Thursday, January 7, 2010

Christmas Party II

Opening up Christmas Pajamas

Reading the scripture verse first thing Christmas morning

No recession here

David, have you every seen a baby so cute?

Nothing going on this week.
Although, I have been busier than a one-armed coat hanger at work...which is a good thing considering I think everyone put a moratorium on dentistry in the month of December.

It was 30 degrees coming to work yesterday.
Now, I started to think about this. This is not that cold, but you see we have not been below freezing here in over 2 years. And it is in the 30s here for almost a week.
I don't even have clothes for this.
I don't have gloves, I don't have long johns. I don't have stuff for cold.
So what might not seem cold is cold if you are not prepared for it.
I go outside and come right back inside.
And of course, I just don't do cold very well.
I don't do icicles, especially coming from the snot in my nose.
I hate my feet being cold (I must have poor circulation), and if they are going to get cold I just won't do it.
I used to do white water rafting but my toes hurt so no more white water rafter (much to my wife's dismay, because she loves it).
I don't ski that often because it is so hard to get 6 pairs of socks and the ski boots on.
Yes, I know they make little warm packets, and I have tried but it just isn't warm enough.
But you know what I do do well....spring. 75 decrees....that is what I do well.

I wanted to tell you about our Christmas party.
It was very similar to last year. I have to tell you that our staff is really starting to gel.
I think morale was down because we lost some family members. It kind of sucks when you like working with people and then they are not there anymore.
So that whole thing was enough to get people down.
But we have been really stable for the last 4 months or so, and people were excited about the holiday and the vacation time.
Sometime in June we picked the day for the party, December 18th.
For the record that was a stupid move. Never have your Christmas party on the Friday before Christmas. Number one, everyone is trying to have their Christmas party on that day.
So that means if you have a staff of 9 someone's going to have a conflict. Someone's husband who has a job where he is in authority and he can't miss his party can't go to the party. And he can't go to his Christmas party without his wife. So she has to miss our party. I am not being sarcastic or am I blaming anyone, I am just saying it was a stupid move on our part.
I mean why not have the party the first Friday of December. This would cut out all frustration and the conflicts. I will start the Holiday season off, instead of getting in the way.
Mental note for next year.
So this is what we did.
We met at Bahama Breeze for happy hour.
First picture before I changed the night setting.
Appetizers and drinks. This restaurant is in the Mall parking lot. It is a stand alone building, but in the parking lot. So it is walking distance from the mall.
I have to admit that I am a cheap skate. I have told you this. They say, "I am tighter than two coats of paint". But this party is something I have always never worried about.
I enjoy my staff's company. I enjoy making them feel special.
So after about an hour or so at Bahama Breeze I give them all $100 and tell them to go to the mall.
The stipulation is, you have to spend all the money and it has to be for YOU. Not your daughter, not your husband, or anyone else...YOU.
There is a restaurant in the mall called The Elephant Bar. I tell them we have reservations at this place in one hour...GO.
We all split up (I use this hour to go shopping for my wife, which I told you I had not shopped for at all), do our thing, and meet back for dinner.
Dinner is where we eat, enjoy each other's company, and then show off all the gifts we bought for ourselves.
We had a really nice time. It is nice to be out with your staff because being cooped up in the office you start to each other are not real people.

We are a fun bunch. So much fun that whenever we go out all the servers from the restaurant are always saying how they want to work at a place like ours.
It was a great time.
It makes me think I really need to do fun stuff with the staff more often. You know that team-building stuff. I shouldn't wait for the Christmas party every year to not be a tightwad.
I shouldn't wait for Christmas to tell them how much I appreciate them.
I shouldn't wait for Christmas to tell them that I am a better person and dentist because I get to work with them.
Hmmmm, I feel a bowling party coming on.
Did you all have fun at your parties?
If you have a funny story, I would love to hear it.
If you had a disaster party, I would love to hear that too.
If you decided that the times were too tough and didn't have one, I want to hear your thoughts.
Have a great weekend.
They say that it might SNOW here tonight.
WHAT?!!! Are you fricking kidding me?


ps I got a vasectomy over the break, and I have been given the green light to talk about it. I have to keep it PG so I am really struggling with how much detail I can go into. It was funny stuff. I know you are going to be looking forward to next weeks blog.


Anonymous said...

Your office looks like a fun group. We have our office Christmas party in January, usually the 3rd Saturday so that erveryone has something to look forward to in the new year. We have two offices, so a total of about 35 - 40 people usually come and we arrange a pickup at two of the doctors' houses with a school bus (there are four of us who own the two offices). The weird, but FUN rule is NO SPOUSES, at least not for dinner. The reason for this is that when the spouse comes, most people tend to babysit him/her and don't really relax. Plus, the spouse inevitably make the person from the office a little uncomfortable, even if they don't disapprove of anything. Now before you think any hanky-panky goes on, it doesn't. It's just a method for our staff to really bond together and share some memories and moments that maybe their spouses wouldn't quite relate to. The spouses are free to come to our party (usually at a dinner/dance restaurant) after dinner for drinks. Afterward, its back in the bus for a safe ride home. Most times we will stop at some late night burger joint for a early morning snack! It usually ends up being a riot and we get the staff telling us how they REALLY feel about us. You can imagine some of the things that come out of mouths that are not sober. Anyway, great blog, enjoy reading it and can relate to it in almost every way!


Anonymous said...

Dear John,

I have found when you treat your staff with respect and generosity it pays big dividends. Not only do they tell all their friends about how well you treat them, but they also tend to keep your best interests in mind. When I sold my practice in 2000 due to a diagnosis of multiple myeloma (bone marrow cancer), three staff members had been with me for fifteen years and my hygienist eight years. They knew exactly how I wanted my day scheduled, they knew the patients, and they were very proficient in carrying out their duties. It really broke my heart when I sold my practice, as my devoted employees were family.

The last time we went out to dinner as a group was in the fall of 2000, several weeks prior to our departure for Seattle to receive treatment in preparation for my two stem cell transplants. Needless to say, it was a very emotional night. This past fall my wife informed we were going out to dinner and meet up with some friends. I didn't suspect anything because we get together on a regular basis. The dinner was at a Japanese Steak house, one where the chef cooks everyone's meal right there table side, accompanied with much fanfare of a knife throwing, dramatic flames, etc. Definitely more of a show than a meal. I thought this an odd departure from the more intimate meals we share with our scuba group. When we arrived at the restaurant, I found not our dive buddies but all my old staff, their spouses, and boyfriends. Here we were, nine year later, eating together, telling tales of times past, tall and real,and having a ball! Yes, this evening also was emotional, as tears freely flowed, but in a good way. My old staff had planned to pay for my meal but I beat them to the punch and paid for everyone. Truly, it was my pleasure and an honored privilege to have the opportunity to once again treat them.
Bill Stokes DDS
Roanoke Va

Pustiso said...

Nice photos. Happy new year Dr. John! Ouch.... I can't imagine myself to undergo vasectomy.


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