It’s that time of year. A couple of weeks before Christmas, everyone gets to together for the Office “Holiday Party.” I call it the Christmas Party, because I celebrate Christmas. But I do understand that others have different beliefs than I. These are important beliefs like needing to be the first one in line to eat, on the front row of the group picture and not being able to go home without a door prize.
We have our party during the day and stretch lunch out for an extra hour. The best I can figure, the planning for this party takes a great deal of effort. Why? Well, they start sending us messages in October about meetings to plan this party and who is going to bring what and how much everyone needs to kick in. No one ever goes to these planning meetings, so the same person gets stuck making decisions it seems.
We have our picture made together, reminisce with retired folks who come, eat and then have a drawing for some five dollar gift cards and other stuff that was bought on sale either after last Christmas or during October. It’s big fun. I mean that sincerely.
The big fun is the “people watching” aspect of the party. The Office Christmas Party “people watching” is somewhere between going to Walmart and going to the water park. First, there are those who get there early and set up the food. This takes a lot of work and evidently a lot of “tasting.” These folks involved in the “set up” usually wait and get at the end of the line when we are getting ready to move through like a herd of cattle.
There are two schools of thought here. These folks are either being nice or they ate a whole lot while they were “setting up.” The latter seems to be the most logical to me because some of the pies and cakes have missing slices before anyone gets in the line.
In examining the group picture, it seems the folks who are “First Liners” want to be either on the front row of the picture or all the way in the back with just their face kind of floating there on the back row. A “First Liner” is one of the folks who will work hard to be one of the first ones through the line to pick up food. They generally seem very interested in what is being said prior to eating. With this “interested” look on their faces, they are easing their way toward the door to the kitchen, positioning themselves for a prime position that will get them a good shot at the chicken breasts, smoked turkey and ham that has not been soaking in the goo in the bottom of the aluminum pan.
I’m not that kind of person in my opinion. However, if I were, I would wait for the line to form and find a retiree toward the front. Then, I would walk up to them, hug them and strike up a conversation that would last as long as it took me to wander up to the smoked turkey. But only if I were that type of person…
We sit down, we eat, we talk… Whatever it takes to kill time to get to the pulling of the tickets out of the plastic bag to see who gets to take home the coveted five dollar gift cards and the grand prize of a tin of last year’s holiday popcorn. When the time comes, there is a lot of whooping and hollering, probably because it’s about the only time any of us whoop and holler at work. We are supposed to be reserved and concerned with researching important things and making incredible discoveries.
I made my incredible discovery in my research during the door prize drawing. Just as there are “First Liners,” with the door prize drawing, there are “Must Winners.” These folks keep going back to the fellow who is passing out the door prize tickets getting extra tickets, knowing that you are only supposed to get one ticket. How do I know these things? When they are calling out the numbers, it does not take a rocket scientist to realize if a fellow fans out his tickets like he was playing poker – he has multiple tickets. And yes, more than likely, he is going to win something.
The First Liners and their positioning in the picture? Well, some of them just always want to be first. The ones in the back? They have been first in line so many times that it kind of shows. If you know what I mean.
May your holidays be filled with the joy of watching people…
CMT Column from the week of December 12, 2016, All Rights Reserved and Stuff like that...
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I'm BN Heard and I like semicolons, dogs and not being included on the holiday party meetings.
I will be back on stage April 30th hosting the Better Said Than Done show at Jammin' Java in Vienna, Virginia.
Below is a video from Better Said Than Done's January Show where I told a story about my Papa and going to Vernon, Florida.