Sunday, October 11, 2009

If you would like to spoil the day for a grouch, give him a smile.

So, Monday starts Employee Appreciation Week at my office.  This basically means the Admin Assistant, Dana (truly one of the nicest people I've ever met), and I will spend a week (and a shit load of our time and patience) trying to make 360 employees feel appreciated.  They will in turn make us feel like slapping them.  No matter what we do, it won't be enough.  No matter how much we give, it won't be enough.  No matter how hard we try, it won't be enough.  That said, 11 people will appreciate our efforts.  It's the same 11 people every year and I've come to value them above all the rest.

Dana and I spent Friday afternoon shopping for supplies and planning the logistics of the week.  Last Thursday, I gathered the aforementioned 11 positive and grateful employees and dubbed them the Attitude Ambassadors (because I am a GIANT nerd).  I gave them each 2 little plastic smiley face trophies with the instruction that they are to give them out this week to people who do nice things for others or people they see being helpful or good role models.  Additionally, those employees who receive the awards are supposed to give the trophies away to other co-workers who have been helpful or kind to them...and so on...  I also gave them silly little smiley face stickers and asked them to give them to employees who looked like they were stressed or weren't having a good day.  I asked them not to tell the employees to "smile!"( because that makes me fucking stabby), but they should give the bummed co-worker a sticker and just nicely tell them that they hope their day gets better or a similar sentiment.  I'm really hoping that their example will influence the behavior and attitudes of the other employees.

Some of the activities we have planned for the week include:
  • Jeans and tennis shoes every day.
  • Raffle tickets will be passed out and all week we'll draw numbers for $25 gift cards to Kohl's, Best Buy, Olive Garden, Old Navy, Bed, Bath & Beyond, Giant Eagle, and Outback Steakhouse.  (haaa, I kept typing Steakhorse - totally different!)
  • Monday, smiley face notepads and 4-color pens with our company's logo will be distributed to everyone.
  • Tuesday will be Creative Arts Day.   The staff can wear their favorite movie, tv show or band/concert t-shirt (I'll be wearing my WhiskyBabyNinjaStar shirt, because no one will know what the hell it is and I'll probably say it's a band if anyone asks).  We'll be doing a DVD/VHS movie swap where they can bring in old CD's/movies/games and either trade them or just donate them  & we'll give them to the local library.  We're also giving everyone microwave popcorn packs with our company logo on them and putting big bowls of popcorn, M&M's, Red Hots, Lemon Heads and Milk Duds in all of the break rooms to munch on throughout the day and we're continuing the raffle, but the prizes are $10 gift cards for AMC Theaters and iTunes.  I think we have 10 of those to give away.
  • Wednesday I'll be at a job fair all day with stupid Thirteen, but the kids at work will be getting caramel apples.  There better be some leftover apples for me when I come back on Thursday because caramel apples are one of my favorite things.  They're totally healthy 'cause they're fruit, dammit!
  • Thursday we're having a catered lunch of roasted chicken, cheesy potatoes (these potatoes are TO DIE for!), applesauce, coleslaw and rolls & butter with yummy giant cookies for dessert.  I feel like we're doing something else on Thursday, but I can't think of what it is right now.
  • Friday is Sports Day and employees can wear their favorite sports team jersey, t-shirt or sweatshirt.  It's also Boss's Day and for all of the Team Leads, Supervisors, Managers and Directors we have handmade AMAZINGLY delicious shortbread cookies iced to look like smiley faces.  They will also get pretty little brightly-colored wooden boxes with sayings written inside, like "Every day you get more wonderful".  Inside the boxes we'll be putting magnets with different sayings like "Live.  Laugh.  Love." and other hippy dippy phrases.  And then, because I'm 9, we also have a whole bunch of smiley face toys to give to them.  Smiley face slap bracelets and pencils; those paddle things with the string and the ball; smiley face stress balls; little plastic slinkies with smiley faces on them, etc., you get the idea.  Junky, fun, little things that they can keep or take home to their kids. 
That's our week.  It comes once a year in October and Dana and I plan and look forward to it.  We put a shit-ton of effort and creativity into and every year end up feeling bad because the employees are assholes.  But *this* year, I'm not going to let the negative ones get to me.  I'm going to focus my attention and energy on the ones who appreciate it and who genuinely feel appreciated, because we DO appreciate our employees.   This year, I'm going to have fun!


Anonymous said...

i would kill a small person for some lemonheads.
now i have to get some tomorrow or i will go mad.


Deistbrawler said...

Sour Patch

Girl With Curious Hair said...

I appreciate all of your efforts and planning. It takes forever just to plan a holiday dinner for our little group. Plus your event sounds fun and full of yummy treats.

(May I have a shortbread cookie, too?)

meaux said...

Lainey, that sounds awesome!!! I totally wish you'd come work for our company--they need someone to show them how to properly appreciate their employees, dammit. Gift certificates? Four-colour pens?? Yay! (Seriously, I just stole a few boring black pens with the company logo from one of our New Brunswick offices to take back to my office, 'cause we don't have any!)

Hmmm...wonder if I can drum up any interest in an office potluck this week....

Anna von Beaverplatz said...

You are so precious. Seriously. I wish I worked for your company. I'd totally be one of the 11 (or, I guess, I'd round it out to an even dozen). I hope at least a few people appreciate your efforts!

P.S. Caramel is totally healthy. It is made with milk, and has lots of calcium, and you are a woman, and you have bones (presumably; I mean, I haven't actually met you), therefore you need extra calcium. Plus, fruit. You eat all the caramel apples you like. It's good for you.

P.P.S. Bluntcards are my new favorite thing. I love that pill rainbow one. It may or may not be my FB pic one of these days.

Lainey said...

gp - Did you get some? Did you do it without killing wee folks?

Deist - OOOHH, I bought some of those, too! It was a last minute purchase and now I'm feeling pretty good about it.

Girl - Thank you, my dear! I know I sound super whiny about not being appreciated during Employee Appreciation Week, but seriously, is it that freakin' hard to just say "thanks" instead of bitching that you'd rather have Pepsi than Coke (which has totally happened in past years)?

meaux - I will totally send you one of our fancy pens with your Christmas card! And we truly do appreciate our employees. I hope they know that even though it's just one week a year, we really do appreciate them every day...well, most of them...

AvB - YOU are so precious! You would be Chief Ambassador High Priestess of my motley group!

PS: I totally DO have bones. It's like you know the real me even though we've never met. We're connected. Plus, I think caramel apples wards off scurvy, so extra points for that!

PPS: I know, right? So PERFECT for all occasions!

cindy said...

Wow. I've never worked at a company that did so much to appreciate their employees. You and your little elf rock.

Hey you never know, this year that 11 might expand to 12 or even 15. At least I hope it does.

MelodyLane said...

I would totally love to work with you. That sounds like an awesome day!