Thursday, December 13, 2007

The Office

Every Thursday night before the strike, I would get together with a group of friends to watch The Office. We would watch and laugh hysterically at the crazy things that Michael would do....his wacky meetings, fun runs, random parties, etc. Every now and then, people who don't work in Corporate America ask me if The Office is real. Most of the time I say no...until yesterday.

Yesterday we had our Quarterly DFW Employee Meeting. As I looked around at what was going on, I realized that very little of The Office is an exaggeration. The meeting was in a ballroom at the Solana Marriott. It started out with a rock band made of Sabre employees playing a few songs. They are called "The Gross Margins" and even have a logo that is the strings/frets of a guitar acting as a graph like a stock graph. Then they started playing a video of a lit fireplace (for ambiance, ya know!) and a guy in a smoking jacket a la Hugh Hefner was sitting in a chair acting as the MC in the style of Masterpiece Theater. There proceeded to be skits to give us important lessons about our company and strategy....a VP acted as Scrooge falling asleep and "dreaming" via video of the Ghost of Sabre Past, the Ghost of Sabre Present, and the Ghost of Sabre Future. Another VP and a sales guy were the Spartan Cheerleaders cheering on the SVP as he talked about our 2008 strategy (complete with "The Perfect Cheer.") The Gross Margins entertained a little more playing songs like I'm Gonna Be (I Would Walk 500 miles) and Come Together (Beatles). Then we had a dinner and an open bar. And as I was watching these skits, I could TOTALLY see Michael Scott in every one!

But yesterday's meeting (and every quarterly meeting for that matter) isn't the only thing that reminds me of The Office. Remember the "Fun Run" episode? Well we had a "Give Together" month where all of the employees donated time to service projects and money to charities. There were a bunch of events during the week to raise money. One day we had a "County Fair" with wacky relay races, a 1 Mile Fun Run, a Chili/Curry Cookoff, and pig races. Not kidding...pig races. Oh yeah, they also had a mechanical bull that all of the VPs and SVPs rode. At the end of the week there was a company talent show complete with prizes for the top 3 acts. (Yes I was in the talent I didn't win. But people still tell me I should have which makes me feel good. :) )

It just really hit me yesterday how funny this all was because it never seemed that crazy to me but yet we think that The Office is so far out there! Really the only difference between my company and the things that happen at Dunder Mifflin is that our leadership is all VERY competent and not complete idiots like Michael Scott....but other than that, its all pretty much dead on. I dont' have any pictures of The Gross Margins or this week's skits, but here are a couple of pictures from a quarterly meeting last year...this one was themed The Incredibles and all of the skits were about "The Incredibles" (Relia Girl, Value Boy, Collabor Mom, Mr. S.T. (Straight talk....kept saying "I Pity The Fool"), and Captain Undisputed defeating the Dot Commissar's evil plots to take down Sabre Airline Solutions. And remember...these aren't interns being hazed and forced to do these skits. These are the President of Airline Solutions, a VP, a couple of product's really amusing. As silly as it may seem though, I think I get more out of these meetings than I do from all of the other traditional PowerPoint presentations that I sit through and/or give each week. :)

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