a round-up of holiday letters from years past

It’s Thanksgiving, so in place of regular posts the rest of the day, here are some holiday posts from the past to enjoy.

1. I punched a coworker at the company Christmas party

2. company is banning alcohol at its holiday party, even if we buy it ourselves

3. my manager insists on assigning seats at a holiday lunch that we pay for ourselves

4. (includes the origin of Hanukkah balls!)

5. do I really have to attend my office holiday party?

6. my office Secret Santa gave me a sex toy

7. my office wants us to chip in to send our CEO’s family on a ski trip

8. my coworker booked all the best vacation days for the year and no one else can have them

9. time off at the holidays: can my employer do that?

10. update: my boss gave everyone a Christmas gift but me

{ 19 comments… read them below }

    1. Arbynka*

      Yes. I mean I was just totally amazed when reaching the “Jane’s First Christmas” stocking part of the story….. and then came the Hanukkah balls….

  1. DArcy*

    Letter 8 strikes me as forming sort of a complete set with the recent letter with the coworker who wanted to take all of December off on short notice.

    I think the reasonable bottom line would be to say that paid time off is part of your compensation and you’re entitled to use it, but it is also something that inherently impacts your coworkers and thus cannot be taken as a “whenever I want it” entitlement. If you want to do something with your time off that is outside company norms — even if it’s not violating an outright policy — then you need to give substantial advance notice so that your management can evaluate whether or not they’re able to accommodate. It’s simply not reasonable to expect a company to proactively prepare coverage options for every single way their staff could possibly take time off, much less to have all of those coverage options ready to go on short notice.

    1. copy run start*

      I agree. I think there needs to be structure around time off so that a) everyone gets a fair shot, not just the most senior or the ones who send it in the fastest and b) so that everyone has a fair opportunity to use their time off.

      My last job required us to submit our first and second choices for the holiday season in October and it worked great — as far as I know, everyone got their first choice because it required people to be reasonable and pick either Thanksgiving or Christmas, but you couldn’t have both. Oftentimes there’d be enough coverage left over to ask for additional time off, but everyone had a fair chance at it.

      If I were a manager in a small group that couldn’t accommodate more than 1 – 2 people out, I’d also throw in that you couldn’t expect take time off around the same major holiday two years in a row. So if you get Christmas 2016, you can’t automatically have Christmas 2017 so that someone else gets to have that time.

  2. Observer*

    I went back to the comments on #1. And the last comment is almost as amazing as the actual letter. “In school they suspend you” and “It seems like a judgement call to fire you”.

    I hope that that letter writer has grown up some – BEFORE getting into that kind of trouble.

    1. Mookie*

      Also, “at least you got to punch somebody.” Silver lining, and that.

      I like the notion that there are Two Sides to a one-sided assault, and it would be presumptuous or “judgmental” to assign blame to or punish the one doing the punching, all: “okay, fair play, but what if we considered that… punching… was… good?” That devil’s not going to advocate on behalf of itself, after all!

  3. Preferred Nomenclature*

    At one company Christmas party we did a rob your neighbor type gift exchange. I was the only woman working there at the time, and in the exchange I got anal beads and a cartoon book called “so you want to have anal sex”. The guys had joked about inappropriate gifts, but I didn’t think anyone would follow through since it was a family party and everyone brought their kids. I quickly wrapped it back up and when my 6 year old son asked me what I got I told him a book. I left not long after since they were drinking and playing beer pong, which I had no interest in with my kids there and a long drive home. I responded to an email from out boss thanking us all for attending saying “sorry I left early. I was excited to get home and read.” It wasn’t a job I planned on keeping and really only had because I was in school and could do homework there, so I figured it was best to let it go.

    1. the gold digger*

      Wow. It takes a lot to offend me, but man, that would do the trick. That is beyond inappropriate.

      (I am still ticked off thinking about my husband’s Jerk Brother, Ted (TM), who gave Primo a cock ring as a wedding present. Really, Ted? REALLY? Boundaries, Ted. Boundaries.)

      1. Preferred Nomenclature*

        The only saving grace was that the gift wasn’t meant for a specific person, I just wound up with it due to,the game. It was a crazy place to work, but luckily I was alone in the office most of the time.

    2. Audiophile*

      Not a lot shocks me, but this made my jaw drop. I think I would have turned red and that’s also pretty rare for me. Good on you for taking it in stride.

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