Saturday, December 12, 2009

Weekend 3-way: work it

December weekends mean holiday parties, love them or hate them. Even in years when the social invitations or inclinations are slight, there is one holiday party that most of us are committed to attend every year – unless of course you are the kind of person who up and takes off in a westie for sevenish years. For the rest of us working stiffs, the only thing more predictable than reindeer on the rooftop is the annual holiday work party.

My work party took place this Friday night, and it was a pretty good one. We were almost outnumbered by our offspring, but there were tamales and champers and Patsy on the karaoke machine, so who could complain?

In the spirit of the company party, let’s hear about some of yours! Have you had one of those sitcom parties where someone Xeroxes their arse or makes out with the mail boy? Did Santa get drunk and hurl candy canes at the boss? What about the ill conceived theme party that never quite got off the ground?

This weekend’s 3-way begs the tale:

What were your best and worst holiday work parties?


Well, I’ve been at the same job since that guy built his ark, so my annual party experience is not as varied as one who has trotted the corporate globe more thoroughly. I know the worst party we ever had was in the middle of a particularly tumultuous year when I was in between pregnancies and generally pissed off and tired and put upon. No one wanted to host the mo-fo so we had it at work, and we forgot to tell the housekeepers that we’d be in the building late so they showed up and it was awkward and the whole night was just begging to be over well before it even started.

The best? It would depend on your definition. We reminisced tonight about some of our best parties, and the most memorable was certainly the night at the bowling alley, which is conveniently now closed and unable to expose our debauchery. We had a collective wild burr on that fateful night, evidenced by the presence of almost every one of our vehicles in the parking lot at noon the next day. Talk about your walk of shame.

The best thing about "trotting the corporate globe" (I love that, Jacquie) for so many years, pre-Westy-life, was, in fact, the holiday work party. That's really the only reason I kept working all those years.

The best one was during the years I was working at AdAge International. They were good years in the industry and the bosses were feeling flush. Our department would book a room at the steakhouse Palm Two and go nuts. Bloody marys (or whatever else you wanted from the open bar), a steak to order that was bigger than your plate, family-style sides of sauteed mushrooms, spinach, fries. Salads and antipasto to start . . . So decadent and festive and delicious. Oh, and a secret santa that was always such fun. One year I got a present addressed to "Ellen Corey, International Woman of Mystery". It was mittens, a scarf and 2 nips of absolut. That's a colleague who knew me.

But the very best year was when I convinced a couple of my co-horts to hang with me in that big festive room for hours. We didn't go back to work. We boycotted. And continued to drink for free. On the company. Trotting the corporate globe indeed.

The worst party was one during the years I worked for IAA (as opposed to AAI). My boss was a control freak and micro-managed our luncheon. But the worst part was I ordered an entree, enjoyed it thoroughly, and was accused by the guy next to me -- we always invited one or two special outside guests -- as having "scarfed" down my lunch. Can you imagine? How rude! Plus, well, I was hungry.

Scarfer. How funny, Ellie!

Like Jacquie, I've worked at the same place since foreveh, so I don't have tons of experience with how the rest of the world celebrates holiday-style. This year's holiday party took place Tuesday night, at the East Village Tavern & Bowl. All of us drove our cars home, so we obviously did not have as much fun as Jacquie and her colleagues when they went bowling, but it was fun nonetheless.

But you asked for the best and worst, not what I did this week. Soooo, the best was 3 years ago when we rented a limo to drive us up to Temecula wine country. We started tasting at about 11 AM, had a delightful sit-down lunch at one of the wineries, and continued to taste until about 4 PM. We then hopped back in the limo, plastered, to be driven home. However, we hit a ton of traffic, so my boss broke into the case of wine he bought and we passed bottles around and around. Who knows when we made it home.

The worst? Hmm. I guess it would have to be when I was working at USD. Everything we did in the department I worked in there was so stuffy. No getting tipsy or letting your hair down, just prim and proper and then back to work. What the hell kind-of fun is that?!


Mom C said...

Ellie, you crack me up - you're still mad at the guy who said you "scarfed" your meal - how many years ago was that?? All I can say is you women sure know how to party!! love Mom

Me, You, or Ellie said...

I *am* still mad, Mom. It was so rude! And then he wouldn't even share the rest of his lunch with me!


Me, You, or Ellie said...

LOL, Ellie.

Beth, how was that place? I've been wanting to check it out.

I get to go to a one year old birthday party tomorrow, we could do a whole other 3-way about kid parties, couldn't we?

good stuff, kids


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Lola said...

Well, let's just say that court reporters are not the most fun group to party with. So, I can't think of one, not one good work party in my career. I prefer my parties to be with less uptight people.

The worst was probably the one way back in the 80s, when an old man that we thought choked on his meal when he fell out of his chair at the next table over actually died right there in the restaurant. Not very festive at all...

Rita said...

I miss work parties. Social workers know how to throw a good party. Teachers do, too. My mom had some killer Christmas parties. I bet nurses and cops throw good parties too, it's just a hunch. Overworked, underpaid gods and goddesses of charity usually know how to kick it up when there's good food and liquor around. You know who sucks at holiday parties? Pediatricians and chemists. I went to the worst holiday party ever when I worked for that pediatric group. They sucked. And Mike's group doesn't even attempt a holiday party which is even suckier.

I really miss my career when I remember the Christmas parties... sigh.

Me, You, or Ellie said...

J - I loved East Village Tavern & Bowl. We should take the kids there some weekend...