Last night I was stuck at the tackiest “Christmas Party” ever.
In lieu of a real party, we closed the doors at work (at 4:00 PM, big deal) and had a dinner on the premises. There was no music. There were no decorations. We didn’t have Secret Santas. There was no indication that we were celebrating anything, or observing any ancient tradition.
“Gifts” had been extorted from our various vendors, and were distributed by means of raffle tickets and a drawing. Yes, that’s right: We called the businesses that supply us and told them that we expected them to donate stuff to our Christmas party, or else we would have to rethink our relationship with them in the new year. And yes, we are a Fortune 500 company.
Gifts. You know – things you give to others, people you love or want to impress or for whom you want to do something nice. I understand that certain holidays, most notably Christmas, have created a sort of ritualized gift-giving frenzy, whereby we feel that we must give to certain friends and family and associates. But still, at least we know who’s getting the presents, and the giving bears some resemblance to the real thing.
Our event last night was fully disconnected from the entire concept of giving. The “gifts” were from people who didn’t want to give them, to people they didn’t know. A bald guy got a hair curler. The 19-year-old receptionist got a jug of Johnny Walker Black. The guy who got the golf balls was trying to trade them – for anything else.
I didn’t want any of the tainted booty. I knew it would be cursed, so I threw away my raffle ticket and stayed in my office. In the end I was forced to put in an appearance, and I must say that the food was fantastic. One of our employees, a guy from New Orleans, operates a family catering business on the side, and he cooked up a phenomonal cajun feast for us all. He spent the whole day on the meal, and it was worth it. About half of it was still here in the morning, so all I have done all day is eat.
Except for the gumbo and the sausage and the crawfish, this event was easily the low point of the worst year of my professional career, and helps keep me focused on getting the fuck out of this gig. I hope I am able to do that.
On a much happier note, Blue Girl and Neddie Jingo have recorded a Christmas song, collaborating long distance on a sweet little masterpiece for the holiday. Blue Girl is in my Reciprocity blogroll, and Neddie Jingo is someone I’ll be reading a lot more in the new year. Some of you may recall that I did something like this with y’all last year on a protest song, but they have taken the collaboration idea to a new blog level, and it is wonderful. If your computer can play music, click here to hear the song.
Finally, I might be talking to God this weekend, so let me know if you want me to ask anything.