Wednesday, December 05, 2007

Ho Ho Hold the Office Party Time

It’s that time of year again – time to go dress up, slack off and have a drink or two with the boss.

Office parties are very common this time of year. This week, we had our department party – well if you can call it that. We all met up in a board room and were treated to Swiss Chalet.

Swiss Chalet is nice – but it’s more up-scale fast food.

I’ve been to some pretty snazzy department parties over the years. When I worked at IBM many eons ago, the whole department was taken out to a nice formal turkey dinner with all the trimmings.

Other places department parties have been at posh eateries, one was at a night club, complete with live entertainment.

Company parties are usually bigger and more extravagant.

A few years ago, the company I was with took everyone out to Alice Fazzoolies, and they served us very well. It was a very informal dinner right after work, but it was a very nice dinner. They just kept bringing out trays of food, and we just kept eating them. The open bar was a nice touch too.

That same company also had a more official holiday party at Wayne Gretzkey’s Restaurant, and then we went next door to Second City to enjoy some live improve. It was pretty good.

Then there are the formal banquet, at big halls in the middle of nowhere. These places are far, located in the middle of some Boreal forest hidden from the rest of the world, but they serve exceptional food, and usually have very posh atmospheres. Usually these are strictly suit and tie affairs, with lots of drawn out speeches by the executives, followed by the usual suspects getting toasted.

That’s another thing that happens this year – those whoops moments.

A whoops moment is one where you do it once, but WHOOPS it’s so idiotic that everyone remembers it forever. And we do mean FOREVER.

People that get drunk once at corporate event, are automatically labelled the company drunk. And people will remember you every time they see you at a corporate function – in fact they probably place bets on you to see how many drinks you’ll have before you have another whoops moment.

I’ve never actually had a whoops moment myself, but I have seen enough of them to be weary and limit my drinking to generally two drinks for the whole event. This way, I’m not the whoops poster boy for my stay at the company.

I’ve seen some pretty nasty whoops moments. I’ve seen managers walking with open bottles of wine down the hall, obviously quite tipsy, to people getting up on the dance floor, only to fall down and have to be taken off the dance floor, to people trying to pick up a vice-president’s wife, to people just falling asleep while eating.

Whoops moments make a corporate party more entertaining – they take away some of the boredom from all those long, drawn out speeches, toasts, and awards to those with no lives who have had perfect attendance and never taken a day off in their 40-years at the company. Forty-years and no days off?!?!? Sheesh – someone should check that person for a pulse.

I’ve got some time off soon too – so I won’t be winning that award – thankfully!

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