Jeff Phillips: A Startup Company’s Holiday Party

santa dollar


Please note the start time of our Holiday party has moved from 3pm to 11am. Because, well, who’s really going to get anything done today? So drop what you’re doing in 15 minutes and meet us out front, we got a couple of limo trolley’s waiting for us. The surprise destination…I know it’s been killing you guys, so I’m just going to come right out with it. We rented the Adler Planetarium. We’ll have the run of it. In case you guys are hungry, don’t forget to say hi to Stephanie Izard, who I hired as our chef for the afternoon. Oh, you guys thirsty? Well I think Charles Joly, who you might remember from a couple of Fridays ago when I took us out for drinks at a little old place called The Aviary, has us covered.

One thing I wanted to clear up, before we started our fun, is the issue of Christmas bonuses. I overheard murmurings in the break room as some of you chowed down on some organic shark-shaped cheddar crackers…which I’d like to remind you that I do a pretty good job of keeping well stocked, along with fresh Mrs. Fields cookies and Wow Bao appetizers, so you have a steady supply…murmurings about, what’s going on with the bonuses this year?

I decided to hold off on Christmas bonuses this year for a number of reasons. You’ve already had an opportunity to reap loads of cash if you’ve taken me up on my challenges to take an extra shot of whatever weird liquor I bring in for our Friday meetings. If you’re smart like Zack and Cassidy, you can get quite a bit of extra spending cash, if you would just take advantage of my generosity. Take Brad for example, I offered him $200 to ask out the hot new cleaning lady, Angie, on a date. She turned him down – sorry Brad – but he had the balls to go ask her and capture the Vine to prove it. He did well for himself that day.

We also have a pretty good culture here. We got a new foosball table last spring, which you guys have already destroyed, so I’ll probably be picking us up a new one in January sometime. I feel like I’m buying new ping pong balls every day, because, what the hell are you guys doing with them? Can we talk responsibility for a sec?

There’s expenses you guys don’t realize. We upped it to 5 Wii stations this year, you’re welcome. I certainly didn’t skimp on TV size. I also upped us to 10 Keurig machines and a soda fountain with a nice flow of Red Bull for y’all because you guys are caffeine demons. Also, I took us on plenty of cocktail cruises and to plenty of Cubs games this summer. Every time one of you has a birthday, do you remember who buys the whole office lunch? When Chance the Rapper came by for Josie’s birthday power hour, news flash, that wasn’t free.

Dudes and Dudesses, I must admit you get my Christmas spirit down a little bit when I hear you grumbling to each other about how you haven’t gotten a raise in a while, or that getting some employer sponsored healthcare would be nice. Chill the eff out and get some perspective, ‘k? You talk about me like I’m a Grinch, but you know, look at yourself that time I offered you $100 to mix orange juice and Malort and chug it. Look at your own frowning face, look at your babyish hands waving off that offer in the mirror and let me know which one of us looks like Scrooge. Tyler, I offered you $300 to trade me Rob Gronkowski in our fantasy league and you turned me down, and now you talk amongst your colleagues like you’re so underpaid, I mean, c’mon!

If you think I’m unfair or if you don’t think I pay you enough for the work you do, I suggest you maybe don’t get on the party bus, I suggest maybe you don’t deserve to have OK Go perform a surprise live re-enactment of their best music videos for your arrival at the Adler, and I suggest, you’re going to have real hard time making it in the corporate world.

FYI, payroll taxes bite. Petty cash is king.

I’m excited for tonight. Don’t forget to wear those MC Hammer pants I bought for y’all back at our mock homecoming parade.

We work hard, we play harder.


Auden, Serial Entrepreneur

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