Cleaning house

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

So what?

In an attempt, however misguided, to avoid having to do work or blog I have read through every last post in my bloglines. The thing that is most scary about that? I have over 235 sites marked in there.

And none of you have anything new to say.

Well, you may have at 9 am, but you don't NOW and that's the issue.

What? I haven't said anything new and interesting either? You're right. And so what, I say? So. What.

I'm supposed to be doing work at home. I'm supposed to be frantically putting the finishing touches on an awards 'banquet' that I'm hosting tonight. I'm supposed to be working to make it not look like a thrown together, shoe-string budget, last-minute event. But it *IS* a thrown together, shoe-string budget, last-minute event.

The background story:

My company has a couple of ways that we recognize people and their efforts at excellence in service throughout the year. One is through Caught-yas (our version of the Atta-boy!) These are completely associate driven. If you see somebody going out of their way for a customer or for another associate, you write them up a little note. We hand them out at our monthly meetings, and you get recognized for doing a good deed. It's kinda nice.

The other is through a star award. Customers that take the time to write or call in to say that they were pleased with a particular associate or circumstance receive a letter thanking them for taking the time to do so. The associate in question gets a copy of the letter, as well as a letter of thanks. They receive a service star that they may or may not choose to sew onto their shirts. If they get 5 of them, they get $75 ($50 after tax).

These are both nice things. At the end of the year, usually in February or March, the associates from each store that got the most of each type of award went to Moncton for an awards luncheon where plaques and small prizes were handed out. The associates who received the most of each type of note corporately, won a largish prize--usually a jacket of some sort.

These, also, are nice things.

We're not doing that this year. Well, everything but the luncheon. The same associates at each store seemed to be attending each year. What was supposed to be an incentive/appreciation luncheon had turned into a source of grousing and bitterness for the associates left behind at the store.

So this year? We're each having our own banquet at the individual stores. I think this is a GREAT idea, as it recognizes EVERYONE for their contribution to the success of the business, and thanks people for working together. It still singles out the super-stars, but also recognizes the smaller, consistent twinklers.

So...what could be wrong with this picture? Well. I was given $250 to do it with.

(I'll wait while you gasp in shock.)

I'm supposed to throw a BANQUET for 35 people, with $250. That is to include site, food, PRIZES and entertainment. And do it in a non-alcoholic location with no access to booze.

Mwahahahahaa! I don't know how many of you have ever done event planning (except you, Principessa!) but this is relatively impossible if you want it to be any sort of fancy-pants EVENT. And it's supposed to be just that.

I could possibly pull it off if I planned for 6 months, was able to do it outdoors in the summertime, and had a much bigger pool of competent helpers than I do. But I had 3 weeks to piece together a half-assed $250 party to thank people for contributing to the overall success of a multi-million dollar corporation. Oh yeah. My job rocks sometimes.

So we're going to a pool-hall. I rented the 'private function room' (is it my fault if it is sponsored by a major brewer of beer?) and an extra table for the entire evening. This cost me $50. It would have been $60, but we're going mid-week.

We booked lasagne, garlic bread and ceasar salad from a local restaurant--they are providing plates, cutlery and napkins as well. This will cost me $224 including taxes. (see the problem already?)

I'm also supposed to provide prizes and awards. No place in this town sells pre-printed certificates. I had to settle for fancy stationery from Walm*rt and invent my own award papers. I am currently making a single file bigger than my head to take to work and print out before 6pm tonight.

I also have to go buy 3 more jokey prizes, and one big Good Prize, as well as another $20 gift certificate.

The husband of one of the girls at work made a Plinko board for HIS work. We're borrowing it, and we're going to play 'the price is right' tonight. I picked out a bunch of small, common, yet obscurely priced items to take with us, and people will bid on the items in groups of 4. If they win their round, they get a Plinko token. When they play Plinko, they can win a card with a numbered prize on it. The prizes are cheezy dollar store items that I went out and bought last night. Three of the 9 prizes will have $20 gift cards hidden on or in them.

We will then eat, I will hand out the certificates. I will award the corporately provided backpacks (nice--but seriously--how many 50 year old men do you know that are jonesing for a new Roots backpack with the company logo on it?!) and then hand out the peer-selected MVP award. This person will receive a certificate and a $50 certificate to the only decent restaurant in town.

I've managed to spend about $500, which I think is not bad, all things considered. I'm surprised that nobody from head office has called to rag me out for having the function in a place where booze is served--I was fully expecting that. But seriously, where can you get a venue for 35 people for the entire night, that provides entertainment AND lets you bring in outside catered food for $50? No place. I think I freaking rock.

If it comes off okay. Which right now, it's not quite feeling that it's going to. I'm procrastinating by blogging and reading blogs because I have too much to do in the next 2 hours. The panic will start to set it any minute. I also have no idea what I'm going to say to host this shin-dig. Good thing I'm a master at winging-it. Well, I think I am, anyway. Everyone is always far too polite to tell me otherwise!

Talk to you later, poppets. Happy Tuesday!

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  • Too bad you're not in Manitoba- we're big on soliciting people to donate prizes here!
    Congrats on not going too far over budget- I think you've done amazing!

    By Blogger Princess of the Universe, At Tue Mar 25, 04:49:00 pm  

  • I agree with POTU. Great work.

    By Blogger badgerdaddy, At Wed Mar 26, 09:40:00 am  

  • I hope everything goes off without a hitch. Man, you should be getting an award for pulling this off on such a tiny budget! I hope corporate hears how they should increase the budget for following years.

    By Blogger JB, At Wed Mar 26, 09:57:00 am  

  • Oh My Word. I am Planning a Birthday party for 10 10yo's and It's costing me $175.

    You are my hero! Tell me you didn't have to absorb the extra $?

    By Blogger -LGirl-, At Wed Mar 26, 10:54:00 am  

  • You do rock. You're so getting a star award next year.

    Also, two words: McDonalds Playland. (Just sayin')

    Miss you around the blogosphere. But I'm sorry to hear you got all caught up on me and now I'm boring.

    By Anonymous mike, At Sat Mar 29, 07:02:00 am  

  • this is why i hate big corporations, because they suck. i think you should do exactly as mike suggested and hold it at mcd's playland next year. or burger king's, if you get an expanded budget. you can all wear the crowns they hand out for birthday parties, and the high-preformers can add sparkles to theirs. no access to booze, it's "catered" (by a disgruntled teenager), and quite an event.

    seriously, though.. nothing can be worse than where I used to work, and every year at the 'gala event', the owner's MOM won the main prize. fixed?

    By Blogger chRistine, At Sat Mar 29, 09:36:00 am  

  • I think this falls more into the category of "cute little mess" rather than "big fat mess". Glad to see you've done so much, for so many, with so little. Cheers, and may all your messes be this small and fat-free!

    Can't wait to see how it all turns out.

    By Blogger Arthur Dent, At Tue Apr 01, 08:33:00 pm  

  • Hope it went well!

    By Blogger Mephitis, At Wed Apr 02, 01:50:00 pm  

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