Q: Must I attend the retreat?
A: Everyone wants to attend the retreat. Our annual spring retreat is an honored company tradition here at Smith and Associates and is a well-loved part of our social calendar. It is designed as a fun and relaxing time for employees, and CEO Dan Prowdy incurs great personal expense to make such an experience a reality.
Q: What if I do not wish to attend the retreat?
A: Nobody has ever not wanted to attend the retreat.
Q: If I have a prior engagement, may I not attend the retreat?
A: Dan knows that a handful of legitimate reasons will prevent some people from attending the retreat. This includes a death in the immediate family or a serious personal illness or injury, as confirmed by a doctor’s note.
Q: Where will retreat be held this year?
A: As always, the retreat will be held in the Ramada Inn off of Interstate 80 in historic Paterson, New Jersey.
Q: Will there be a professional session?
A: Yes! In the conference room overlooking the pool, all employees will be treated to a fun workshop on Discovering Your Inner Optimizer. Yes, there is a pool. Due to insurance liability issues, company employees may not use the pool.
Q: Will the retreat be fun?
A: Everyone has fun at retreat, always, due to the enjoyable atmosphere and a clause in your contract. Sometimes this is the best kind of fun.
Q: Will there be opportunities for free time?
A: Given our commitment to packing in as much excitement as possible, we will be adhering to rigorous schedule. Down time will be provided between midnight and 5 a.m. each day.
Q: What will the theme of this year’s dinner be?
A: The theme of the dinner will be “Optimized!” We will incorporate learnings from the afternoon workshop and save company money by cooking for ourselves and not eating protein. In lieu of hiring a costly entertainer, Dan will stand on stage with a guitar and improvise a song for each employee based on their weird “thing.”
Q: Will my opportunities for advancement suffer if I do not attend the retreat?
A: Smith and Associates uses a holistic evaluative rubric to determine which employees should and should not be promoted. Our assessment of your qualifications incorporates a variety of factors, from job performance to retreat attendance.
Q: Does that mean I could avoid going to retreat by excelling in all aspects of my job?
A: It is important that you be good at your job. That being said, it is difficult to imagine a level of performance that could counterbalance a voluntary retreat absence.
Q: Do other companies who hire people with similar skill sets also have retreats like ours?
A: Yes, all of them do.
A former editor of the Harvard Lampoon, Zack Wortman lives in Durham, North Carolina. His work has been featured on McSweeney's Internet Tendency.
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