The Way It Once Was
Employee recognition during the holidays has certainly changed in the last several years.
My first job out of college was as an Assistant Buyer at a retail company. I worked on a retail floor throughout college, so I was unaware that companies held holiday parties for corporate staff. That year I followed my supervisor to the gathering. The party was very formal - we were provided lunch, received tickets for a chance to win prizes, and the president of the company spoke about the state of the company. With the speech done, it was time to announce the winning tickets. The mystery gifts? Big screen TVs! Winner after winner was called, as the rest of us watched on. The president enjoyed giving gifts to his employees and playfully asked his assistant how many more gifts he could give out.
When the gifts were all given, the party was over. We were sent home with a paid, half day off. I walked away from my first ever employee appreciation holiday event empty handed. At the age of 23, I was pretty excited to have a half day off. I mean that is big time, right? I was given no TV and no appreciation. That was 1999.
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