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Dec 17, 201209:36 AMAfter Hours

with Jody Glynn Patrick

Checking the IB Santa’s “Naughty or Nice” list

Checking the IB Santa’s “Naughty or Nice” list

(page 1 of 2)

Email sent by Jessica this morning to me and the rest of our staff: “I was naughty again! I received a tabletop billiards table and this note: ‘You’re behind the 8-ball for your bad behavior. To redeem yourself, name a colleague you’d like to compete with. At the next staff meeting, you’ll get the chance to regain the title ‘winner’ again.’ Karen, are you up for a friendly game at the next staff meeting after your dance routine?”

Reply (to all) from Karen, who is already scheduled to do an impromptu Mexican dance, holding a Mexican jumping bean, at that same staff meeting: “Yes, you naughty girl. Bring it on!”

More than one person has asked me how IB is celebrating the holidays, since we’re getting a reputation for eccentric partying on those rare occasions we aren’t facing an imminent deadline, so I’ll fill you in on the mischief I’ve been up to with our “Naughty or Nice” game. It cost the company about $150, but so far it has returned to the business a lot of smiles and good cheer. That makes it a great investment, considering staff just put out the annual Book of Lists and therefore is ready, after several 50-hour workweeks, for a little merriment.

First, I made an Advent calendar of little boxes in a little chest of cardboard drawers, appropriately holiday papered and blinged out. Then I went shopping for little things, nothing more than $20 (most around $5-$10). There were not enough gifts for every day, so I had to improvise. Then, following the ratio of about 3:1 nice/naughty behavior, I made out little slips of paper to correspond and randomly put the “naughty or nice” messages in each drawer. The “naughty” message was accompanied by a jumping bean; the “nice” person would draw a little ornament with his or her slip of paper.

Staff then claimed their boxes, based on birth dates, so I had no idea who would draw what number. Numbers were recorded, and then, every day from Dec. 1 through Dec. 25, someone opens a drawer. The rattle of the bean, sounding very much like a rattle snake, stops them cold but I urge them on. It’s not like I’m going to embarrass them or anything if they were naughty (or will I?).

That, after all, is why Karen (the reason Santa created a “naughty list” in the first place) needs to redeem herself with a little dance. Joe will also perform an oratory, holding a chocolate fish. He can either confess his greatest workplace sin of the last year, or he can tell a fish story. None of us can predict which he’ll do, though there is a side bet. This should be good! (Continued on page 2.)

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About This Blog

IB Publisher Emeritus Jody Glynn Patrick blends work and life in this very clear departure from her other writing for In Business magazine. Awarded national recognition for both her previous work as a newspaper columnist and her journalistic leadership at IB, she brings us all back "Closer to Home" with her insights and remembrances. A nice place to be "After Hours." Check back often!

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