When Parties Were Parties and the Lampshades Were Scared
By Alexa Day
Choosing the writer’s life, for me, has meant swearing off the so-called normal job. For the most part, I don’t miss normal work. I haven’t had to complete a self-evaluation in many years. Corporate HR and I don’t really know each other.
On the other hand, I don’t get seasonal bonuses or paid vacations, but to hear other people tell it, normal job perks like that are going the way of the triceratops, right behind that watch you’re supposed to get at retirement.
But what about the annual holiday party? Is anyone still having those?
I’m not talking about the modern holiday party. I’ve been to the office potluck, where we employees supply the food and drink, our supervisors help themselves while contributing nothing, and we all have to be finished during our allotted lunch time. You can forget about dancing and merriment when there’s barely enough time to make a plate.
I’m thinking of the legendary parties of the past. The ones scheduled after work. Management reserves a space — maybe in the office and maybe not — and supplies the food and drink. Music plays in the background. We have time to dress up a little and get to know those intriguing fellows in the other departments. Sure, everyone blames the alcohol (and every year, someone overdoes it), but really, this is about a large group of people awkwardly pretending to have a good time. Then they either start having a real good time, or they find someone else to be awkward with. No one wants to be first to leave, and so people talk. And notice each other. And maybe flirt a little.
Dark corners and indiscretions abound. At least they used to.
Thankfully, intriguing fellows from other departments still exist. Our modern age hasn’t rendered them obsolete.
I know these parties used to be a proud holiday tradition. Ebenezer Scrooge attended a wild office Christmas party, for heaven’s sake. But I can barely remember the last fancy Christmas party I attended for work.
Are people still doing that?
What’s killing the wild holiday office party?
Is it fear of alcohol? I’m always dismayed by the notion that I can be trusted with the client’s sensitive personal and business information, but not with wine.
Is it expense? The last party I remember took place in the senior partner’s home, and that guy managed to get two carving stations in there. He seemed to be encouraged by expense. (He was a joy to work for, too.)
Is it good, old-fashioned laziness?
I hope not. I really hope that sloth isn’t smothering the office holiday party. Part of me thinks the real culprit is fear of litigation, and I think I’d rather hear that lawyers are the problem instead of laziness.
Actually, what would make me really happy is to hear that the wild office party is alive and well, and that the problem is that I’m working for the wrong people. I could live with that.
Then the challenge becomes securing an invitation to one of those parties. Right?
Anyway, if you miss the workplace inappropro as much as I do, you should get in line for Elizabeth SaFleur’s newest, Untouchable. You’ll get to see what happens when Legal and PR come together (yes!) after hours. (After PR’s hours, anyway. Legal tends to not really have hours.) Doesn’t that sound like a lovely way to supplement the holiday party? Doesn’t it?
And follow Lady Smut. We will actually bring something to the potluck.