Jason (name changed for security purposes) just hit his big 20 year anniversary with my company. For his loyal dedication and service he received the cheapest piece of luggage I have ever seen. I’ve seen thicker paper towels!
Company anniversary gifts are simply the WORST. If you really want to thank me, you won’t hand me a piece of corporate propaganda and ask me to be a walking billboard.
Year 5: Pen and pencil set
Year 10: A blanket
Year 20: Piece of rolling luggage w/ monogram
That brings up a question I’d like to talk about regarding YOU and your company logo.
How do you feel about wearing it in public?
Personally, I’ve never been comfortable with it. Whether I’m working for the largest XYZ firm in the nation or some mom and pop – I don’t like people asking me questions while I’m waiting online for a poppy bagel and Formula 50 Vitamin Water.
I’ll never forget the time I was working for FOX News Channel and I was out doing interviews in Times Square for some man on the street bit. I was not wearing anything FOX branded but I was holding the microphone which had an identifying flag. Some guy about my age walked past me and shoulder blocked me – pretty hard. I turned and said, "What the hell?"
He replied, "How do you sleep at night working for them?"
I had several options:
A) Sit him down and explain how not every employee at FOX was some right-wing nut job.
B) Punch him in the face.
C) Reply, "It’s only a job man, and do you know everything YOUR bosses are involved in?"
I went with "C," even though "B" would have been a lot more satisfying.
People are quick to make judgments when it comes to your employment. Let me get back on track and my reason for this post. Now that summer is here we have "casual summers." That means no suit and tie for two plus months. It’s a beautiful thing. The only catch is that we have to dress in "logowear" – shirts that have the company logo in all its glory.
Most people seem to be cool with it. Not me.
I like living my life under the radar. Now the FOX example I cited earlier is an extreme, however, whether my shirt says that I work for I-HOP or Boeing, I don’t need work following me around during "my time." I’m in New York – and people say what’s on their mind.
Let’s say someone pisses me off at the convenience store and I say something. Now they know where I work and can contact my employer and make my life hell. Or let’s say someone cuts me off on the highway and I delicately salute him with my middle finger. Again, they can make it personal and wait for me outside of headquarters.
My solution? I often find myself bringing an extra shirt to work. I slip it on for certain outings. Of course, in 90-degree weather I feel like an idiot.
The kicker to this whole shirt tale is that the corporate branded shirts cost around $25 each. So you have to pay for the privilege.
Please tell me I’m not alone. I’d like to hear from you on company anniversary gifts AND wearing your company’s logo in public. As for me, I’m slipping on my extra shirt and getting a cup of tea.