Or, Clueless in the Company…(that would be me)

In a recent contest held in our department, we were asked to guess how long a certain person (let’s call her Lorelei) had worked with the company. Since date-of-hire is publicly available knowledge (It must be, right? Prospective employers can get that information with just a phone call.), I went down to A/R to ask. But when I got there, Lorelei was also there. I have _never_ seen her in that department before. She said the same of me, and knew immediately the reason for my presence.

Lorelei insisted I was “cheating” to ask for the info. Cheating??? I was flabbergasted.

Leaving A/R I passed by an employee (let’s call her Carlene) who has been with the company for 27 years. I knew how long she had been here because I remembered two years ago was her 25th Anniversary celebration and people tend to make a fuss about milestones like that in our company. Anyway, Carlene was able to help me narrow it down to under 20 years and more than 15 years. She recalled having a list of long-time employees with their date-of-hire in her files. She promised to dig it out for me.

Since I have all the patience of a boiling teakettle, I didn’t stop there.

The information I was looking for had been in the company newsletter a couple years back, so I went to the newsletter archives. Good memory—I got the correct issue on my first try. Lorelei has been with the company 17 years. I submitted my entry before the deadline (and before I forgot about it again).

Did I mention there were prizes involved?

the prize

Today the winners were announced. I was not the only person who got the right number of years. There were murmurs of collusion when my web teammate was announced, but she did it all on her own. She ALSO remembered (oh heck. Let’s call her Janice, okay?) the company newsletter. Janice and I received the most elegantly packaged body lotion. The scent is light, refreshing, and not overpowering (MUCH appreciated, that). Lorelei also got the prize for being such a good sport.

Lorelei proceeded to tell the story of how I tried to “cheat” by looking up the information in A/R. Others were aghast (lovely word, don’cha think?) at my “devious” manner of determining the answer.

Which left me feeling totally flummoxed. I considered getting the right answer a matter of research and using my resources wisely. I did not (in my mind) “cheat” in any way, shape, or form. Others thought I should have used common sense, to which I replied that there wasn’t any in this if I was supposed to pull out of thin air a guess as to the length of Lorelei’s employment here. The replies insisted that yes, I *WAS* supposed to just “guess.”

That’s one of the silliest things I ever heard. But, when in Rome…

Next time (if there IS a ‘next time’) I’ll be sure to check what, if any, rules there are for contests.