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Gapers Block published from April 22, 2003 to Jan. 1, 2016. The site will remain up in archive form. Please visit Third Coast Review, a new site by several GB alumni.
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Thursday, April 18

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matty / December 14, 2005 11:42 AM

last year I ate at spiaggia then went to le passage and made out with a fat chick on the dancefloor.

when i wrote that to my boss the next morning (as a pretty good reason to miss work) he passed it around the office to everyone's rapturous delight.

next time i'm just going to say that I am sick.

Andrew / December 14, 2005 11:49 AM

Unfortunately, my office is pretty boring. Most years we have a catered lunch in the conference room, and the boss' wife gives everyone a themed gift bag. Being the only male in the office other than the boss, it's usually a little disappointing.

Leelah / December 14, 2005 11:56 AM

My principal tells students that teachers are incompetent and racist and that the white teachers don't care about them.

I didn't go to the party this year.

Carrie / December 14, 2005 12:06 PM

We just had ours on Friday. Our company parties are one of the reasons I don't mind sitting in a cube... first we had the year-end meeting that they usually make pretty entertaining. Then when we walked out, there were servers with beer all ready for us. We enjoyed 3 hours of open bar, dancing and food. The food wasn't the best, but it was open bar, so I shouldn't whine.

We then trekked to the after party where I proceeded to do shots with my boss. Someone on my team had a tab going that he's going to expense back to the company, so pretty much, I didn't spend a dime. good times

CVAL / December 14, 2005 12:09 PM

My office had a holiday party "one" year and quit after that. It was at a restaurant/club over on Milwaukee that has since been reincarnated several times. I think it was called "Indigo" at the time. Well, I made the suggestion we have it there and "of course" it was disasterous, i.e.:The head chef "quit" prior to our party, the location had horrible parking, and there was the damdist step in one part of the hall that made everyone who walked in with a drink trip and spill their drink forward so that by the end of it all the opposing wall looked like a Kandanski painting. And, dear god, I won't even get into the unsophisticated behavior and totally un-cool attitudes that my co-workers had that night. You would think that free booze would make almost any party work. Wrongo! Won't be taking my troglodite, cromagnon coworkers to any swank clubs any time soon. I think this year we're having cookies and punch at our freekin' desks!

jen / December 14, 2005 12:34 PM

this year's parties (yes, we had two) were fun, but it was with a company i joined just earlier this year, so i felt the need to keep my antics at bay. other people had antics, but nothing out of the ordinary.

the most memorable party was a few years back when the ad agency i worked for held it in the company's photo studio, which is more or less a huge warehouse. models dressed as angels circulated holding platters of champagne and food. people drank and ate themselves silly, hence ensuing craziness, i.e. someone punched a hole through the drywall in the women's bathroom, someone bit someone else's nipple requiring stitches, and the following monday a good 40% of the staff called in with legitimate food poisoning. goodtimes.

Staci / December 14, 2005 12:47 PM

The office parties at my company always cause a little controversy. My company likes to have its holiday parties in a big ballroom at one of the city's hotels. Big meal, open bar -- that's the nice part. It gets controversial because we also have an awards ceremony. A couple departments gets tons of great awards (trips, fatty bonuses) and the other departments (I'm in one of the "other" depts) get not much. And usually no bonuses. This year it is even more controversial because only the married people in the company are allowed to bring dates, and they have to bring their spouses. If you are single and you absolutely must bring a date, you have to pay $150. If you say you are going to come to the party and then don't show, $150 will be deducted from your next paycheck. These are things that just dampen the holiday season a tad.

Baltimore / December 14, 2005 12:47 PM

maybe if I close my eyes and click my heels three times, we will have a Richard Pryor Christmas Party and all really get *&%#*! Up

Richard Pryor at the phone bank: "How much money have we raised so far?" None!
[Richard Pryor looks at the phone bank] "O.K, O.K! This is a message for all you white people out there. Part of the money we raise tonight will go to the Back to Africa movement and..."[every phone rings!]

Dance, Drink, Laugh, Smoke and Do What Ever You Wanna Do In Peace!
Richard and thanks fo making us laugh1

eep / December 14, 2005 12:50 PM

My office had its holiday part two weeks ago at the Sofitel Hotel. Way swanky. Open bar with top shelf booze all night, prime rib, fancy potatoes, dessert table, and a DJ. Also a raffle with prizes like a new iPod and two round-trip tickets anywhere in the US. I didn't win anything, but I did discover that six martinis is my limit. The seventh one nearly killed me.

