Gamehendge – What Phish’s Music Can Teach Employers About Manuals – Music & Arts

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Phish fans were in for a very special treat at the band’s recent New Year’s Eve concert at Madison Square Garden. For the first time in 29 years, the band played their Gamehendge set in full to the delight of their devoted following.

Originating from lead singer Trey Anastasia’s college project, the ensemble piece has evolved over the decades into a complex lyrical tale of power and corruption, complete with a diverse cast of characters and mythical creatures. For nephish fans, think about it Alice in Wonderland meets Tolkien, who is set in a fever dream of rock music.

What does this have to do with employee handbooks, you ask? Far more than you would expect.

Our story begins in the mysterious land of Gamehendge, where the Lizard People enjoyed a peaceful and harmonious existence and adhered to the core values ​​contained in the Helping Friendly Book. Written by the wise prophet Icculus, the book presents all the knowledge inherent in the universe, including the secrets of eternal joy and never-ending splendor. This blissful existence is destroyed when our main antagonist, Wilson, steals the Book and uses it to establish his own evil dictatorship.

Our protagonist is a retired Colonel Forbin who finds himself magically transported from suburban Long Island to Gamehendge. There he meets the Lizards and discovers that they are planning a revolution to end their suffering under Wilson’s tyranny. Colonel Forbin agrees to help retrieve the Book and restore order and peace to the people of Gamehendge.

Phish is known for performing elaborate stunts and surprises for fans at special events such as New Year’s Eve and Halloween concerts. The New Year’s Eve return of the band to Gamehendge was no exception. The band members were accompanied by a full cast of actors, elaborate puppets, acrobats, lighting effects and even
Orange is the new black alum, Annie Golden.

All these elements come together to usher in the New Year by sending viewers on an epic quest for peace and harmony.

While I have yet to review the employee handbook that holds the secret to eternal joy or never-ending splendor, handbooks are an important part of the fabric of any workplace. A well-prepared and updated handbook is an opportunity for the employer to establish from the very beginning of the employment relationship:

  • casual nature of the employment relationship;

  • Workplace culture and basic principles of the employer;

  • The employer’s commitment to provide equal employment opportunity to all employees and applicants in accordance with federal, state, and local law;

  • Various ways for employees to report any concerns in the workplace regarding discrimination, harassment, retaliation, safety, ethics, compensation or any other concerns;

  • availability of leave options and other reasonable accommodations for serious medical condition, disability, pregnancy, childbirth or other related condition;

  • Employee expectations regarding attendance, behavior, safety and conduct, as well as the potential consequences of non-compliance;

  • Various benefits and privileges of employment (e.g.., paid time off, vacation pay, etc.) and parameters for eligibility and accruals; and

  • Processes in place for termination of employment, such as exit interviews, paid or waived accrued leave, and advance notice requests to leave the employee in good standing.

While all of this is aimed at creating a harmonious and productive work environment with clear guidelines for employees, consistent enforcement is also key to maintaining a sense of fairness, transparency and fairness. The Gamehendge saga artfully demonstrates that workplace discontent and even chaos can take hold without strong policies and consistent enforcement by well-trained managers, leaving employers vulnerable to union efforts and costly lawsuits by disgruntled employees.

As Icculus wisely warned Colonel Forbin, “all knowledge that seems innocent and pure becomes a deadly weapon in the hands of avarice and avarice.”

The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the issue. Professional advice should be sought regarding your particular situation.

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