For those who don't know - I work full time for a large global investment firm. I won't name names but it has been in Fortune's Top 100 places to work for as long as I've worked here (going on 8 years).
Today was our company meeting and while I used to look forward to them, this year I wasn't so excited. It used to be held in December and the first year I was here they served us a really nice breakfast. I was enthralled. And they gave us the rest of the day off after the meeting was over. I loved that!
Then they moved to theater type seating because we had gotten too big for the buffet scene. That was okay, and we still got the rest of the day off when it was over. And they typically announced new benefits or extra days off for the coming year.
The last couple of years the meetings have been much less ... oh what's the word ... I guess "personal" is the best I can do. It's less about the whole company of associates and more about a select few (mostly the sales folks) and the company financials. Which is great! I do want to hear about that sort of thing. But it's gotten so technical and choreographed that it's kind of ... dull.
This year's wasn't nearly as bad as I expected. It was too long and at one point I felt like they'd turned the heat on because I was going to fall asleep! We also felt like we were watching an old Kung Fu movie because our CEO was speaking from London (first year ever...also feels weird...I know we're "global" and everything but this is our headquarters) and the sound wasn't keeping up with his mouth. So he'd talk and his lips would move ... *pause* ... and THEN we'd hear what he said. It was very distracting.
We get back to our desks and found a nice little gift - for all associates here for 5 years or longer - a lego like building block - very heavy duty and heavy. Mine has a 5 year block and my coworker's had a 5 year and a 10 year block (she's been here more than 15 years!). So in a few years I'll get another 5 year block. Whee!
All in all, I'm still glad to work here. It is flexible enough that I'm able to practically work full time (well, maybe three quarter time) on my jewelry business. Most of my vacation time in the last two years was used for jewelry art/craft shows or preparing for shows. Two years ago I went to the huge Tucson gem shows.
I feel like I have the best of both worlds. And I need to remember to appreciate that every day.