Somebody Stop MeOctober 16, 2009 at 5:16 PM | Posted in The Corporate World | Leave a comment
I’m not sure if I buy into the whole premise of United Way. Just as an observation, they seem really self-involved and all about the fund-raising but not much about the goals. They give you little teasers about what they do with the money, but the salaries and bonuses they pay are never shown in those PowerPoint presentations. Know what I mean?
Their slogan should be "Give us cash and assuage your guilt." Because that’s what it amounts to. That, and a tax write-off.
So here we are in the winding down of our own United Way campaign. We had some fun events, like the chili cook-off and the E-Bingo. Of course, they sent out the bingo numbers to everyone even though only a certain number were playing. But several times a day I would get an email telling me the next number.
Finally I had to send her an email letting her know that I had had enough.
"You sank my battleship!"
And then we had the trivia night. Just last night, in fact, so it is still fresh in my brain…like an unanswered trivia question. These things are organized much as one might think they are. We have the umbrella group called the "Moral and Events committee," which I just call the "Sun and Fun Committee." Under this heading everyone is divided into subcommittees.
The Facilities and Logistics subcommittee arranged the venue at some golf course club house, and the Food and Beverage committee planned the food, snacks, and beverages. Communications and promotions sub made sure everyone was aware of the event and sent out emails and put up fliers. The decorating and purchasing sub handled the decorating, and all other receipts went through them to the finance, budget, and record keeping sub. This was not an idea spawned by the program and entertainment sub, but a recurring event that we have. No involvement from the employee recognition sub either.
I’m on the Employee events committee, which I just noticed is not a sub-committee. I remember I had wanted to be on the food and bev sub, because I have food service experience. Lisa, the head of HR and I realize now my friend, thought that I would be better suited for another committee. And I’m glad, because food and bev is alot of work. I’m on the events committee because eerily, Lisa recognized early on that I am an idea person. Eerily, I say. I’m on the events committee because I come up with ideas. So what did I do?
Well, when we had the chili cook-off, I rode shotgun with Bunny to Sam’s and did the heavy lifting for the chips and buns and hot dogs. For the trivia night I went with her to do the heavy lifting for the soda and snacks. Then, because someone else was suppose to deliver them to the venue and they weren’t around, I did. I really am a one-man committee: Ideas and heavy lifting.
Carrie from the food and bev committee catered the event, so someone from finance and budget cut her a check. I wonder if it’s just a coincidence that she’s on that committee, or if it’s because she does catering?
I was one of the team captains for the trivia, and there were ten or eleven teams, I think. I made little table-top folds with our team name on it. From the Monty Python, and also because all of us are more or less conservative, the team was "Right Thinking People."
It was a good time. And then the trivia started. Oh, Lord. There were ten categories with ten questions. After finishing the round all the teams handed in their sheets, and the hostess (with the mostest) went over the answers while someone else tallied the scores and wrote them on the big board.
So keep in mind this is a company event. A table full of HR people, a table full of loan officers, a smattering of managers and VPs everywhere. About 80 people in the room. The posted everyone’s score, and for the first round, our team was on top. I did what was natural.
I got up and did a victory lap around the room.
Funny once, I know. I figured I would do it only for the rounds we won.
Well, we won every round.
After a while it’s not funny anymore, and I’m just an attention-seeking asshole. When people laugh at it, it only serves as fuel. ("Whatever you do, *don’t* encourage him!") Of course, there were two rounds were we were tied with another group, and I got up and instead of running and doing a victory lap, I did the sullen walk of sharing fame.
There was even a round where we scored ZERO points, and we still won. That was further into the game, and someone tied us at that point. We still pulled ahead. By the end, second and third were tied about three points behind us.
The prize was two hundred and fifty bones, or clams, or whatever it is you want to call them. The precedent had been set in previous years, so we agreed to donate it back to the Cause. Of course, not everyone on our team came to that meeting. Suzan was shocked, but we had already decided and I swear I thought she was there but she probably wasn’t listening because with a table full of people there are always at least three conversations going on.
I went up to accept the prize. I grabbed the mike and promptly unplugged it. I said, "I’d like to thank the Academy–"
Then I continued, out loud to cover the whole room. "Our team would like to make an announcement. We have decided that even though–even though 250 dollars divided by seven people is almost 120 per person–" I let the math sink in– "we have decided to donate our winnings to the cause. Thank you and goodnight."
Since I had already made an ass of myself, it would have been much worse if we had kept the money. Then again, I don’t know why that stopped me.
And today I talked with a few people that were there. There was a table full of loan officers. These are the big money people, the movers and shakers, the ones that make things happen. Once when I was making a victory lap I stopped at their table, turned my back to them and shook my ass. In hindsight, probably not a good move. I don’t need to get fired from this job too.
They were not happy. Not all of them were upset, just a couple of the soreheads. Most reasonable people accept it for what it was, which is just some good natured ribbing. Take it as motivation to try and beat, dudes. Hell. These are supposed to be the super-motivated super-salesmen, trying to out-best each other. They should have tried harder.
I think our ace in the hole was Joe. We all contributed well, but Joe almost single-handedly took care of the round about drinks: given the ingredients, name the drink.
Joe has a part-time job as a bartender.
He also pretty much cleaned up on the round about sports. The funny thing was, there was one round were we scored zero. Zip. Zilch. Nada surf. That was one of the two times when someone caught up and tied with us. We scored a donut on one round and still won the hole thing. It was one of those stupid things where we had pictures with eyes and hair of someone and mouth and nose of someone else, the guess who the two celebrities are. Fuck that. That’s not trivia. Either that or it is the true definition of such.