Internal Memo: Holiday Observances
It has come to management's attention that the holidays are once again upon us. In an effort to maximize employee enjoyment and safety, we offer the following guidelines.
Decorations: To ensure that no culture gets left behind, four decorative "stations" have been set up in the lobby — one each for Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, and the secularist Happy Holidays. Individual totems such as mini Christmas trees, lights, dreidels, and depictions of Maulana Karenga may be displayed in cubicles each Friday from 4 p.m. to 4:30 p.m., through December 24.
Apparel: Red-and-white-striped stockings, Grinch ties, elf hats, bells of any kind, sweaters incorporating digital chips that say "Ho! Ho! Ho!", and similar items deemed "overly spirited" are forbidden. Employees in costumes depicting Santa or Mrs. Claus, elves, and/or reindeer will face harsh disciplinary action.
Gift giving: The Company recommends that employees refrain from lavishing superiors with gifts valued at less than $100. The following presents are specifically discouraged: anything baked at home, scented candles, crocheted items, and/or live animals. A complete list of proscribed gifts may be found on the company intranet.
Caroling: Merrymakers may rehearse supervisor-approved carols 50 feet beyond the perimeter of the building. For employees' convenience, a concertina-wire pen has been erected at the correct distance.
Bonuses: On the off chance that bonuses return this year, please be sensitive to fellow employees, especially those affected by the annual holiday terminations. Standing on one's desk, waving a check and shouting, "In your face, Johnson!" is generally frowned upon.
A version of this article appeared in the December 2004 issue of Fast Company magazine.