‘Tis the season for office Christmas parties. I don’t know why business owners feel obliged to throw them. Bigger bonuses would be more appreciated. Call me Scrooge, but what’s wrong with breathlessly wishing everyone a happy holiday on December 24th (varied according to their personal observances) as we step on each other’s toes while trying to squeeze out the door before the phone rings yet again?
It’s not that I don’t like the people I work with. I adore them. But we already spend more awake-time in each other’s pockets than we do with the people named on our tax returns. How can a couple of alcohol-and-sugar-lubricated hours once a year improve on that?
And the small talk.
“What are you working on?”
I don’t know about you, but I hate it when another writer asks me that this time of year. How can I hold my head up and tell her I’m working on getting up enough energy to vacuum the dog hair off the living room rug in preparation for thinking about putting up the Christmas tree—the pre-lit, pre-decorated one I stashed in an upstairs closet last year?
And then there’s, “What are you reading?”
I just love telling some macho guy-writer whose based-on-a-real-life-tragedy story I shredded last week that I’m so stressed I’m downing Regency romances like a Russian downs Smirnoff. Hey! They’re my version of Xanax.
And best of all, someone asks, “What changes are in store for the new year?” That someone is invariably the nitwit you’ve decided not to fire until January 2nd just so you won’t spoil her New Year’s Eve party.
Yes, office Christmas parties are such fun. I’d call in sick that day…but I’m the boss.