Dear Human Resources,

If there’s one thing you’ve taught me over the years of emails, mandatory trainings, and team-building workshops, it’s the importance of constructive feedback. With that in mind, I won’t just say that the prospect of a Zoom holiday party makes me want to punch myself in the face until I lose consciousness, I’ll do so following the golden rules for giving feedback that you taught me.

Rule #1: Be Specific

As I mentioned above, the thought of a Zoom holiday party makes me want to injure myself. Specifically, it makes me want to injure my face via my fist until I can no longer hear people telling each other that they’re on mute or see their holiday-themed virtual backgrounds. Knowing that it might take a few swings to really connect with my head, I’m guessing that it will take anywhere between seven and thirteen spirited wallops to achieve the mild coma that I’m after.

I hope this level of detail gives you a clear understanding of the lengths that many of us would go to avoid any more forced, holiday-themed fun.

Rule #2: Be Kind

I would never come right out and say that a Zoom holiday party is a stupid idea therefore you are stupid for having it. That would not be kind. Plus, I can’t imagine that sort of negativity would resonate. So let me first say that I admire you and your profession. I just worry that if subjected to a virtual holiday party, I might forget that I’m not on mute and describe my plan to slam my fist into my temple at a high enough velocity to knock myself out in front of the whole company. And out of deference to you, I’d hate for that to happen.

Rule #3: Be Timely

Assuming most company holiday parties fall between the 18th and the 21st of December, I hope this letter arrives with enough time for you to trash your party planning documents, delete draft invitations and save me from significant long term brain injury.

Rule #4: Give Actionable Feedback

I recognize that saying “large-scale Zoom meetings that are meant to be ‘fun' make me want to ‘give myself a concussion'” isn’t actionable feedback. So allow me to offer a few alternatives that I believe will be more effective at building morale than a Zoom holiday party:

  • Money: You might not think that money would do much to lift our spirits but let me assure you, it will. Even a tiny sum of money would be an amazing alternative to a large scale video call from which there is no escape.
  • Alcohol: You could also try lifting our spirits with actual spirits. Vodka, whiskey, even creme de menthe are all acceptable options given the way this year has gone. The key here is that you let us drink it far away from the people we already spend hours with each week on Zoom.
  • Nothing: This one’s tricky as I know against your nature not to organize themed activities. But, if you’re unable to give us cash or booze, you should really give nothing a try.

Rule #5: Be Ready to Receive Feedback

Having said all of this, I understand that our views on Zoom-related fun are likely very different. You probably find they build company culture whereas I find they make me want to inflict drastic self-harm. So if you have any feedback on my feedback, I welcome it. Just let me know and I’ll set up a video call for us to discuss.

Happy holidays,