QI just got yelled at by a partner for running a March Madness bracket. Twenty bucks a person. No big deal. But when I sent him a copy of the bracket, he got pissed. Told me that gambling in the workplace is inappropriate. I apologized, and that was that. But I didn’t cancel the pool. Advice?
AMarch Madness is practically a national two-week holiday. Filling out brackets and entering office pools is part of our culture—our workplace culture too. It is, however, technically gambling. UCLA football Coach (and ex-lawyer) “Slick Rick” Neuheisel got into all kinds of trouble for filling out brackets when he was head coach for Washington. There’s a difference, of course. The NCAA doesn’t want coaches gambling ON ANYTHING. My point is: It’s fun, it’s part of the social fabric, but it’s gambling. No matter how big or small the entry fee.
As for my advice: This partner sounds like a joyless douchebag. So don’t worry. No partner is bigger than March Madness. As for my real advice: Let someone else run the goddamn pool next year—and have him or her check with a reasonably important person at the firm to see if there’s any sort of policy in place regarding office pools. Most firms are okay with it, but it’s still worth checking.
Go Northern Iowa!