Work “Party”

15 Aug

Since there’s nothing better to do, our office has been having a lot of parties lately. With half the staff on vacation at any given time, no pressing deadline in the foreseeable future, and an overall attitude that bends towards the lackadaisical, it makes perfect sense to congregate at 4:30 and hang out in the conference room until 5:45 before calling it a day.

In the past few weeks, I’ve gone to three birthdays, a baby shower, a post-wedding party, and an intern farewell soiree.  (Yes, the interns are gone!) Aside from the subject matter, the parties, and the pre-party process, are exactly the same.

First, a “The party is now starting” mass email is sent out. Then, it’s five minutes of pretending you haven’t been waiting for the party all day, and suddenly have ten things to finish up so you’re not the first to arrive. Then, you and a few coworkers hang out in front of a cubicle, waiting for everyone to go up en masse. Then you participate in the half-hearted complaining– “Another party? I just have so much to do!” Next, you peek in the conference room and breathe a sigh of relief that you are not the first people there. Then, you find a spot against the wall and self-consciously pick at your fingernails or send a gibberish text to your sister while you wait for the guest of honor to arrive. Everyone stares at the fruit platter sweating under the cellophane wrap, and someone makes a joke about how there should be champagne.

The party starts! The guest of honor is ushered in and everyone claps and laughs awkwardly. Speeches are made. More awkward laughing. The fruit platter is opened, and no one moves, because who wants to be the first person to dig in? But someone takes the initiative and the ice is finally broken.  Naturally, the conversation is about work. These parties are always on a Wednesday, which is too late to talk about what you did last weekend, and too early to talk about what you’re going to be doing this weekend, so all that’s left to talk about is what you’re going to be doing after work, which is typically, uh, nothing.

Then, we give out the card and the gift, another thank you is said, and our boss comes in for the closer: “What I love about this company is the sense of family we have here, the support we all give each other in these special moments in each others’ lives…” and I am filled with a deep desire to have this job for THE REST OF MY LIFE. Then we all meander back to our desks, guiltily snitching half a chocolate-chip cookie.

It’s actually surprisingly fun. There’s very little about this office culture that I dislike, and every time I go to one of these things, or chip in the requisite five bucks for a gift, I’m just happy I finally have a job I enjoy! What I really hope is that when it’s time for a party for me, I’ll get to open the fruit platter first.


One Response to “Work “Party””

  1. ernestwhile May 2, 2012 at 1:56 pm #

    I slaughter fruit platters. Shrink wrap is no match for me. Cheese gets the full mastication as well. I usually am out, with a plate, before the presentation.

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