Tuesday, November 01, 2005


Our company does a lot of things for the employees. Yesterday was Halloween here in the US, and the company sponsored several contests – costumes and cube decoration. It was interesting to walk around and see all the people dressed up, and the effort taken by each group to decorate their manager’s cubes.

My cube is in a smaller room, along with 30 others. This area has programmers form IT, the marketing group that works on new campaigns and ideas, and the Risk group that evaluates customer standards and interest rates. Usually the three groups all do their own individual activities. So in order to try and pull the groups together I proposed a pumpkin carving contest for everybody. We also had a breakfast potluck, and desserts of the season.

Some of the managers threw in some bucks, and I distributed about 45 pumpkins last week. Instructions were to take them home and return them decorated on Halloween. I was quite surprised that we ended up with seventeen decorated pumpkins in our contest. One of the managers rounded up some judges – the company President, Operations Officer and head of Human Resources. They selected three winners, who got big bags of candy and a certificate. I also made up participation certificates for everybody that entered. Here are some of the participants:

We ended up with two tables full. Some of the pumpkins had quite a lot of work put into them.

New to the US, this was the first Halloween celebration for one of the programmers. Sherzod is from Uzbekistan, he says there are no similar fun and games over there. He did a pretty good job.

I like the way he used seeds for the teeth, and it’s hard to see, but he cut out ears and turned them so they stuck out. Clever.

Part of the marketing group did a theme – Jack-in-the-box Jack and some MacDonald’s food. Along with somebody from the first Star Wars as a sand person.

And another marketer did a good job with his pumpkin, also winning an award.

We also had trick-or-treaters at our house! This is our third year here, and the last two years nobody came. We live in an area with no sidewalks or street lights, and the houses are fairly far apart – the lots are all one or a half acre, so it’s a lot of walking. A total of eleven kids! Now I only have three quarters of that big bag of candy left to eat myself.

An aside – for you Bon Jovi fans, he’ll be at the MGM Grand on March 11. Tickets went on sale on Saturday and sold out in ten minutes. That’s a problem with big Vegas shows, a lot of the tickets are purchased by casino hosts, to give to the big spenders. So things usually sell out quickly.

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