Thursday, December 14, 2006

'Tis the Season!

By Kristine Coblitz

It’s that time of year again. The tree is up with presents underneath, the twinkling lights are strung outside the house, and the roadways are packed with shoppers looking for the best deal on the latest video game system. It’s the season of cookies and wrapping paper and cards from family and friends. It’s also the season of spending time with your co-workers, and by that I mean the Office Christmas Party.

When I worked outside the home, I attended my share of office holiday parties. They ranged from potluck lunches to elaborate dinners. When I began working at my last corporate job eight years ago, our Christmas party was a dinner at an upscale downtown restaurant. We were allowed to bring our spouses. The following year, the event was scaled down to lunch (employees only). We were informed that spouses were no longer invited because of an “incident” that occurred the year before at one of the satellite offices. To this day, I never found out what happened, but it always made me wonder.

Last year, I attended a Christmas dinner dance given by the accounting firm where my husband used to work. This was an elaborate affair if I ever saw one. Women wore gowns. Champagne was poured by the bottle. The whole event cost more than a wedding, and once things got rolling, I saw otherwise quiet and reserved accountants shaking it on the dance floor and upper management loosening their ties and getting their groove on.

Now that I work at home and my husband has a different job, I no longer attend office Christmas parties. Sometimes I miss getting dressed up to attend the fancy affairs, but for the most part, I’m grateful. My office party now consists of putting a Santa’s hat on the dog and pouring a glass of eggnog while I sit at my computer. At least I won’t do anything I’ll later regret come Monday morning.

Does anyone have any good office party stories to share? It’s time to dish the dirt. Which ones were most memorable for you?


Nancy said...

My imagination is still stuck back there on "the incident!"

And the hat on the dog. Thanks for the laugh, Kristine!

Joyce said...

Believe it or not, I've never been to an office party! Yes, I lead a sheltered life.

lisa curry said...

Oh, I've been to many, many office Christmas parties and will be attending my husband's annual company party (always very nice -- held at the Sheraton Station Square) this Saturday night.

My favorite "incident" was at one holiday party held by the company I worked for before I had kids and quit working full-time. We had two employees who had dated and lived together for several years, and then they broke up. This particular party, a dinner/ dancing/ open-bar affair at a restaurant/ lounge near our office, was the first time company function since the break-up, and both of them brought other dates. HE had a little too much to drink and got into a brawl with HER date. For at least 6 months after the party, every time we went to lunch at that restaurant, we were treated to the sight of the hole in the wall behind the dance floor that our co-worker stuck his ex-girlfriend's date's head through! (I think our company paid for the damages, but the restaurant owner just took awhile actually making the repairs.)

Thanks for the funny little stroll down memory lane this morning, Kristine!

Cathy said...

Enjoyed your stories. I've been to few work parties over the years. For the first 14 years at the Rivers Club, I was an independent contractor, and they never told us when the party was. I guess it's best to keep the riffraff away!

Tory said...

Most of the office Xmas parties I've been to have been quite lovely, where I've gotten to know my co-workers a little better.

The one disaster story I have was from my "job from Hell," where I was officially laid off but still doing some contract work for them. My boss wanted to make a point of not inviting me, but since the other boss had announced it at a staff meeting and I wasn't around enough to know written invitations had been sent, I didn't know I wasn't invited!
Not a great scene, as you can imagine, but I did meet the wife of one of my co-workers who's a good friend of mine to this day. I always said that our friendship was the one good think that came out of that awful experience.