Dear Marketing Team,

I know many of you were hoping that the pandemic would create a barrier between you and this horrible tradition of watching people you don’t like get drunk. I’ve tried everything in my power to convince upper management, but Patrick, our CEO, is convinced a mandatory Zoom holiday party on a Tuesday evening will make everyone happy.

It’s with a heavy heart that I go through the schedule of what sounds like an absolutely perverted excuse for an End-of-the-Year Celebration. The theme of the event is “Don’t Stop Believin’” and the entire three-hour ordeal will include many references to the 1981 Journey song. I’m told the evening will begin promptly at 6:00 pm CST and everyone must have their cameras turned on because (lord help us) everyone must wear costumes. All managers are also required to inform subordinates that Patrick will be dressing up as ex-lead singer of Journey, Steve Perry, because he is “the pipes of the company.”

It’s going to be difficult, if not downright impossible, to sit through the 20-minute pre-recorded DJ set that will open the party. I’m told a gift box will arrive at your door in the next few days that contains a sugar cookie with our company logo in frosting, four glow sticks, and a Mike’s Hard Black Cherry Lemonade. The glow sticks and cookies are to be used/eaten during the opening DJ set. The Mike’s Hard Lemonade is to be nursed throughout the evening. You will not have the opportunity to get up and get another drink. The schedule is tight.

After the music ends, the next two hours will consist of every member of our 248-member company giving an update about 1) how they are doing, and 2) the best thing they’ve watched on TV recently. During the director’s meeting this morning, when Patrick told us his plan to have everyone share an update, we begged him not to. He stood firm, explaining that he wants to connect with his employees, that “this is what they want from a CEO.”

At promptly 8:20 pm CST, after everyone has named a TV show, Patrick will begin a 30-minute half written, half improvised speech about how every single person at Henderson Consulting is important to the success of the company. There will be no recording or photography because he’s afraid of “cancel culture.”

I know no one asked for this. And no one deserves it. That’s why I do have a bit of good news. Once Patrick has concluded his speech, (and he did warn us he may go over his allotted time so just to be safe, block out your calendar to 9:30 pm) there will be a raffle! The company will be raffling off a “Cost-of-living increase pay raise” for two lucky employees.

Everyone has experienced a lot of trauma this year and I know this will only add to it. I want to thank you all for always putting your job above your physical and mental health. Thanks for all the hard work this year and everyone truly deserves a break. I wish we could give you one. I really do.

Your manager and friend, Kent.

P.S. Everyone has to take off 7 days of PTO before March so we don’t have to pay you out if we decide to fire you.
Happy Holidays!