Saturday, November 24, 2012

PC and Kris Kringle and Employers

As one of the owners of the business, and one of only two women who work there, it always falls at my feet to be the Christmas Fairy and make magic happen for the staff.  But every year it gets harder and more fraught with gotcha's.  Gone are the good ole days when you could just tell the staff to turn up, have some fun and leave it at that.  Noooo - now we have regulations about bloody everything.  I try and make it a bit fun, but really, in these days of the employer being responsible for every little thing and litigation, well it kind of sucks all the fun out of it.

So I sent this email to all the staff to try and make light of the PC Christmas Grinch, while being a 'responsible' employer.  It still probably won't be warning enough if Worksafe got hold of it, but really, who wants to read a whole lot of strict rules just to attend your work Christmas party?  Some workplaces also make the staff sign that they have read and understood all the rules.  Talk about PC madness.
Dear Enablarians
For the benefit of the people who like to be super organised, or to give a heads up to the new boys, or to remind the old boys – here is a rundown of the Christmas traditions at Enable.  We respect all your personal beliefs, and this is not really a Christian celebration but just the end of the year 'thankyou'.  It gets called Christmas party as this is when it happens.
(note - I can say 'boys' as all the staff bar one is a boy, and she likes to be one of the boys anyway)

*      December 15th is the Christmas party.  Starting at 1pm. Partners/kids are invited and very welcome.  There is a pool, so if you don’t want to get thrown in, in your clothes (SB) then bring bathers.  And a towel.
(oh this one does my head in - the lads all want to play, and throw each other in the pool.  I run about and stress and say things like 'careful'and 'gently', all to no avail of course.  I even got thrown in myself one year for being a mother hen)

*      At the Christmas party Santa gives out the Kris Kingle gifts – see below. And kids get a present if they have been very good (T, you are too old now for Santa, even if you think you have been very good - sorry)
(tricky when you have a family that don't give gifts at Christmas)

*      All food and drinks are catered for – if any of you or your guests has any dietary requirements please let me know.  There are alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks - please drink in moderation - otherwise stupid pictures of you hitting on the secretary will appear on your facebook - we won't be responsible for the fallout.
(I hate having to tell the staff how to behave at their end of year party.  We spend all year telling them to do things - I would like to think we employeed sensible people.  Surely I dont have to keep telling them how to behave?)

*      Mr K will give a speech (oh nooooo!) But don’t worry, it’s all about you!  If anyone has any dirt on their fellow workers, then please send Mr K a confidential email – but remember – it’s all in fun and good taste – unless it’s about Mr K then you can send it to me and no holds barred!
(tricky one this, we are not allowed to make fun of, or tease anyone - but they all love to relive funny/silly things that happened over the year - humour is the key)

*      Enable loves you – so please ensure your own safety and arrange for a safe journey home if you plan on drinking.  We do live on the train line (well not exactly ON, but next to J) and we will provide taxi vouchers home for those who wish them.  Or con your girlfriend or mum to drive you home.
(This is a big one.  The party does not end until all the staff are safely tucked up in bed.  One year, all the lads got on the train and headed into the city to keep on celebrating.  Technically, we were still responsible for them.)

*      Kris Kringle – for those not familiar with this tradition.  Firstly, it is not compulsory to join in.  I will be going around getting the numbers soon.  Secondly, there is a strict price limit of between $10 - $15 dollars (or if you are a clever shopper less!).  Thirdly, just keep in the back of your mind that there will be children watching the opening of presents and we don’t want to shock them J (too much anyway).  OK.  So it works like this.  The people who are participating all put their names in the hat.  Then we all draw out a random name and keep it a secret.  We buy that person a gift – within the limit – and something that is unique to that person.  Wrap the present, put the recipient’s name on it only and give it to Santa’s helper – J – prior to the 15th.  We all then have a good time opening them!
( I had to bring in the rule about buying 'nice' presents as the lads got more and more risque (think AdultShop).  Again, we have to have a safe work environment, free of any unsavory things. I use the kids as an excuse for them to buy appropriate things)

*      Closer to the date, I will get final numbers for catering.


*      We close the doors on Friday 21st December.  If it’s quiet, early.  We will have a few Xmas drinks and nibbles in the PM to bring in the festive season.  Again, if you plan on having a drink please plan your trip (safely) home.


*      Work (for those not on further annual leave) starts again on Wednesday 2nd January 2013.


*      There are 4 days of compulsory annual leave in the break.


I think that’s all.  If I think of anything else, I might tell you, I might not ;-)


Cheers J


PS: Anyone who draws me I the Kris Kringle – remember that I have a fondness for blue bottles.


  1. Thanks Kirsa I will have to steal this for our very small office. xxx Rae
    It must be a political nightmare for schools!!

  2. You are welcome. We are only a small office too, 14 staff, but the same rules apply to us.