Last Updated Dec 3, 2009 2:47 PM EST
So, I admit to having screwed up once or twice, but I've also witnessed real Christmas miracles. See if you can top these business holiday stories:
Back in the 90s, I worked for a Dallas-based company named Cyrix that, well, let's just say we partied a lot. For some reason, I thought it would be nice to give each of my employees a bottle of wine for the holidays.
So it came to pass that one of my managers who had already been warned about his performance on several occasions did something so egregious that, well, there was just no way around it, he had to be terminated.
After the dastardly deed was done, the guy's girlfriend - also an employee - stormed into my office, slammed the bottle of wine down on my desk, angrily shouted, "You're the sorriest excuse for a vice president I've ever seen. I'm ashamed to work here," and stormed out.
Guess I could have planned that a little better.
Crazed Geeks at Toys-R-Us
There's a Silicon Valley company named Rambus that does more to help the community and folks in need than any company I've ever been associated with in 30 years. As part of that effort, every manager signs his group up for a community service program. One year, my group did the "Toys for Tots" thing.
Christmas week, my entire group got to go on a $4,000 shopping spree at Toys R Us (on the company, of course). We walked out of there with I don't know how many shopping carts full of toys and games. We all felt like Santa Claus, piling all those toys into the lobby under the Christmas tree. It was a truly remarkable experience.
A Fortune 500 Christmas Party ... at Home
Mostly forgotten in the whole dot-com boom and bust was the Asian crisis and worldwide chip glut of 1998. That, coupled with a troubled acquisition of Cyrix, wreaked havoc on National Semiconductor's bottom line. Since the company had layoffs, management decided to cancel divisional holiday parties.
It was a good move, but concerned about morale in my newly integrated corporate marketing group, I decided to throw the Christmas party at my home. My wife managed the food, I managed the drinks ;-) and it cost a fraction of what it would have cost the company. About half the group and their spouses made it - well over a hundred folks in all - and it was a blast.
And get this: A temp introduced herself at the party, and I was so taken by her personality and positive attitude that I hired her as my full time administrative assistant. She was with me for years and is still a friend, to this day. Who says holiday parties aren't networking opportunities?
Those are mine; now it's your turn. Cough up a funny or inspiring holiday business story. Come on, it's uplifting ... and anonymous!