Hey, c’mon, I like holiday parties as much as the next guy, or at least I used to.
I remember the days when you could actually exhale and let your hair down. You could belly up to the bar and the guy in the next cube would buy you another round (or 5). You may even fall down once or twice on the dance floor as the cool DJ played Limbo Rock for the third consecutive time. The whole floor would erupt in laughter. Ah yes, those were the days.
Today, the rules have changed a wee bit. You are encouraged to attend. Not showing up could very easily brand you one of those awful malcontents — a label that sticks, trust me. No one wants that. Yes, there’s a bar, but should you dare to return for a second trip, you’re playing with fire. Remember, you were encouraged to attend, not necessarily have a good time.
And then there’s the socializing outside the cube farm with the co-workers. Here on party night, you’re suddenly wishing warm holiday greetings to the same jerk that threw you under the bus last week.
Then of course, the boss has to make a speech. You are hoping that he will mention your name as being a key contributor. Listening, you feel a little bit slighted when that fails to happen. You wonder if you shouldn’t have set your sights so high and just accept the fact that he really doesn’t even know your name. “Jeez, he thanks Jenkins, and all that tub of lard did all year was say ‘Yes’ every time the boss wanted an ego stroke because he felt unwanted himself by the corporate office.” Perhaps there’s a lesson there. Who knows?
And his speech, oh my God, please. Why not just record it one year and play it back at every Christmas party?
“Well, it’s been a banner year! We’ve made some changes that we feel will only enhance the forward movement of this well-oiled machine. Sure, we’ve had to let some people go but the people that remain here today are the collective backbone of this company. You are the ones that we depend on. You are the ones that we respect and you are the ones that keep this train on the tracks and going in the right direction. You have my word that you will be here just as long as, well, we feel the need to keep you around (cough). Everyone in this room has played an integral part in this year’s success and corporate wanted me to pass that message along to you personally. They wanted to have a representative here tonight but unfortunately, most of them had a previous commitment and as I’m sure you know, those Ice Capades tickets are very hard to come by. Anyway, thanks for all of your sweat and hard work with past year. You are all a vital cog in our performance enhancement program. One other thing, corporate asked me to keep this a secret until now, but, as a result of all of your Herculean efforts, they will be picking up your bowling ball shoe rental fees tonight (wild applause). Now let’s grab your balls and show the world how we roll! Remember, the 5th frame is the beer frame! Happy Holidays!”