I have filed this one under ‘Grumpy Old Dad’ but maybe I am just right. You decide…
Three years ago on his first Three Kings day children’s event at a well-known company the children received a DVD of the Disney film Frozen. Not exactly my cup of tea but an undisputed classic nonetheless. The following year it was “Big Hero 6” another excellent and popular animated film. Last year it was basically some sweets and a piece of cake (or something similar).
This year there was nothing.
Well not quite.
This Year’s Show…
There was a short stage show with Christmas songs by a group of actors who had obviously been hired specially. Three employees played the kings – as in previous years. One of the actors played a little girl who was asked about her expectations on the big day. This included a not so subtle message that what the ‘little girl’ really wanted from the three kings was to spend that day with her parents. Gifts were not really needed. It was becoming obvious that the kids were not going to receive any presents this year.
The kings finally appeared. They walked in one door and down one side of the theatre to the stage. One of them made an announcement that they had received a lot of letters from children and so had a lot of work to be getting on with (or something like that). Then they trailed off up the other side of the theatre and out through the other door. Patting a few kids on the heads as they went and sharing high (and low) fives with others – including Dani and Susana.
OK. I know. The true meaning and spirit of Christmas and all that… but seriously?
The Award Goes to…
And so; – drum roll please -the Ebenezer Scrooge award for 2017 goes to Repsol, the Spanish oil giant.
It was the biggest con since Paul Newman “shot” Robert Redford in “The Sting” (awesome film by the way). And we all thought it was the Grinch that stole Christmas. Wrong.
The company is the highest contributor to the Spanish Treasury. Put another way it pays more taxes than any other company, organisation or individual. Put yet another way that means that they make a sh1t load of profit – i.e. money. So, you would think that they could afford decent gifts for their Three Kings day event right? Or any gift (if last year was anything to go by).
Not All Bad – perhaps?
Admittedly, Dani only gets invited to these things because his auntie works for the company. None of this grumpy old dad moan is about Dani getting a gift. If I want him to have something I can probably get it. It’s just that I was there to see it all and it didn’t seem right. Because the nephews, nieces and even grandchildren of employees are able to attend these events there are thousands of kids in total. Maybe as many as five thousand in the case of the main office. Even so, that still would only amount to about €40k of spending on some good presents. Probably much less if buying in such bulk. It may sound a lot but it is the proverbial drop in the ocean to this huge company.
The one good thing was that the kids really did not miss getting a present. I don’t think they even realised that they had effectively been conned out of a gift this year. I suppose that says something about the message they were trying to give out. In a way that was nice to see. Oh, and they did get some sweets and a chocolate milk drink. Still; I think a company the size of Repsol should be able to put on a good show and still give their employees children a gift.
And now the big day has passed and all the excitement has disappeared as reality has dawned on the children – mine included. They are back to school today. Welcome back to earth kids.