Monday, January 14, 2008

Not Another Shitty Office Christmas Party!

Last weekend marked the final event for my Christmas of 2007. It was the always dreaded office Christmas party. Anybody that knows me, knows that I look forward to office parties about as much as I look forward to going to the dentist.

Our yearly bash is always broken down into two mini-events. First we all gather at a banquet hall at one of the local hotels for dinner and then we move to a conference room at a different hotel for "fun" games and free liquor. I usually try to leave as soon a possible. Last year Jules and I left right after the dinner.

This year things were a little different.

First of all I was going stag. Our regular babysitter (a.k.a. Drunken Neighbor) moved across town this year and we haven't spoken to her in months so we didn't really have anyone else to watch the kids. In any case this event was deemed not worth the effort of finding another sitter.

Secondly, there was a small group of co-workers who seemed determined to see me get drunk. Since I don't drink at our office parties it is something most of them have never witnessed. I used to drink all the time, now I'm just not interested in it.

As the party got closer my dread increased steadily. I had made it clear that I was not going to be drinking and that I would be fleeing at the earliest opportunity. The "Let's See CanadaDad Get Drunk" crowd was extremely disappointed by this news. But I was sticking with my choice.

On Friday just as I was leaving for the weekend. I was approached by the "Get Him Drunk" crowd for one last attempt to sway me. I told them my basic argument. I wasn't going to drink because I was driving.

They tried to convince me to take a cab instead. I said I wasn't going to waste cash on a taxi just so I could drink. I then made the following deal:

"If you can get me to the party and back home again, without me taking a cab, I will drink."

They seemed all too eager to take care of my transportation needs. I told Corporate Guy to give me a call the next day and let me know the plan.

All that night and Saturday I regretted that deal. Why did I say that? I didn't want to drink. Now my Sunday was going to be destroyed while I recover. I have laundry to do that day. I have to go grocery shopping. Oh, why did I agree to that? My weekend was ruined.

As Saturday rolled on I started to regain hope. I still hadn't heard from Corporate Guy. Maybe he forgot. Every time the phone rang my stomach jumped up into my throat. "Oh No! It's him!"

The schedule for the party went like this. Drinks would begin at 6:30 and dinner would start at 7:00. By 5:30, I hadn't heard anything. I was starting to feel really good about my chances of getting out of the deal. Then the phone rang. False alarm it was one of #1's friends. Then it rang again. #1's friend again. Then Jules called from the store. All of these false alarms were killing me. It happened about 7 more times. I don't think our phone has ever rung so many times in an hour. By 6:15 I figured I was home free. If Corporate Guy called Jules would tell him that I had JUST left. Wheww! I dodged a bullet that time. I would never make such a deal again. I don't know what I was thinking.

At 6:50 I headed out the door. While I was en route to the hotel my cell rang. It was Corporate Guy. Ha Ha! Too late now! He called to ask if he was supposed to pick me up. Apparently he had forgotten the terms of the deal. I told him that he was supposed to get me but that I was on my way.

When I arrived the first thing I did was grab a beer. I then informed the "Get Him Drunk" people that I wasn't going to be drinking. They were somewhat upset about it but what could they do? I said I didn't need to drink to have fun because I was always "on". The issue was put to rest.

I decided that the least I could do was go to the drink up after the dinner to show them that I could party without being drunk. I'm glad I did because, to my dismay, it was a pretty fun time. Most people didn't even realize that I wasn't drinking. I had decided on the drive to the hotel that I would have one beer at the dinner and one beer at the drink up and that was exactly what I did. I nursed my second beer from about 9:00 to 11:00. I think it is important if you aren't going to drink to at least hold a beer in your hand. It's the least you can do.

It was entertaining to say the least. Corporate Guy was a blast. He was drinking what we called quad-and-three-quarter-quad rum and cokes (that's seven shots of rum in a glass with a bit of coke). He was on his sixth by the end of the night. His motto for the night was "I Do What I Want!"

Looking at the damage done to the conference room you would have thought it was a rock band partying instead of a phone company. At the end of the night 4 tables had been broken and the carpet was covered in a mixture of Cheetos, shaving cream and drinks. Apparently my company like to "give 'er" pretty hard.

At the end of the night everyone headed to the bar. At this point I decided to quietly sneak away. I went home and played a little Medal of Honor, watched an old episode of the Twilight Zone and went to bed. I awoke well rested and feeling great.

When I got to work Monday morning the first thing I asked was, "How was the bar?"

The other tech guy laughed and said it was a mess. Apparently he started buying tequila shots and passing them out as soon as he got there. His girlfriend became falling down drunk. They also lost their coat check tickets so were unable to retrieve their coats. To make matters worse at the end of the night and it was impossible to get a cab. They tried to jump in one with some other people and got kicked out! They then decided to walk home. It was about a 15 block walk and around -20 Celsius and don't forget they had no coats. They made it about 2 blocks and ended up checking in to a hotel for the night because they were both falling down at this point.

Corporate Guy was going to go skiing on Sunday. It didn't happen. He blamed it on the tequila shots. I'm thinking it might have had something to do with the quad-and-three-quarter-quad rum and cokes.

Everyone said that their Sunday was a write off. In fact they all are still a little hurting today.

I'm so glad I didn't drink.

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