December 15, 2006

The Office - Party

Look forward to your work Christmas party? Or Holiday party, or whatever PC thing they're calling it this year?

I was reading in Slate last week about all the lawsuits that can be filed now, from drunk driving to sexual harassment, and how to avoid it. Basically, let everyone stand up at their desk at 3 in the afternoon, hand each a can of Sprite and a Twinkie, wish them a generic happy holidays, and tell them to sit down.

Humbug. We used to have a blast at our Christmas parties. Then again, we owned the company, so we would just pick a restaurant we liked, make reservations, and everyone would meet for a party. If anyone got drunk, we'd send them home in a cab or make sure someone sober drove them. No biggee.

When I worked retail as a youngster, the Christmas parties were a blast. Our poor put-upon manager Frank (still miss you) would tolerate a bunch of idiot teenagers tearing up his house while his wife Barb would try and hide her shock at the outrageous gifts we gave each other.

I don't have too many pitfalls of corporate holiday parties anymore. It's just me and the cats. My webgod Jeff works at home as well, so we figured we should merge our Christmas parties this year. Which means Jeff and I sitting in a Kelseys wearing Santa hats and drinking beer.

This article from the LA Times is funny - there is a deep, deep loathing of all forced functions. Hardly surprising. Most employees would just as soon you handed them a fifty dollar bill and kept the jello salad and crepe paper for another time.

The Office (hands down my favourite show) was on last night, with an hour long Christmas special. They covered it nicely - one too drunk, too many ugly festive pieces of clothing, and the whole forced comraderie of people that can't wait to run from each other at 5:00 every other day. You don't find your friends at work. It's dangerous. And you certainly don't find your dates there - it's that old Latin saying about not pooping where you eat. Or something like that.

I just think it's a deadly combination of high expectations, low booze thresholds, questionable party wear, and emerging from the bathroom at 5pm with glitter eyeshadow on. And that's just the men. Most places I know have the official office party, from which people deke out as soon as their career trajectory enables them to, to meet up where the other party is.

With the people who can't wreck your life if you dance on the table wearing (only) a wreath, or tell the boss' wife you can hardly see the scars at all.


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