Wednesday, December 13, 2006

'Tis the season for office parties

And I'm keeping away from them. I've heard enough and read enough about these office Christmas parties (not just our company ones) to be wary of them and what goes on. Plus, in any case I'm not a party person - especially the kind of party where there are 90-odd people of whom I know about 8 (all from my office), and of which 8 I get along comfortably well with only 4, with the only certainty being that there's no way I'll get to sit next to any of those four.

One of the guys in our office gets - shall we say, "overexcited", when there's alcohol on offer. He's basically harmless, I guess, but he does tend to make uncomfortably suggestive remarks and also stand a little bit too close for comfort. (Sometimes I wish I had a force field that would stop people getting within 2 feet of me - particularly those people I dont want any closer than that!) That encroachment on my personal space, especially by someone who smells like he's swallowed a distillery, is not what I'd call a pleasant experience.

Multiply this by about 70 guys (give or take the odd teetotaler and/or the degree of unpleasantness) and the whole party thing simply doesnt hold any appeal. Especially as I dont much care for alcohol either.

Not that the women in the company are a shy retiring bunch. My colleagues were talking about a few of them from the parties of Christmases Past - a lady who got a little too up close and personal with some of the married men and had to be cautioned; another who clambered up onto a table and did some bump-and-grind routines which might have been appreciated at the time but earned her an official reprimand later; the gentleman who danced too many times with - and possibly too close to - his secretary and who faced a divorce action in the new year... many stories, all of them not quite of the inspirational variety!

Anyway, this party next week being a Christmas party, booze there will be aplenty, and a disco after the meal. Plus of course lots of back-biting and bitching and speculating and gossiping (and those are only the men I'm talking about!)... so, on the whole, the Office Christmas Party is one thing yours truly will not be seen at, especially alive.

However, our office branch has a nice tradition - the partner in charge takes us out for lunch on the day we break up (sounds like school, doesnt it?). That's next Thursday and I'm quite looking forward to it. Mainly because no more school - er, work - till January 2, 2007!

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