Okay, I haven't brought this to the attention of LP yet, but I thought you all might get a laugh out of this, and I welcome your comments as well, as many of my colleagues are perplexed to say the least.
Our company has it's annual holiday lunch in the beginning-to-middle of December. At this lunch, the president gets up and does his usual rant on how we made so much more money this year than we ever had, thanks to your hard work, blah blah blah. You know the same old B.S. Now, we haven't had bonuses in nearly 10 years, and I have never "expected" such a thing. At these luncheons, the company gives their token gift, like a mug or sweatshirt with the company logo on it, etc., and this year was to be no different. The speculation was killing us, and many of us had said maybe they will give us a gold-plated paper clip or something like that. Well, lo and behold, they went lower than I could have imagined....they gave us a water bottle. That's right...a 35-cent logo'd water bottle. I know how much these things cost, as I am also in the customized poker chip biz, and know how much it costs to make such items.
Now, is it me, or is that a complete bag over the head, punch in the face that you've ever heard of? You get praised for hard work, busting your ass and making tons of money for the company, yet, they spend a total of $200 maybe for the trinkets they gave us? Now, personally, I would rather get NOTHING, not even the lunch - which is a nice gesture - than have something like this happen. What did they expect us to do? Jump up and down? Even my boss grumbled "cheap bastards" as he got his. Who could possibly have thought this was a good idea? Obviously more than one person had to think "you know, they are going to love this!". Let me also add that I don't blame the water bottle itself...it didn't ask to be given away. It's a nice water bottle. I've even put some booze punch in it. I like the water bottle. I just think it's a little, how should we say it, "inexpensive" to be handed out as a holiday bonus.
To make matters worse, there are some "select" people in our department and others that get 4 and 5 figure bonuses for their hard work. The funny thing is that these are the same people that dirtbags like me have to clean up after because they are so incompetent. But, they kiss just the right amount of ass, and get what the powers that be think they deserve. It's downright sickening. Again, I never expect a bonus, but I certainly deserve it more than the others, and a water bottle is a slap in the face.
To keep with my rant, I go to an old dive here in town called Vinnie's. It's a raw bar with some of the best waitresses in town (much better than Hooters or the go-go clubs!), incredible food and $1 beer specials every day. There are five locations in greater Charlotte (I know, shameless plug for them, but they are the best - if you are in Charlotte, check it out). Anyway, there is one I go to at least twice a week with either my family or the fellas, or both. There is this corporate training company that we have used here for seminars, employee motivation, sexual harrassment training, etc. One of their best trainers comes to the bar all the time. He has a military haircut, from South Carolina and one of funniest and at the same time, most genuine guys you could ever meet. So I'm over there on Saturday night. We have a free night from the kids, there is basketball on, and we just feel like getting out.
I see my old trainer at the bar, and I went up and wished him Merry Christmas and we just got to talking. So I tell him about the water bottle. Now keep in mind, this man is a trained HR professional, who has dealt with my company many times. Let's just say the look on his face was priceless. He was stunned. He was for the first time since I've met him in '95, speechless. When he finally snapped to, he asked me who thought this was a good motivating idea. I told him I didn't know. He said that someone should have just come up to us at the luncheon, and said "Here, here is this bag of sh*t. Thank you for all of your hard work. If you'd like, we could light it on fire for you and you can stomp that out too!".
I about fell out of my seat laughing, but the sad part is, that something like this would happen. I told him to make sure to use that as an example for his next training sessions. He said he would. He will entitle it "How to De-Motivate Your Staff".