Do you wonder why a certain person in the office is chosen to pick out the business Christmas cards? Is it their sense of style that sets them apart? Or perhaps it’s that they are favored by the boss. Maybe he values their opinion better than everyone else’s. If any of this has crossed your mind think again. If your office is anything like mine, the job goes to the person with the most patience.
Once upon a time, I was the person with the most patience. Then I was chosen as the Christmas cards selector. My boss said we need a nice card to send to our clients. It can’t be too corporate and it shouldn’t be too cutesy, but I trust you to choose wisely. First mistake I made was to feel pleased he had chosen me. I set about getting catalogs and searching websites with a purpose. A few days later my boss saw me looking at samples and said “You should show them around, get a consensus of what everyone likes”. I had no idea what was to come.
Do you know that in an office of 25 people there will be 30 opinions? It’s true that by the time you have surveyed 25 people, 5 people will have a new opinion. I’m sure you have seen this depicted on Discovery or the Learning Channel, because it is a unique phenomenon reserved for the human race and perfected in the American business office. There have been many studies done on it – it is caused by too much coffee and staring at computer screens too long. All sense of decorum departs with the mention of Christmas cards and a chance to break from the routine. It is encouraged by the fact that the person expressing the opinion does not have to make the decision.
Wisely I narrowed down the selection on the second go around to three choices - one awful and two really nice cards. The opinions were evenly (and very vocally) divided between two cards, which I promptly presented to the boss with my decision. He chose the third card as our business Christmas cards that year, which nobody liked.
The moral of the story is never believe you are better than your neighbor and always inform the boss that you admire your neighbor’s sense of style. Uh oh, here comes the boss with a birthday card catalog- break time!