Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Office Christmas Parties

Tomorrow is our big office Christmas party, not to be confused with our Department Christmas party, which is next week. Parties are nice, but when you're in a vanpool, it becomes an inconvenience to everyone. The parties are held away from the office. Therefore, I have to fine a ride to the party. Then I need to find someone to take me back, usually midparty, so I can catch the van home. I decided to bypass all that this year and work from home tomorrow. I'll have a Dominion Ale and toast my coworkers and wish them a Merry Christmas from afar. It's funny how our office Christmas parties have changed over the years. When I was but a lowly intern, Christmas parties were held in the office. Food was brought in for the masses. Nothing all that fancy. The usual party trays of cold cuts and salads. Contractors that fed off the Defense Department all year and from whom we bought the weapons of war would drop by one by one with large bottles of liquor and wine and cases of beer for us and a good time was had by all. It was pretty amazing actually. Eventually it was decided that Government employees shouldn't be letting the private sector ply us with booze. Actually that was always the case, but Management turned a blind eye to it for that one day a year. So then we partied with alcohol that we bought ourselves. No more appearance of impropriety. Since a lot of us were young and not far removed from college and didn't have rather sophisticated tastes, quantity was still more important than quality. Jack Daniels? Too expense on our meager Government salaries. Falling back on our college knowledge, we would prepare a trashcan full of fruit juices, vodka and some grain alcohol for that added kick. We added dry ice to give it that festive air. One year, in a scene right out of Jonestown, our head Administrative Assistant would literally drag nonimbibers to the trash can and make them drink. The grain alcohol gave us all very rosy cheeks. Very merry indeed. Somehow I inherited the job as head punch maker for a few years. My 15 minutes of fame. The sanctioned parties in the office eventually fell out of favor. No more drinking in the offices. Very unprofessional and all. So now since we're in southern Maryland, its the thing to rent out the local volunteer fire hall. Its all very proper now, but somehow it lacks the same intimacy we had back in the day. Ill leave the partying to the youngsters. God its sad getting old.

In other news, words you don't want to hear: "Dad the check engine light is on in my car". Merry Christmas to you too old Honda Civic. I marveled at the answer from the local Honda dealership in Connecticut when Daughter#1 tried to make an appointment to have the problem diagnosed. "Oh give it a day or two and see if the onboard computer resets itself". Like that will happen. It's like dealing with my computer provider when the Internet is down and we all know how that works out. Life is never dull.

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