly upset me. I do remember one company where it was known that the owners were regular church-goers and they didn't throw Christmas parties for their staff. I was a bit scandalized by that.

I mean, heaven know I'm not a poster boy for Christianity, especially when a piece of software doesn't work and yet again I'm slowly going nuts in a corner of the room, whispering f-bombs and thinking thoughts of  murder and mayhem against the company that released the piece of garbage that is making my life a purgatory. Hey, I gotta go to church. To beg forgiveness. Yet again.

But gees, no Christmas party whatsoever? There ought to  be a rule if you are a company owner and you go to church you should compelled to throw a Christmas party, if only so the rest of us Christians are not embarrassed by such cheapness.  Don't make me quote the Bible on this.

{ 1 comment }

Len December 7, 2009 at 10:11 am

Buy tickets? Huh? Is that a Canadian thing? I’ve been to many company Xmas parties for at least four different print related companies. Some companies I’ve worked for just didn’t throw parties. One I worked for rented a Penthouse on Park Ave. in NYC. But I’ve never had to pay to go to a company Xmas party. I think once spouses had to pay a nominal fee. The worse I’ve seen is having to pay for our own booze at the party.

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