Buzzkill / December 14, 2005 1:03 PM

Last year, I wore this tight vintage dress with intricate strings of beading. It was so tight and fragile, though, that by the end of the night -- and after I started getting sloppy from a few cocktails -- the strings of beading totally started busting loose everywhere. I had everyone around me immediately tend to help pick up beads. After gathering beads, we headed home before any after-party activities.

holden / December 14, 2005 1:32 PM

My cube-loving company is too tight to spring for a huge, all company blowout. We will get treated to lunch with our dept and that's about it.
Last year, at certain nonprofit, we went to Southport Lanes. Free drinks, free bowling, free food, free laughs at your drunk bosses. good stuff.

paul / December 14, 2005 1:39 PM

I'm lucky if someone in the office brings in a plate of cookies.

VanMoxie / December 14, 2005 2:19 PM

So many parties. Corporate, Regional, Department, office, functional department. Enough! One was bowling at Marina Towers with buffet dinner and drinks, one was buffet lunch and drinks (got a whole afternoon off for that) at a bar, dinner at a nice French place (I had the duck liver pate with black truffle and many martinis - oh, and a steak). The last two are going to be in-office afternoon affairs (beginning at lunch) with wine, possibly jello shots, and lots of food.

Back in the day when I used to plan these things, I ordered from a catering company suggested by someone in the office. When they delivered the food, they left a card on each tray talking about Jesus is the inspiration for their mostaccoli and roast beef or whatever. When I saw them, I chased the guy down the hall and yelled at him for it.

One year, there was dinner at Marche and I brought my then-boyfriend, who happened to be an Elvis impersonator in his free time (unbeknownst to me). I found out over a dinner of sweetbreads and filet mignon as he was telling my coworkers.

MikeH / December 14, 2005 3:06 PM

VanMoxie -

Does anyone actually accomplish any work at your party company?

VanMoxie / December 14, 2005 3:35 PM

MikeH - Yeah, I can see why that question would come up. But I work for one of those Type A, work hard, play hard, your-life-revolves-around-work all the time companies, where it's looked down upon to work less than a twelve hour day. So December is like a free-for-all. I think so the memory of all these parties is still fresh in our mind when they tell us there are no bonuses again this year.

Amy / December 14, 2005 3:38 PM

Working in a hotel we don't have our party until January or February. We have it at the HOB where we get 2 drink coupons and a "gift" like popcorn. The food gets eaten by the housekeepers, they always do this karaoke thing which usually only has like 3 people participate. Then they raffle off prizes. Last year I had come back from a trip to New Orleans that morning of the party and what did I win? A 2 night stay at our New Orleans property. The best part is because it's a hotel there are always people who can't come cause they have to work! But we make up for it cause I get drunk with my bosses like once a week.

PH / December 14, 2005 4:15 PM

The industry I work in kind of went south after 9-11 so our X-Mas parties have been kind of scaled back since then. We used to have a open-bar dinner party with a dj but now we just have a very nicely catered lunch at the company. Personally I prefer the lunch since I don't particularly want to hang out with my co-workers on my own time.

spiraljetty / December 14, 2005 6:23 PM

Every year, the White Elephant game: You wrap and regift an item you don't want. You draw numbers and open the gifts or make someone trade with you. Disappointment! Aggression! Sarcasm! Incessant teasing!

This year, I got a used toy gun, and my curling iron went to a man with no hair.

Baltimore / December 14, 2005 7:45 PM

Yes indeed, So many parties so little time! The Global- Clandestine Unite, National, Regional, Departmental, Coastal, TriCoastal. Aren’t U.S Corporations simply Grande! Well, we over here at HalliSmirton will head over to South Barrington for a little skeet shooting, but instead of shooting those mindless tiny clay pods, we at HalliSmirton, because of timely generous tax cuts provided by President Bush and our “Former” (he he) Chairman Dick Cheney will use some of our deserved wealth to provide jobs for the newly down sized, laid off, our outsourced individuals, who will serve as live targets for us to shoot at with paint guns! But please understand, we are only employing individuals let-go in good standing with their companies. Now after our little sporting event, we will dash off to the most expensive restaurant in the World. Now when I use to plan these little seasonal “jiggys” I took into account not just sparing no expensive, but also brokering the best Yule Tide experience possible! So I choose, Arpege in Paris. See, this was back in the 50’s when France was going through a deep recession. It was fabulous!!! While we ate warm and toasty behind a giant picture frame window, little match girl and boy type urchins crowded around the window begging humbly. This year its Moscow, were I hear a real Dickinsonian Christmas can still be had, with sweat old no teeth babushkas, who lost their pension under capitalism, now earning their keep selling cabbage on street corners. Of course more U.S Capitalist help is on the way, because for our entertainment, we will match the Babushkas up to fight each other on the street. The Babushka left standing will get a crisp new five dollar bill! We will call it the “Babushka Battle Royale 2005”! I will of course make video tapes! Some one mentioned having our National Party in New Orleans, but we heard all the poor people left. This year as we will be in Moscow, celebrating in the spirit of “Ye Ole Europe” we will dine upon foods banned in the United States- because of ridicules extinction laws- like Whale stakes, Southern Blue Fin and Blow Fish Sushi, Poached Sea Turtle Eggs, and Caspian Caviar. There will even be a live demonstration (including the young duck) on how Foie Gras is made!

