Work Christmas Party

Are there words more calculated to strike fear into the heart of a hard working admin type than “You can sort out the Christmas party, right?” When My line manager said those words to me in October I did what any right thinking person would do and immediately delegated the task to the girl who took over my old job. It was her own fault – she told me she wanted more ‘hands on’ experience.

Minion-who-is the-new-me was told if she needed any help to come and ask me because I’m nice like that – also I knew if it all went horribly wrong it would be my fault. – That’s why they pay me the big bucks! (sigh). Minion didn’t ask for any help and then about 3 weeks ago asked everyone for menu choices. Menu actually looked nice – which for the price we were paying seemed a bit unlikely.

She’s also arranged a secret Santa with a budget of £5. This always seems totally pointless to me but – you know you have to join in. I pulled out a girl who I have never met and whose name I didn’t even recognise so I obviously have NO dealings with her. How am I supposed to buy a considerate and thoughtful gift for this person for £5? I decided that i really couldn’t and so bought her a single glass sized bottle of wine, with a glass and a single chocolate. Which was reduced from £13 to £5. Seriously who buys a single glass sized bottle of half decent wine for the price of a good bottle of wine. No-one that’s who. Which is why it was reduced to £5 – which to be honest was still a rip off but I was feeling extremely annoyed about the whole thing and was just letting it go for the good of my blood pressure.

Anyway the ‘party’ was at a hotel halfway between the 2 sites on the main road so everyone could find it. On Friday The Minion-who-is-the-new-me had sorted out all the transport and who was giving who lifts. So 4 of us bundled into one of the girls chav mobile with the lowered suspension, monster exhaust and blacked out windows and drove for what felt like miles down the dual carriageway.

We got to the hotel and the only person there was our line manager who proceeded to engage in the friendly chit chat you get from your line manager at any work “social”.

Everyone from the other site was late because they apparently have more scruples about skipping out early for extended lunches.

The Line-manager bought everyone a non-alcoholic drink. No drinking allowed at lunchtime. And we sat down to the food. I was totally expecting it to look and taste like reheated, left over school dinners. I was, for the most part pleasantly surprised. the Chicken liver pate was light and tasty, even if for some reason they were serving it with doritos. Seriously a square of Pate with 4 doritos stuck triangle end first into it. I asked for some bread and you would have thought I’d asked the waitress to fellate a goat in front of her mother.

Had the traditional turkey et al for main and it was tender and moist, with roast potatoes that were crisp on the outside and fluffy inside. The portions were a good size. I was staggered. Surely there’s some mistake everyone knows that Christmas menus should be horrid.

After we’d all eaten then the secret santa gifts were given out. I was just about to open mine when I noticed all the other ladies had put them away to save for Christmas day. WTF?! Surely the point of giving gifts like this is to watch people open them. None of us were children and actually believed that Father Christmas had bought the presents. I also don’t think any of the people round the table believed that this £5 gift would provide the sparkle their Christmas morning might otherwise be lacking.

I knew mine bloody wouldn’t. I could tell from the shape – it was a single glass sized bottle of wine with a glass and a single chocolate – reduced from £13 to £5. Seriously. I knew I shouldn’t have bothered.


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