It's that time of year again. The notice was e-mailed to some, and others were told, but the message was the same: You and your Significant Other Whatever are invited to the Company Christmas Party!!! Yay!!! Whoopee! Cocktail hour, dinner, and then a DJ and dancing! Come and have fun! Let it all hang out! Lower your hair, loosen your tie, and PAAAAARTY!!!!! Yeaaaaa-heh-heh-heeeeeh!!!!!
It's something you'd think I'd be looking forward to, right? WRONG! Almost every single company X-mas party I've went to count among my worst days or nights at work. It's nothing but a dog-and-pony show, and they're always more-or-less the same, as the last I attended proved. You have to dress up like you're being sworn into office and married simultaneously. You're seated next to someone you'd rather see stoned to death and/or immolated. All of the posturing and positioning begins immediately. All of the little cliques start to form. You have to be very careful, because all of your words and actions are being closely scrutinized. Somebody told me once that a company X-mas party is like a four-hour-long job interview, which is totally true for the most part.
The cocktail hour begins. As you begin a tentative conversation with some nudnik colleague, the person you’re talking to eyes your drink suspiciously and warily, as if it’s nitroglycerine, and you’re going to gulp it down and start break dancing, becoming a particularly flamboyant and messy human IED. No matter what you're drinking, for every one you have, people seem to think you've had three or four. Consumption of more than one weak beer over a two-hour period automatically means that "you were pounding them down". If you're drinking nothing but water, that translates into "you were drinking nothing but straight vodka!" Under NO circumstances misstep even slightly, because that turns into "you were HAMMERED drunk!" Why are people so fucking melodramatic and outright stupid?
Ah, dinner is served! After apparently guzzling at least 25 gallons of 100-proof vodka, you're certainly ready for some chow! But, much like the earlier alcohol consumption, everything seems to be amplified by at least a factor of eight. Eating a chicken wing somehow gets translated as you eating two whole turkeys. Eating one piece of pie turns into you eating half of a bakery. Everything else in proportion, inversely, of course. As if that isn't enough, take care not to look at the same person for more than 5 milliseconds once an hour, because more than that means "you were checking him and/or her out". Complimenting someone's outfit, no matter how well-intentioned and sincere, becomes, "He/She made a pass at me".
Let the games begin! Fun, games, and most important...PRIZES!!! Although a lowly hourly worker might make off with a toaster or a thermos (with a company logo, of course), the nice things like big-ass widescreen TVs and cash prizes are won either by someone in management and/or one of their ass-licking, cum-swallowing, rim-jobbing, clam-bumping, copraphagic lickspittle. Coincidence? I think not. Much like the game of life itself, this one is also rigged in everyone else's favor but yours. Most fail to see the sick and ironic joke that such things are. In one particularly lucrative year, I scored a $25 gift card for Target!
Just when you thought the major annoyances of the evening were starting to dissipate, you are startled to feel your eardrums being pummeled and your whole body, especially your underladen stomach walls, start to flap and flutter as tsunami-causing bass lines suddenly erupt from...The White Asshole DJ Who's Playing Ghetto and Gangsta Rap!!! What the fuck am I supposed to do, start dancing? Instead, it makes me want to smash something and/or someone into fucking pieces. No wonder those motherfuckers riot so fucking much! It's either that, or typical American Top 40 noise pollution, if you're lucky. Would-be John Travoltas and Paula Abduls writhe and wiggle on the floor like they’re having a grand-mal seizure. If you’re lucky, you’ll see one of them do a face-plant into a punch bowl, or someone’s crotch. Get me the hell out of here!!!
The only “fun” X-mas party I ever went to was back in 1992. We were a small and tight group, 16 of our 18 employees showed up, and we all had a great time, especially when the head chef/owner of the restaurant would appear periodically to banter with us; he was a character for sure, and hooked us up with some GREAT grub. However, there was one sour note. Several of us, being domesticated and having to work the next day, left fairly early, but for others, that’s when the party really started. The next morning, I wasn’t surprised at one of my co-worker’s tardiness, but the assistant manager came in and told me that he got all drunk, made a pass at her, and then left in a rage. About an hour later I got a phone call; it was his mother, asking me if I knew anything. Nope! We were pretty worried, but a few hours later he called in. Two days later, he showed up looking like he was in an industrial-strength dryer for a few hours; both eyes black, one massively swollen, cuts, and scrapes visible everywhere. Somebody clearly beat the fucking shit out of him. I couldn’t believe he made it, but I sent him right back home. He said he woke up in the Frankfurt zoo, which was a long way away from the X-mas party.
Don’t get me wrong. I think it’s nice that they at least make the effort, and some people seem to genuinely have a lot of fun, but it’s not for me. Go ahead and go, I politely decline with much thanks. Merry Fucking Christmas!!!