If you're staring blankly at your monitor reliving recent Christmas party-induced humiliation in an atmosphere of ambient contempt, spare a thought for the poor souls of Atos Origin. The French outsourcing firm's UK staff didn't get a festive knees-up at all.
It was all for their own good though, as the following internal email explains:
As a result of the poor results that have been announced in the UK in 2006 and in light of the fact that we are currently going through a major transformation exercise we have taken the decision not to hold any company funded Christmas parties this year, this also applies to any team parties or lunches that would normally be claimed through expenses.
Whilst we appreciate that this is disappointing for many of you we are sure that you can appreciate that having funded Christmas parties would be incredibly in-sensitive to our colleagues that are currently under consultation.
UK Management Team
Do you see? It's so they don't hurt the feelings of the people they're going to give the heave-ho to in the new year. How thoughtful. There can be no worse feeling than the opportunity of one last company-sponsored social occasion with colleagues and friends.
Atos Origin sent us a statement on the soon-to-be ex-employee welfare policy: "There are no Christmas parties taking place this December. Atos Origin values the commitment of its employees and rewards achievement. Throughout the year the company does run programmes to encourage employees' motivation."
Our correspondent has another theory on why the office party didn't happen: "Of course, as we got this on the 12th of December, the thought did cross our minds that nothing had actually been organised by Tosspot Central, erm, HR and that it was easier just to forget about the whole thing then show themselves up for the useless bunch of twonks they are."
Surely not...but what with the CSC bonus snatch we revealed yesterday, it looks like outsourcing firms have outsourced their Christmas spirit department to the Grinch this year. ®