Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Pic-A-Nic Basket Case

This blog's headed up to St. Croix Falls, WI and Minneapolis, MN for the weekend. It's rather cool to get a long weekend from deck swabbing for the first time in a while.

While deck swabbing gets on this blog's nerves quite a bit, there was a cool event the other day: The Company Picnic.

Oh yes, the once-annual, kinda lame, always cheap-as-possible olive branch that says "We appreciate our employees so much, we buy them an adequately(?) catered meal that fits neatly into our fairly small employee morale budget."

As far as this blog can tell, there are some necessities with every company picnic. Here they are:
1. Food. Mass produced, at least mildly palateable, able to appeal to a large audience. Ideally as cheap as humanly possible. This blog heard of one grocery store chain that was rumored to be serving food at their picnic from dented cans that could not be sold to consumers. While this blog has seen a couple companies get their picnics catered, it's never exactly gourmet. This makes sense, and this blog really doesn't mind the setup, since most foods with mass appeal also appeal to this site. Just don't be serving this blog product deemed unsuitable for the public.

2. Contests. Every company picnic seems to have contests, but the type of contest usually depends on the type of company. Smaller companies can go all-out with talent competitions, eating contests, and the like. Mid-size companies can go with more restrictive contests, specifying to a point where they aren't going to get too many contestants. Examples might be singing contests and costume contests. Huge companies pretty much just punt and go with the "Enter your name to win..." contests. The huge companies seem to mysteriously award the huge prizes to employees no one is good friends with, and only vaguely know the department the winner comes from.

3. Tents. This blog has to believe that if it weren't for company picnics, the giant tent industry would go out of business. Going into work, if you see a giant tent in the parking lot, you know you're in for some free food and a contest.

Some other possibilities don't seem to be requirements for a company picnic, but are pretty hilarious. A recent "Sombrero Contest" provided comic relief for this blog and its fellow deck swabbers.

First off, the concept of a "Sombrero Contest" is ridiculous in and of itself. Secondly, the resulting shenanigans proved to be classic.

Here are some hypothetical questions, completely unrelated to this site's personal experience:

Is there any chance that the winner is not going to have chips and salsa in the sombrero? Any other way that particular contest gets won?

If you lose the contest, which was a bonus in the first place, aside from being completely optional, do you have any right to complain?

Would you be a total rocket scientist when you lodged a serious protest over the results of a "Sombrero Contest?" Is there any situation where a "Sombrero Contest" is worth filing a formal complaint over? (Actually, that could be a pretty cool topic for another blog) Is there a realistic possibility that a sombrero contest's results would be overturned?

Is a sombrero an ironic prize for a sombrero contest winner? Wouldn't the winner already be pretty well set in the sombrero department? Are there cases where one would need to have two sombreros? (Maybe a casual and a formal sombrero??).

Maybe this blog is unfamiliar with the vast majority of sombrero contest bylaws. So many questions. If this blog's readership can help Pun City out, this blog could sleep a little more soundly in the future.


Post a Comment

<< Home