Yankee Swap Rorschach

The holidays are the season for Yankee Swaps. Now, a Yankee Swap would seem to be a fairly simple and straightforward activity: each person either chooses a wrapped gift or steals an opened gift from someone else. This latter activity can, of course, trigger a chain reaction, but that’s part of the fun. At the end, everyone feels like they had at least some measure of control over the outcome. One would think it difficult, if not impossible, to mess up a Yankee Swap.

However, all things are possible. In this case, one company held a Yankee Swap with incredibly detailed and complicated rules which had as its most salient feature that no gifts were opened until the very end. In other words, the experience was transformed into the equivalent of a very slow grab bag: a long, frustrating, totally random process at the end of which people felt that they had no control over the outcome. Ironically, the most common complaint from employees at this company is that many of the rules are complex, time consuming, and leave them feeling like they have very little control over how they get their work done.

Read the rest at Affluent Magazine

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