The company's Xmas Do was last week. They've held all sorts of December events over the years, from glitzy balls to minor huddles, and this year's was towards the lower end of the scale. A room was hired at a major London landmark, some considerable distance from the office, and everyone was summoned to attend if at all possible. Here bosses regaled staff with tales of corporate successes, ticklists of targets reached and a flurry of on-brand messages. If you've had to sit through something similar recently, I feel for you. And then the gathering broke for the serving of drinks, raising a glass to achievements past and challenges to come. I think this was the moment that several attendees slipped out and went home, or even returned to the office to get on with some real work. I don't know, I had to be at a meeting elsewhere, so I missed the lot. Lucky escape, I think.
The division's Xmas Do is this afternoon. There's a reshuffle underway, and this is the new division I'm about to move into once they can find enough desks. Very kindly the new lot have an extended an invitation to us incomers, in the hope that we'll feel more part of the team once we finally arrive. Their Do appears to be an all-out slap-up celebration at an external venue, complete with drinks, canapés, food and more drinks. There's even mention of a DJ-driven after-party until late in the evening, which is precisely the sort of event which makes me socially uncomfortable. I imagine most of the attendees will start dressing up sometime after noon, filling the gents/ladies toilets with the smell of perfume/aftershave, then trooping out of the building to overeat, overdrink and be overmerry. I don't know, I've taken the day as annual leave, so I'm missing the lot. Lucky escape, I think.
The department's Xmas Do was last week. Again, that's the new one being generous and attempting to welcome me on board before I've officially started. First they sent me an invite to their Christmas departmental meeting, which turned out to be a normal meeting but with an added box of chocolates. The last item on the agenda was a Secret Santa, operated entirely amongst themselves, which meant watching people I don't know opening presents from people they didn't know. This was as much fun as you can imagine. And at the end of the meeting they said they looked forward to seeing me at their festive drinks after work that evening, before suddenly realising they'd forgotten to invite me. An official email invitation plopped into my inbox shortly afterwards, revealing the name of the wine bar where I expect my new workmates slurped Rioja into the small hours. I don't know, I had other plans for the evening and missed the lot. Lucky escape, I think.
The team's Xmas Do was yesterday. We used to be a fairly big team, but we've been culled down to single figures this year so we had a very small-scale Do. Nothing wild, just a Christmas meal in a pub down the road, and plenty of room for everyone to fit around a single table. We did the usual thing of forgetting what we'd pre-ordered last month, and the waiter did the usual thing of reading out the entire list until somebody agreed to accept the final plate he'd brought. Turkey and trimmings for me, and a pint of non-real ale, and a slice of cream-drenched pud to finish. The crackers were rubbish - sometimes missing a toy, often repeating the same joke and with all the hats the same colour. The conversation was very pleasant throughout, but sometimes a little pessimistic because we reckon this'll be the last Xmas Do we ever attend as our existing team. Sad loss, I fear.