Moon / December 14, 2005 10:21 PM

I thought it was "Hallismirkin"???

jp / December 14, 2005 10:27 PM

My office party was last Friday. I guess the company's numbers were down so the party budget seemed to really be hurting. I guess last year the party was awesome. catered food, nice bonuses, open bar, and party games with kick ass prizes like weekend hotel stays and gift cards to nice stores. I wish I was temping then. This year, not quite as nice. Food was pot luck. You know everybody brings something. There about 50 people in the company and half of them "forgot" to bring anything. The other half brought either, doritos, potato chips, chips n' salsa or a 2 liter of some kind of soda. No bar or booze but a few of the programmers brought in Absolut and were spiking the soda but there was not nearly enough to go around. I smoked a jay on my break. Millennium Park in the winter is beautiful when your baked. I didn't really care how lame it was until I saw the lady who had been working there a really long time who I know has kids get a bonus envelope with Mcdonalds gift certificates and a Christmas card. She looked really sad/mad. The really lame thing was that the boss left right when the so called party started, handing the HR lady a bag with the envelopes in to pass out. I got the same envelope as the full time people. A bunch of us went to Mcdonalds as soon as we got them and brought the food back to the office and ate at our desks. It was really sad. When I was done with my food I started playing solitaire so I didn't have to make eye contact with anybody. The mood in the office the following Monday was unbearable. Happy Holidays, I guess.

amyc / December 15, 2005 6:33 AM

Our big corporate party is today. Apparently there's going to be a "talent show" portion to the evening, which I'm guessing will be horrifying.

Some of the client teams at my office also throw their own parties -- one of my teams invited half the group (and their guests) to the fancy restaurant dinner and told the rest of us that there just wasn't enough money in the budget for us to go. I hate these people.

matty / December 15, 2005 8:49 AM


That's really sad. In fact, it borders on the incredulous in its absurdity. McD's gift certificates. Man. Wow. Bring your own food/booze? Jeesh.

Maybe it's time to move on - if that story is in fact true.

joshua / December 15, 2005 9:45 AM

7:30-10:30 open bar with catered above-average food.

the youngest girl at the office (22) getting real drunk and getting sick in the bar, on herself and in the 8:30 cab ride home (she no longer works here).

one office couple, which had previously been on the hush-hush, openly sucking face at the bar. half the office cheered and said 'finally' while the other half's jaws dropped faster than the glasses in their hands fell to the floor.

then cabs to Tiny Lounge for (only open for 17 more days!) and burrito house.

there was good cheer for all, no bonuses or pep talks, just booze.

m / December 15, 2005 9:54 AM

Yeah, my company also does the lunch/employee-only sorta thing and I like that too. I couldn't imagine bringing a date to an after-work office party unless I worked for a small place where everyone got along well. We're a large group of over a thousand employees ... probably 500 or so attend the party. We all head over to a local hotel ballroom around noon on a Friday. There's good food, beer and wine. It ends at 4:00. No family, just employees. If you just want to have a snack and knock back a couple and bolt by 2:00, nobody cares. And the hotel's right by the Magnificent Mall, so it's convenient to get a buzz on and then pick up those last few gifts.

On the downside, there is the usual cheesy music, rah-rah-go-get-'em-team boilerplate encouragement from management and some cliquish behavior because of the seating arrangements ... but nobody's required to go.

Within my immediate department, we all go in together on nice gifts for the VPs and they in turn get all of us something nice. We're pretty lucky here.

karen / December 15, 2005 10:34 AM

Jen...actually I think we were at the same party.
I was the one that was bit on the breast. Although I did not require stitches, I had to have my breast aspirated as the woman who bit me crushed a gland. I STILL have a lump & had to go through all kinds of hoops to get the medical bills paid. My lawyer was instrumental in making sure my left breast was taken care of. I quit that job but heard the company that had the party isn't having one this year. So it goes. This year, I'm going to my work party clad in a Kevlar bra.

jen / December 15, 2005 11:10 AM

karen - small freaking world! and i'm glad to hear that you didn't need stitches (damn the rumours).

though i still can't remember if what happened to you and the food poisoning incident and the hole in the women's bathroom all happened in the same year. it's all a blur to me now and that's not even due to too much alcohol consumption.

regardless, good riddance to that company...

