“Long ago I worked for a Home Healthcare company that had all kinds of dysfunction, dishonesty, and greed.

The executives of the 125 person company announced a Christmas Party. The party got off to its cheesy start with the usual thank-you-we-broke-all-records speech (no bonuses for us) with a cash bar opened to serve us. The company didn’t even comp the first drink for us!

As I stood at the bar waiting for the bartender, one of the wives whose husband was a senior manager strutted up to the bar. I looked her over and noticed her name tag, something we all were required to but hated to wear as we knew everyone. The bartender stopped making my order and spun to her for hers. She slurred out something and I just waited. Then the bartender put her order up on the counter… and I saw him look down at her ‘alluring’ dress. I thought he was checking her out but now his eyes fixed on her name tag and he looked up at her and said 'no charge'. She flitted away into the merriment.

Wait a minute.

I noticed that her name tag had a little snowman sticker on the bottom corner. My wheels started turning and I made a quick trip around the tables, nodding at the big shots. I noticed that all of them have little Christmas-themed stickers on their name tags; Santa, Candy Canes, Rudolph, etc. I sauntered back to the bar and sure enough, the bartender was slyly looking at the name tags and everyone with a sticker had their drinks paid by the company. Those cheap pricks!

I went back to my table and told everyone what was happening and they all were ticked off- not only by the sheer cheapness but also by the Caste system these ‘executives’ threw down on us, even at our Holiday party. One of the secretaries who had spent all her purse cash and looked like she had, stood up swaying and announced she had an idea.

She ran out of the door, into the winter night in her sequined party dress and heels, moving like a poorly decorated and wobbling Christmas Tree. In 10 minutes she was back and had a small bag from a nearby convenience store. She discreetly opened it and pulled out a roll of Holiday stickers! Not the same ones but who cared? Not the bartender. She stuck them on all of our tags, then went on to two other tables. She didn’t even tell the other tables what the stickers meant, they had Holiday characters and in their semi-inebriated state, everyone was jolly after that.

So off we went; emblazoned with our new badges of subliminal protest. We started the second assault wave on the bar like pirates, the bartender glancing at our name tags saying ‘no charge’ over and over.

…A couple of the management, smoking stoggies no less, walked up to refill and saw that free drinks were flowing. Flowing now to the overly thirsty and even more festive 20 something crowd. We had a great time and drank all of the top-shelf stuff.

Nothing could be said. Nothing ever was said.”