New York, NY: With the holidays in full swing and the economy lagging a bit behind, businesses both small and large have begun looking into alternatives to the normal holiday essentials that many employees have come to rely on: the corporate booze party where co-workers come together in friendship, and the copier room always needs to be disinfected; thoughtful gifts like coupon books, corporate-inscribed stationary, and memberships to the “Butter of the Month” Club; bonus checks.
One such enterprising corporate CEO is Benjamin MacIntyre, president of Jericho Refinery of Kale, Inc, a locally run business with over 300 employees. Mr. MacIntyre had restructured many employee benefits through the years. In one instance, he changed company matches to workers’ deposits into 401K accounts into monthly Mexican lottery tickets that pay out in pesos (which has since been discontinued due to the fall of the dollar). In another instance, he exchanged family health benefits for fruit in the company vending machines.
His latest focus has been in the area of holiday bonuses. “As a top JRK manager, it is my job to find opportunities that not only enhance the holiday spirit of employees, but also save our company money that would be better served invested back into the company. Or to pay down my new Bentley Continental,” Mr. MacIntyre stated.
For one, MacIntyre has replaced holiday bonuses with scratch-off tickets. “By investing $5.00 for each employee, they have the chance to receive a bigger holiday bonus then all other years combined. Think how merry their Christmas would be to scratch three spoons on a “Clams to Caviar” card and win $500,000. Or get three ‘$’ signs in a row on a “Tic-Tac-Go!” card and win a million dollars! They’d give me an award!” explained Mr. MacIntyre. “And if they don’t win? They’ve got a nice disposable fingernail cleaner for the day.”
The company holiday party will also be phased out. “No one really has much fun at these parties. The workers usually all drink too much, get into arguments, and most of the food just goes to waste. The only people that enjoy the party are from the catering company,” explained MacIntyre. “This year, instead of a party, I will be showing five minutes of the movie Swingers during their lunch break on Christmas Eve. You know, the part where they’re at the night-club and the Cherry Poppin Daddies are playing and Jon Favreau hooks up with Heather Graham. I love that part. Everyone loves that part!”
The usual holiday card and gift will also be replaced by a more modern Secret Santa delivery. “Through an exhaustive amount of research, I have found out the dream present of every employee of mine. Before they leave for their extended Christmas weekend, they will receive a holiday e-mail. What will be in that e-mail you may ask? An imbedded image of whatever their dream gift is, that’s what! Tony in the accounting department is going to flip out when he sees a picture of a Ferrari Maranello in his in-box!”
When asked what the employees may be planning for Mr. MacIntyre’s holiday surprise, Tony replied, “I don’t know about the rest of them, but I’m bringing a plastic baggie and five Chipotle burritos into work before the weekend. He’ll have a nice surprise on his desk after last year’s ‘holiday horseradish’ incident.”