Friday, December 07, 2007

Company Christmas Parties

Since I am off to a company Christmas party and my husband is taunting me because he's glad not to have one tonight, I start to wonder about the point of company Christmas parties since I really have never known anyone that is really too excited about going (with the exception of the occasional delusional HR person).

I guess it's something companies feel they have to do, it's tradition like anything else. But a great new tradition would be to give everyone a portion of the Christmas party money instead. I'd much rather have say, 100 CHF to go out to dinner than my husband than to spend yet another five hours with my work colleauges. (In Switzerland spouses are never invited to company parties; a mistake I learned the hard way last year when I made my RSVP for both of us. Silly me to assume the company having us in double bedded hotel rooms meant your spouse was invited).

At least this year, the company party sounds much more appealing than last year's overnight drunk fest where employees were required to share hotel rooms. This year we are going to see a play at the theater. Despite the fact that it is in German, I am looking forward to not having to try to talk German for at least an hour out of the evening. Then we go to dinner afterwards where I will either understand 50% of what's being said or will smile and nod when conversation switches to Swiss German. I know I will be very tired by the end of the evening from the German alone (not to mention the cigarette smoke at dinner), but at least there is no overnight stay involved and I have the excuse that the last train to Baden is at 1:06.

Poor Brian has already had one Christmas party and has two more next week. He's organizing a dinner for his team and I told him they're probably all already moaning in secret about the fact that they have to go. He thinks so too, but is still organizing it! Some traditions never die, that's why companies mantras will always say, long live the Christmas party!

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