CC / December 15, 2005 12:17 PM

Pat-ourselves-on-the-back meeting/party today:3-4
Everyone excused after that for....
Catered, open-bar, and DJ party at nearby restaurant: 6-?? (last call was 11:30 last year)
Next week Tuesday, white elephant exchange (a.k.a. sactioned aggression exercise): 2-4
Next week Wednesday, department holiday lunch: 2-5
Days off for the holidays: 3

And the arsenic-laced icing on this otherwise tasty cake is that we have a relentless print schedule and a heavy client load which in no way reflects time away from the office for all these festivities, so everyone is stressed and pulling ridiculous hours despite the holiday fun! Yay!

Craig / December 15, 2005 12:52 PM

A few years ago I once witnessed someone at a company holiday party get really drunk, call everyone at the party fuckers (individually), call the CEO a fucker, called the firm owners fuckers, gave a ball-gag as his white elephant gift, and then closed the night by getting his head slammed in a revloving door.

He never came back to work again.

Spence / December 15, 2005 12:56 PM

When I was with my old firm, they use to do it up right. One year they held a private party at PJ Clarks. Free booze, food (those tiny hamburgers are a taste sensation!)and taxi rides. We also hold one of those gift exchanges where someone can take the gift you opened (a la 'The Office'). I ended up with tiny candles and a fleece blanket one year and a fifth of Crown the next. About 3/4 of the gifts people brought to those parties were alcohol related. I got drunk last year and ended up hanging out with a bunch of partners and getting invited to numerous after parties. I passed out at like 7:00 pm though and woke up in Gary gambling on the boats with some friends. Weird night.

Staci / December 15, 2005 2:46 PM

We just found out that because our company spent so much money on the party this year and because it was so expensive to acquire another company (the new company gets much better treatment and salaries) we will not be getting bonuses. I plan on drinking my bonus at the party, because that's the best they can do for me.

Manny / December 15, 2005 4:52 PM

At my former place of employment, our small company treated the 25 of us to an unremarkable lunch at the boss’s country club, followed by a fun-filled afternoon of going back to work. The envelopes we received at the end of the meal more than made up for it, however, for they came stuffed with $100 bills. Benjamins. C-notes. $1500 tax-free vs. an evening with my coworkers, who I see all day, everyday…? I was fine with the lunch.

madachode / December 16, 2005 8:04 AM

we beat the least productive employee, esp ones on the Internet all day at work, down with rubber hoses and bats then tie a computer monitor around his neck and toss him/her out the window.

El Guapo / December 16, 2005 8:58 AM

ESPN was nothing one got hammered...stupid...

hench / December 16, 2005 9:16 AM

had ours last night at rock bottom brewery. it was ok - food was better than expected & the beer was tasty. seemed like a lot of my coworkers don't usually party too often & saved up all their energy for this one event. consequently, nearly everyone was absolutely hammered by 7:30, flinging each other around the dance floor by 8pm. got crazy unsubtle hit on by 4 diff people like it was 5am at estelle's... totally random. funny tho. bunch of amateurs!

jp / December 16, 2005 10:07 AM

Damn, I just checked back hoping to see some tales of Christmas Parties worse than mine to give me a little hope that my job was not the lamest in town. I guess it is time to start looking for a new job.
Anybody hiring?

Steve / December 16, 2005 11:54 AM

As a one-man self-employed at-home office, every day is a party around here. All the liquor and loud music I can stand -- at least until the gal comes home, or the downstairs neighbors call the cops.

Armaghetto / December 20, 2005 12:36 PM

My sister just had a pretty exciting "holiday" party at The Cliff House in San Francisco, a rather spiffy restaurant. One of the doctor's husbands got loaded, was told that he was cut off then took a swing at the bartender. They had to seperate the two and Drunky McDoctorspouse got into an argument with the manager of the place. His wife left the party in disgust. 20 minutes later, Drunky was found crying in the fetal position in the middle of the dance floor.

Good times!

cspammer / December 9, 2006 11:00 AM

we have gotten to the low point of gift exchange and a buffet. i have opted out, happily. even with these low expectations of everyone the office is having a big cat fight...i can handle the b word being slung around, but the best was yesterday when discussing what to bring for the buffet and one women called another a nasty of all n asty c words. And they call me a scrooge?????

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