Friday, December 10, 2004
How to Survive Your Holiday Party: A Manhattan Transfer Classic. Now that I am a poor student living in Atlanta, I almost let the office holiday party season pass me by without comment. And the office holiday party topic is ripe for comment, let me assure you. (Since I am presently unemployed and this is my first holiday season in Atlanta, I am uncertain if there is a comparable Holiday Office Party phenomenon at play here). As a matter of fact, one of the primary reasons for my job dissatisfaction (aside my absolute cunt* of a boss, of course) was the office holiday party, or lack thereof.
While the Fat Asian Baby was employed in the spoiled central of the business universe, holiday parties were something to be looked forward to. Its amazing how the social lubricant that is liquor will smooth over professional inequities, if just for a night. It is the one opportunity during the year for you to bump and grind with the normally staid higher up in the corner office (provided he has a demonstrable drinking problem, which he likely does). And more importantly, it is an opportunity for you to get it on with really hot, Argentian investment bankers even though it's clearly inappropriate since you're the 19 year old intern and they're, like, directly superior. But no matter. This was all in college.
In my real job, there was no office party. Well, there was. But while every other place of business in New York, no matter its size, at the very least rents out a bar or restaurant for the night and employees worry about getting too shitfaced and making out with their coworkers, FAB's office has its own holiday hoedown in, are you ready for this, the Conference Room complete with, are you ready for this, cookies and lemonade. Cookies and fucking lemonade!!!! And we had to make the godforsaken cookies ourselves. And not only that, but they had a longstanding holiday party tradition of the White Elephant Grab Bag. What is the White Elephant Grab Bag, you ask? It is when people find something in their apartment that they really fucking hate and can't figure out why they have but simply haven't tossed in the trash yet, wrap it up, and pawn it off anonymously on an unwitting coworker. I know there is that old adage about how one man's trash is another's treasure or some shit like that, but really, I want something shiny and new, not your old piece-of-shit GodKnowsWhat. And they wonder why I quit.**
*I really hate this word and find it totally offensive which is precisely why I'm using it here: so you can really appreciate my feelings for my former boss.
**Actually, the holiday party wasn't the real reason for my departure, but I think the whole office holiday party ritual illustrates well the otherwise intangible total shittiness of my old job.