b Papa Dog's Blog: The Office Party

Papa Dog's Blog

A Thing Wherein I Infrequently Write Some Stuff

Thursday, December 16, 2004

The Office Party

The Christmas party this year was a hastily thrown together affair, put on as an afterthought after people started to complain that there hadn’t been a Christmas – excuse me, holiday – party announced. Still and all, they managed to snag a prime location: top floor of the Transamerica Pyramid (which, properly speaking, is an obelisk, not a pyramid, but let’s not start another quibble in this, the end of the fourth year of the twenty-first century). It’s a surprisingly tiny space up there, but a hell of a view. “Suddenly the street map makes sense to me,” I said, looking down at the clearly delineated boulevards. We had a tiny crowd to go with the tiny space, as our office has shrunk dramatically in the last year. Also today was a staff meeting to unveil the advent of the “Great Place to Work Initiative,” which is swell news except that the meeting kept me for two hours from doing my actual work in that allegedly great place. I was of course swamped, but was also expected to leave promptly at five-thirty to make the office party at six, so what’s a fella to do. Hmm, let’s weigh this – open bar or finish my work, open bar or finish my work? Oh, that’s right, open bar. The whole thing was kind of exciting, really. There’s comparatively heavy security to get into the building – a single point of entry, ID check, great hulking guards at the elevators. San Francisco likes to cling to the notion that people in other parts of the world are aware enough of the existence of their pointy building to want to bomb it, which has always seemed a bit of a stretch to me. They’d more like be bombed by Operation Rescue than Al Qaeda, and that crowd doesn’t even have to bother now that their man has mastered the art of taking office without actually winning the elections.

I’d been trying for weeks to convince Mama Dog that it was okay to bring Baby Dog to the party, but she wouldn’t hear of it. She was of the opinion that it’s not cool to bring an infant to the office party. So I go to the damn thing and everybody asks me why I didn’t bring the baby. You see how this goes? The bar was indeed open, though, and though the available scotch was pedestrian, I did get myself pickled on Sevens and Sevens. I showed off pictures of the baby and swapped war stories with the other new father in the office (also there stag and glum). As is becoming an annual tradition, I ended up reminiscing with the environmental Viking chap about how things used to be in 1988 when we both first started in that predecessor company. I ate candied walnuts until they disappeared, and then I asked one of the waitpersons if there were anymore. She said they were almost out but I could have the last batch, then came back with them in a cup. Later I looked around for a tip jar but there wasn’t one, so I hope they got well paid. Damn fine waiting.

I conversation hopped, listening to the various degrees of ridicule accorded the “Great Place to work initiative.” “More like a place to work,” someone said. Then I saw that Dan the Chemist was taking off, so I cadged a ride from him, and here I am at home. And good night to you too.


Blogger Twizzle said...

Isn't it funny that both you & I mentioned Al Qaeda bombings in each of our blogposts today? Maybe Tom Ridge will start reading these things on a regular basis now.

As for why I didn't want to bring Baby Dog to the party... I'm of the old school in which adults attend evening parties sans kinder. We wouldn't want spit-up to sully our black tie and sequinned garb, would we? I'm sorry that we were missed, but it's just as well that we didn't attend the party: Baby Dog fell asleep, exhausted, at 7:30 pm last night.

10:24 AM  

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