SUNNYVALE, CA–Allen Wohl, a 33-year-old associate sales manager at M&H Marketing, got a little crazy at Tuesday's annual office holiday party, held from 2 to 3 p.m. in the third-floor conference room.
The combination Christmas and New Year's party, thrown in November to avoid conflicting with M&H Marketing's traditional December busy season, was highlighted by Wohl's irreverent antics, which included silly faces, impersonations of co-workers and humorous poses atop a desk.
"Allen has always been known as M&H's resident cut-up, but he really cut loose at the party," promotions coordinator Janice Larkspahr said. "At one point, he made a bullhorn out of a paper plate and sang the Gilligan's Island theme song, only he changed the lyrics to be about people in our office. You don't even want to know what he said about [senior sales manager] Richard [Stenstrup]."
"That Allen Wohl is one certified nutball," secretary Irene Utter said. "When he picked up that tray of punch cups and pretended to be a British waiter, I almost died laughing. Where does he come up with that stuff?"
Asked for comment on the incident, Wohl said, "What can I say? I'm a wild and crazy guy!"
The highlight of the party, most members of the M&H Marketing team agreed, came when Wohl presented "awards" to his co-workers.
"My certificate said 'Most Likely To Leave The Presentation On The Plane,' said sales supervisor Randall Talish, who last December left a proposal for a $26,000 Tru-Bilt Windows & Siding ad campaign on a flight from Los Angeles. "I've got to admit, he really got me good with that one. I was hoping everyone had forgotten about that goof-up by now, but leave it to Allen to give me heck."
The hour-long party, which also featured cake, soda, festive yellow streamers and a rousing game of Scattergories, was deemed a success by all.
"I was having so much fun, I almost didn't want to go back to work," associate marketing supervisor Sheila Duckett said. "Allen sure was in rare form."
Those who work closely with Wohl said the behavior was typical of the man they call "M&H's answer to Jay Leno."
"Allen's a real prankster," fellow sales manager Gene Budzig said. "I remember that one time last month, when Bill McCullers was saying all morning that he had to make sure to FedEx a proposal that day, but when he went to drop off the package, Wohl told him the FedEx guy had just left. You should've seen the look on Bill's face when Allen told him he was just kidding! Boy, was he relieved!"
In addition to playing pranks on co-workers, Wohl expresses his unorthodox personality by decorating his cubicle in an offbeat manner. Adorning his workspace is a Far Side mousepad, an Executive Stress-Relief Koosh Ball, novelty windshield-wiper sunglasses, a Dilbert screen-saver, and a framed sign that reads, "There Is No 'I' In 'Team'... But Fortunately, There Is One In 'Vacation'!"
Wohl also has an arsenal of humorous quips he has used throughout his seven years with M&H Marketing, including, "Time to make the donuts," which he proclaims upon arriving at work each morning, and "Cha-ching!" which he shouts after closing a deal with a new client.
Though M&H employees settled down and returned to their normal work routines shortly after the party, a resurgence in excitement over it is expected Friday, when office manager Jan Schenkle will get her roll of pictures back from Walgreen's. Schenkle, who is in charge of compiling the office newsletter, said she plans to display the photos on the break-room bulletin board.
"When those pictures come back, Allen is going to hear about his crazy shenanigans from everybody all over again," Schenkle said. "I just hope we got a good shot of him balancing that plate of cake on his head."
Wohl said he enjoys all the attention.
"I've always loved the spotlight," he said. "It's a real kick to be able to make your co-workers laugh. Of course, I can't be a card all the time, or our department's productivity would take a major hit. Still, it's nice to go off the deep end every once in a while."