Ashley and I survived another year of company Christmas parties. I love the social awkwardness that surrounds this special event. My close friends will know that I'm not a total introvert, but at the same time I'm not exactly a people person. I'm that guy that sits with his friends in the back making fun of everyone else and their ridiculous antics. Now that I have shared this with you, dear reader, I can continue on with my evaluations of the 2 company parties I attended.
- Ashley's company party - This one was particularly awkward for me. You see, my wife works for a small company of 5 people. Since the company is so small, the party was at the owner's home. While this isn't a bad thing, it automatically puts a few people in a lot more comfortable situation than the rest. The party was casual which is nice, but it was so casual that people brought their kids along. A few people were drinking way too much, and that tends to make me very uncomfortable. Couple that with the fact that I share very little common ground with those in attendance and you'll realize that I had a very dull night. It's worth noting that the party wasn't for me, so this is totally acceptable but still very agonizing.
- My company party - This was a totally different ball of wax. We have a larger company with around 30 employees. The attendance wasn't huge, but it wasn't as cozy as Ashley's. We rented a conference room at a local hotel and had a semi-formal event. There was live musicians playing Christmas tunes and we had a nice steak dinner.
This was definitely more enjoyable for me, but (there's always a "but" isn't there?) it felt forced. We had assigned seating to try and make people interact who normally don't. (Thank you to the seat assigner for putting me at a table with Brandon and Laura, it surely made the night more enjoyable for both Ashley and myself.) All in all, this was just okay for me mostly because I'm not one who likes to socialize. I'm sure there are others at the company who enjoyed the party and its format. The best part of the night was the after-party which was just a few close friends hanging out.
It's funny because you get to see a lot of different people from different backgrounds try to hang out and find common ground. You'll always have at least one person that drinks way too much liquid courage to try and force social ability into their soul. You'll always have at least one person who doesn't sense that "vibe" that the conversation they are having is very awkward and that they should just walk away. Instead they just kind of linger in your conversations a little too long. There's a double bonus if the 2 aforementioned people are actually the same person, they'll make the night truly magical.
Company parties are a necessary evil. If you are a social bug, then it's going to be a fine evening out. If you are like me, then it's going to be another evening of people observation and mocking. There was less of that from me this year because of a prank I was involved in, but I'll reserve that story for another post here soon.