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Manager Insists Employees Come in on a Holiday, So this Software Tech Plans an Office Bash that Leaves the CEO in Shock.

In a tale of corporate power play and creative defiance, the Original Poster (OP), an IT manager, finds himself at odds with an unreasonable VP’s demand for his team to work on the 4th of July. The ensuing conflict sets the stage for an unforgettable office party that pushes the boundaries of what’s considered acceptable at work, leading to a climactic confrontation with higher management.

The Unsolicited Demand

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OP, an IT manager, receives an email from a VP outside his department, the ‘Bad VP,’ who demands that OP’s teamwork on the 4th of July, a scheduled day off. Not willing to disrupt his team’s plans, OP starts rallying the troops. In an attempt to counter this unwarranted request, he reaches out to his superiors, advocating for his team’s right to their holiday.

Resistance Meets a Stone Wall

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In three separate meetings, OP begins to see that his efforts may be in vain. As a desperate measure, he sends an email to the CEO, hopeful that the family-oriented executive will support his cause. However, the CEO is on vacation and wouldn’t return until after the holiday.

The Work-From-Home Controversy

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Despite the frustrating situation, OP decides that his team will work from home on the 4th. But the following day, a new directive came in no remote work would be allowed on that day. This time, the reason is absurd; to prevent the IT staff from playing video games, something that was recognized as a common trend during their previous work-from-home setup.

The Insult

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OP confronts the person who sent the ‘no remote work’ directive. After a lengthy discussion, the person dismissively claims, “It’s just IT; you guys don’t have lives.” OP reports this to a different supervisor, ‘Good VP,’ who reassures him that he’ll handle it and gives OP the green light to “get creative.”

The ‘Go Wild’ Permission

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OP seeks and obtains permission to throw an office party on the 4th. Both VPs, including the ‘Bad VP,’ endorse this plan. However, the ‘Bad VP’ reiterates, “No fireworks or alcohol on company property.”

The Creative Plot

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OP’s IT team has been relocated to a separate building with an outdoor patio that crosses into a different county once you cross a small creek. Sensing an opportunity, OP starts making calls to plan a memorable 4th of July party.

The Grand Announcement

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OP gathers his team for an early morning meeting on June 25th. He discloses his plans for the 4th: a grand party with no expense spared, including food, entertainment, and an invitation for everyone to bring their friends and family. He emphasizes that this will be a non-alcoholic event but winks at the possibility of fireworks.

The Office Party to Remember

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Come July 4th, no work gets done. Everyone is busy having a great time, with calls forwarded to OP’s cell phone. By 5 PM, the guests arrive and are treated to a feast, including a variety of barbecued foods, pizzas, and decadent desserts.

The Celebratory Fireworks

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As evening falls, the guests cross the footbridge and launch a fireworks display from the wooden board set up in the empty field across the creek. It’s a sight to behold, marking a victorious defiance against the ‘Bad VPs’ demands.

The Aftermath

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On July 5th, OP submitted the expense report, which exceeds $6,000. The company is shocked, not only by the massive expense but also by the fact that the IT team did no work on the 4th. In reaction, a new policy is put in place requiring higher level approval for large expenses.

The CEO’s Outrage

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Upon his return, the CEO is livid. He is angry about the cost of the party, but also about the disrespect shown to the IT team by forcing them to work on a national holiday. He sends out a stern email to upper management emphasizing work-life balance and the sanctity of holidays while also denouncing the IT team’s judgment to spend significant money without senior approval. Nevertheless, there are no further repercussions.

Was The OP’s Behavior Appropriate?

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The readers in the forum had a lot of mixed views on the matter. Here are some of their responses:

Forum Responded

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One reader said, “Can I work for you? This is magical.”

Another responder wrote: “Amazing! I bet your department loves you, and I bet they work their tails off for you.”

A different person states, “Everyone deserves to be treated with respect, full stop. We all have lives outside of work. Just because I enjoy personal time doesn’t make my time worth less.”

What Do You Think?

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What are your thoughts on their actions?

What would you have done in this situation?

This story is inspired by this thread.

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