Friday, December 11, 2009

Daffodil's Guide to navigating the company Holiday Party

Just back from the Festive! Holiday! Party! for my husband's work. I love events like these, because I don't know ANYONE AT ALL and I can just sit back and observe, and see how everyone interacts. I think you learn a lot more about the dynamics of a group watching people you don't know, then by watching a crowd of familiar faces. Though let's face it, the guy with the killer mullet and the LED display on the front of his t-shirt that lit up and pulsed with the beat of the music ? He would be easy to read no matter what. "That's an I.T. guy" my husband informed me discreetly while I was trying to keep a straight face. "No shit" I said. "I never would have guessed."

I saw things at this lovely holiday gathering that made me laugh like a banshee, and cringe with sympathetic mortification.

First, the holiday party is an excellent way to figure out what your spouse's co-workers really think of him or her. If your spouse does not take you around to say hello to a bunch of people, and if not too many people come up to say hello to you, and if you are sitting by yourself at a table set for 10, then it's safe to assume that your spouse might be an asshole.

Second, the buffet line is always going to be set up the same way: they will put the cheapest food at the beginning of the line, so that you load your plate with salad and rolls and potatos and rice and then finally you will get to the tray of meat but you barely have any room left on your plate so you just take a small piece. And then as you head back to your seat, you spot the prime rib table which is tucked away behind a pillar. But because your plate is already overflowing, you will say to yourself "I'll get that on the next round". But there is no next round, because you are full of fucking SALAD and ROLLS. It's a very clever scheme so that the banquet staff will be eating prime rib during cleanup. Game, set and match to the food and beverage manager. Bravo.

Third, if you have a few drinks, and start to loosen up and actually enjoy yourself, someone will take an unflattering photo and circulate it via internal email. At the next year's holiday party there will be extensive reminiscing about "......that time last year when you left the party in your wife's high heels." or questions like "Are you drinking your dinner again this year?" or a call to action like "We're waiting for you to get out on the dance floor and show us how it's the last holiday party."

So, to recap - locate the carving station immediately, keep your pants on, smile politely because the drunk guy trying to touch your ass may be the president of the company, and don't approach anyone unless they look welcoming and interested, or you might get an earful about that asshole you came with.

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