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San Joaquin Valley College Blog

Holidays at the Central Office

December 23, 2013
What does this enigmatic bunch do for the holiday season?

Behind the scenes at San Joaquin Valley College works a committed group of individuals, people who skirt the spotlight, hiding from attention, and yet their work is undeniably vital. The crew of the Central Administrative Office toil tirelessly to keep the college on track.

But the holidays are upon us, which begs the question: what do these mysterious people do? How do the admissions specialists, the accountants, the human resources team, the marketers, and the rest celebrate the holidays around the office?

Every year, of course, is the requisite Christmas party, which is held at varying locations each year. One year the party was even held in a tent in the company parking lot. But the party is significant for other reasons.

At the start of each holiday gathering, each new employee hired that year is introduced, given a warm welcome, and a gentle ribbing. After the new hires are sufficiently roasted before the company, the year’s charity donation is presented, collected and funded by the employees and donated under the Perry family name. Every year, the staff decides on a special charity to support that Christmas.

In fact, charity would seem to be a big part of the corporate Christmas. In past years, employees have donated their time and effort to good causes. Some would help supply food and subsequently serve it as Sister Ursula’s food mission. Other times, they visited Happy Trails Riding Academy and repaint surfaces, or, sometimes, clean the horse stalls.

Last year, the employees erected a Giving Tree in the office. Each ornament was for a family in need, and each employee took one and bought them something special.

But there is fun (and treats) around the office as well. For years, Judy has brought homemade cookies to share, a tradition her coworkers will not be happy to ever see go.

“She can never stop now,” said an anonymous source, greedily eyeing her plate of cookies.

Each department may have its own special traditions as well. The Academic Affairs department held a secret Santa. There were three stages. The first stage consisted of useful office supplies. The second was littered with decidedly less practical gifts, like fuzzy reindeer antlers. The third was a cutthroat competition to steal and trade from the gifts given to get the silliest or most fun item.

One year, a station to make custom ornaments was held. It was not optional. Everyone in the office was required to make an ornament, under penalty of otherwise being the office Scrooge, or worse, Grinch.

So, when you think of the Central Administrative Office, try to imagine the festive side.

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