“Our ratings took a massive hit this December. We can’t have that happen again. I want ideas. Go,” barked Matt Lacao, CEO for the National Broadcasting System.
The others in the room were stunned.
“What?!?” shouted Matt.
“Isn’t this supposed to be the staff Christmas party?” asked Randi, one of the interns.
“Not when we’re barely pulling 5% market share. So, ideas. Now. Go,” bellowed Matt.
The silence that followed was painful. Eventually, Cesar cleared his throat.
“Don’t hold back. Speak up,” ordered Matt.
Cesar looked around the room. No one would make eye contact. “I’m just throwin’ this out there, but what about a reality show set in a major department store. We have shoppers fight for the toy of the year. We call it UFC Shopping.”
There was a gasp in the room. Matt Lacao thought for a few seconds, then a smile slowly grew across his face.
“I like it. It has promise. What else do you got?”
“What about hide-and-seek parking? Two drivers have to hunt through a full parking lot for the one open space. We can throw in obstacles and challenges along the way,” suggested Irene from marketing.
“Yes!” announced Matt. “Give me more.”
“I have an idea,” said Britney from human resources. “You’ve heard of Punkin’ Chunkin’, where they build cannons to launch pumpkins across a field? Why don’t we create an event where we launch Christmas trees? We can even set up Christmas decorated homes for them to destroy.”
Matt laughed, long and loud. “These are ratings gold? It’s fantastic!”
Caught up in the excitement of it all, Miriam from purchasing stepped forward. “What about slow TV?”
Matt silenced the room. “What’s slow TV?”
“They do it in Norway. They film long train or boat trips. They’re like, eighteen hours long. It’s very popular. We could film people setting up a Christmas tree, build a snowman or maybe cook Christmas dinner,” explained Miriam.
“Why?” asked Cesar.
Miriam blushed when she realized all eyes were on her. “It’s comforting. I imagine lonely people would find it warm and familiar.”
All eyes shifted to the intense gaze of their CEO. “That’s a stupid idea. You’re fired,” announced Matt.
The air was sucked out of the room.
“On Christmas?” asked Randi.
“Yes, but I have an idea,” said Matt. “Christmas battle royale for Miriam’s job plus a 20% raise. Go!”
Thus was the last Christmas party ever held at the National Broadcasting System.