A friend of mine emailed me this last week. It’s a memo
from his company’s CFO, regarding their upcoming holiday party.
(Emphasis mine).

This luncheon probably seems like a major
extravagance relative to the state of the economy and
all of our cost containment programs. Many of you are
probably thinking that if you don’t go to this
luncheon you can save us some money. I appreciate the
sentiment, but, I need to give you a little background
on this event. We booked the Hotel *** early in
this year for our Holiday Dinner/Dance on the evening
of December ***. The process of booking required a
deposit. As the economy started to erode and we
started to slow our spending, we attempted to cancel
the Holiday Dinner/Dance. Unfortunately, everyone
else in the Valley is trying to do the same thing. We
were able to cancel the evening party, but the Hotel
refused to refund the deposit. They also refused to
convert the deposit into rooms for our next sales
event or consider any other creative solution. Renee
and Caroline looked at the size of the deposit and cut
a deal with the Hotel where we can have a nice Holiday
Luncheon for just our San Jose employees and use the
deposit as payment. Based on the circumstances, I
view it as your corporate and patriotic duty to attend
this luncheon and eat everything you possibly can eat.

I plan to starve myself for a day or so and then
start with the most expensive foods. I won’t fill up
on starches. I won’t drink any water. I plan to wear
loose fitting clothes. In order to get maximum bang
for our deposit, we need you to show up and EAT. I
believe that this is a buffet, so, as long as we
continue to eat, I would think that they have to keep
bringing out food. Caroline will publish the menu in
a follow up email, so you can start to plan your
eating strategy before you get there. Thanks.

Historians take note: if this isn’t a perfect snapshot of this place
and time, I don’t know what is.