’Twas the day before bonus and all through the Zoom,
Not a person was smiling, no one in the room.
The presents were bought, credit cards were maxed out,
We were hoping our bonus did not subtract tax out.
Our spouses were waiting, arms crossed and eyes scanning,
With visions of vacations, they’d all soon be planning.
When from a Zoom camera there came such a clatter,
The CTO – he spoke! – and said, “what’s the matter?”

On to the chat window, we clicked in a flash,
We posted emojis and typed, “where’s our cash?”
When what to our wondering chat did appear,
But a man in a t-shirt who bellowed, “I’m here!!”

With his odd behavior, his voice getting louder,
We knew in a minute, he must be our founder.
More vapid than a snowman, he drank from a cup,
Then he burped and he hiccuped and he screwed our names up.

“Hey Daphne! Hey Francie, Hey Gio and Bantu,
Hi Connie you cutie, Oh Donnie, I missed you!
“I came on a plane, then a train and a cab”
“But we’re on zoom,” we each thought. “and what happened to rehab?”

Then into the meeting, our CEO came all aflutter,
“I’m sorry I’m late, and…” then he noticed the nutter.

“And so, as I was saying,” the founder went on,
“I’m happy we’ve grown while I’ve been gone.
But times are tough and I need a new Tesla
So I’m taking my bonus, leaving none for the rest-a-ya.”

There were gasps and guffaws and more than a few sobs,
“But here’s the good news, you still have your jobs.”

Then in a flash, his Zoom window broke,
We were all left to wonder – is this a bad joke?
There was an awkward silence that fell through the room,
“This sucks,” muttered someone who hadn’t muted their Zoom.

The CEO shifted and seemed unaware,
Combing his fingers through his ashy brown hair.
He scratched at his chin, and stretched out his neck,
And onto our screens, he shared a PowerPoint deck.
Suddenly we feared another long, boring speech,
About forecasts and shortfalls and goals out of reach.

He took a big breath and spoke without doubt,
“Sorry ‘bout that. I didn’t know he was let out.”
He advanced the slide, to a graph we assumed,
But it was a picture of us in Halloween costumes.

“I’m proud of you all, each and everyone here,
We work like a team without any fear.
We’ve exceeded our goals and done so much good,
We’ve accomplished more things than I thought we could.
Even more important, we did it with cheer,
We laughed and we smiled and we kept it sincere.”

Then he called out our names, every last one,
And praised the good things each one had done.
He flipped through pictures of us proud and tall,
Of the times we succeeded with our backs to the wall.

With a wink of his eye and a twist of his head,
Soon gave us to know we had nothing to dread.
He is a leader we love, he listened and supported,
He held us accountable, when we excelled he rewarded.
He boosted our spirits and sang all our praises,
“Oh, by the way, you’re all getting raises!”

We cheered and we laughed and we smiled ear to ear,
He always knew what we needed to hear.
He spoke not a word, but let us be merry,
His eyes – how they twinkled! His nose like a cherry.
Amidst our delight, with our holiday glow,
We swear that we heard a faint “Ho! Ho! Ho!”

And laying his finger on to his brow,
The CEO nodded. We all quieted down.
“I promised a reward if we kicked butt this year.
I stick to my word.” We all began to cheer.
Then he thanked us again and bid us farewell,
(We had two weeks’ vacation for doing so well.)
But I heard him exclaim ere his zoom screen went black —

“Happy Holidays to all, I’ll see you when we’re back.”