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In the workplace, lots of Christmas presence

December 16, 2002|by ANDREA ROWLAND

andrear@herald-mail.com

The holiday spirit is filling workplaces throughout the Tri-State area this month as employers and employees put up festive decorations, exchange gifts and celebrate the season with shared meals, baked goods, music and parties.

Citicorp Credit Services in Hagerstown "is a fun place at Christmas," said Phil Kelly, director of public affairs.

Citicorp throws a party for employees' children - usually totaling a few hundred - in early December, and most of the company's departments host holiday gatherings for workers, Kelly said.

A holiday letter from Citicorp's president to the local business' 2,500 employees includes gift cards to local retail stores, Kelly said.

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The United Auto Workers union and General Motors pay for a December luncheon for the more than 550 union employees at the General Motors Service Parts Operations Center in Martinsburg, W.Va., company spokesman Harry Mundy said.

At Stumbaugh Fuel Service in Waynesboro, Pa., the business' two partners and two employees always enjoy a holiday meal together, secretary Lacey Stumbaugh said. She and her co-worker are also given Christmas bonuses, Stumbaugh said.

The estimated 550 employees at Royal Vendors near Bardane, W.Va., will be treated to a holiday meal and surprised with gifts ranging from company sweatshirts to retail gift certificates, said Bob Kutcher, director of human resources.

December is homemade cookie month at Savage Family Pharmacy in Waynesboro, Pa., as employees share treats from their kitchen with each other throughout the month, owner Roger Savage said.

Savage also takes his employees and their spouses out to dinner for the holiday, he said. Pharmacy workers participate in a gift exchange, and prepare food for a potluck meal in the store on Christmas Eve.

Complimentarymeals

Washington County Health System employees will enjoy complimentary meals and $15 gift certificates to local grocery stores during the holidays, Washington County Hospital spokeswoman Meghan Waters said.

About 1,500 hospital employees - including three shifts of current and retired hospital workers, physicians and auxiliary members - had salads, prime rib, chicken breasts, red potatoes, vegetable medley, green beans, rolls, desserts and beverages in the hospital's cafeteria last week, Waters said.

The hospital's senior management team helped serve prime rib and bus tables, she said. Live classical music was played for the employees as they dined.

The hospital's Employee Activities Committee hosted a children's Christmas luncheon on Dec. 8, Waters said.

Health System CEO James P. Hamill and Antietam Health Services Vice President Mike Zampelli will greet Antietam Health Services employees at a catered holiday luncheon Tuesday, Waters said. Senior managers will help serve coffee and bus tables at the luncheon, which nearly 700 employees attended last year.

Family party

The more than 1,000 employees at Quad/Graphics in Martinsburg, W.Va., will be invited to a family holiday party featuring food, music, games and gifts for every child under 11 at the plant, corporate spokeswoman Claire Ho said.

United Parcel Service employees in Hagerstown will receive free holiday turkeys in "appreciation of all their hard work" throughout the year, said James Hamlin, community relations manager for the company's Atlantic District.

The 30 employees at Rodney B. Smith Plumbing, Heating & Cooling in Chambersburg, Pa., will celebrate the holidays at a company Christmas party, secretary Anissa Glunt said.

Washington County government employees will sing Christmas carols on the steps of the county administrative building Tuesday and decorate their office doors in snowman themes for a contest to be judged Wednesday, County Administrator Rodney Shoop said.

"We thought this would be a way to pull the whole building together," said legal secretary Vicki Lumm, who organized the holiday festivities with Irene Rosenberry of the central services department.

County employees - whose paid holidays include Christmas Eve, Christmas, New Year's Eve and New Year's Day - will have a holiday lunch together on Thursday, Shoop said.

City of Hagerstown employees, who have the same paid holidays, will celebrate at work with inter-departmental gatherings, city spokeswoman Karen Giffin said.

Hagerstown Community College will honor its employees with a holiday celebration - including food and entertainment - at the Sheraton Four Points Hotel on Thursday, Public Information Officer Beth Stull said.

"Our employee holiday celebration builds community among all HCC employees," college President Guy Altieri said. "We feel it is important to personally thank one another for what we accomplish together. ... Quality interpersonal relations is one of the keys to keeping a large organization productive in good and bad times."

Helping others

For employees at many businesses in the Tri-State area, the holidays are a time to help others in the community.

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