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Nerd heaven

December 6, 2011

This will be short and sweet. I’m about to dive into an enormous pile of…mud and I won’t come out again for a week and a half.

One of my big projects at the Toy Factory has hit a crucial moment. I just set a meeting for a week from Friday where I hand off my baby to someone else to the people who will turn my toy (well, not actually mine — very much the product of many other brains — but it’s my job to shepherd it to completion) from an idea into an object. Multiple copies of objects, in fact.

This means my staff and I are working long hours to get all the final details in place. Since part of the final details involves getting the government to do something for me, you can imagine that it’s a little stressful. Strangely, when I went to the doctor’s office today to find out why I am still coughing after 6 weeks, they told me my blood pressure was so low it was barely in the normal range. So at least I know this hasn’t been backing up on me.

And if truth be told, I’m finding it more exciting than stressful. The whole process is making me nervous because I’ve never been in charge of a project with so much riding on it, or one for which I am reliant on contributions by so many others (hundreds of others, in fact) — I’ve been working largely solo for years. But we’re basically in good shape, I have great people working on it with me and while we’re cutting it a little closer to deadline than I’d ideally like, it seems to be pretty much status quo for this kind of thing around here.

But posts from me are likely to be sparse while I put this project to bed.

What’s really making me nervous, however, is the company holiday party, which is right in the middle of all this chaos. I’ve never been to a company holiday party. What do I do? What do I wear? How long do I have to stay before I go back to the office?

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7 Comments leave one →
  1. eleanorio permalink
    December 6, 2011 5:57 pm

    The last time I was at a company holiday party was when I worked as a legal secretary in a small office building and the whole floor of different businesses was involved. I ended up having a pass made at me by the short guy who worked in the office next door to mine. However, that doesn’t answer any of your questions. Dress as though you were going to be singing in church, be polite and smile a lot, and leave when your cheeks hurt.

  2. December 7, 2011 7:55 am

    Arrange for someone to call your mobile after forty minutes, assess how much fun/torture you are having/going through then reply accordingly:

    ‘You’re kidding — gosh, I’ll be right there!’

    or

    ‘We’ll tackle that tomorrow’. (This one can be linked to prompt a second call in a predetermined amount of time as back up).

    (Not that I’VE ever done this sort of thing…).

  3. freshhell permalink
    December 7, 2011 1:13 pm

    Well, I hate office parties and usually find a way to get out of them whenever possible. But that’s because I don’t really want to socialize with the people I work with nor do I want to attend a “pot luck” created by those people.

    That said, I’m sure your co-workers are much more interesting and since you’re new, you won’t be bored. If the party’s during the day, you can go in whatever you wore to the office that day. If it’s at night, dress a little more….dressy. I’ve only been to one of those. I was unprepared for it and came very casually dressed and felt awkward. I left as soon as I could.

    Sorry. I’m absolutely no help. You can always ask someone you trust at work what to expect. That’s probably what I should have done and didn’t.

  4. December 7, 2011 2:28 pm

    The company holiday party — dress up, and whatever you do, don’t drink too much. (Unless your holiday party is more fun than ours, which it very well could be!)

  5. December 8, 2011 7:47 am

    In order to not drink too much, which is of course excellent advice, my policy is to get something in a glass as soon as I come in and walk around with the glass generously half full because it gives me something to do with my hands and no one offers any more, since I’ve obviously got something. I usually find I can slip out when my introvert meter is full.

  6. December 8, 2011 10:02 pm

    Whatever you do, DON’T joke with a colleague about being engaged to each other, especially in front of a drunken executive who is hosting the party. A friend of mine (who is a lesbian) made this mistake with a gay man she worked with, and the head of their firm, the aforementioned drunken host, grabbed the microphone from the band and made a grand drunken announcement about the newly betrothed couple, and what a great breeding ground their firm had been. In addition to being as queer as three dollar bills, both parties in this “couple” were deeply closeted. So what initially felt like a great cover story for them, ended up being a bizarre prison, because of course everyone was itching to have a wedding! When my friend wrote a short story about the scene for a fiction class she was in some years later, people were outraged because it was “beyond the realm of fiction.” I am not making this up.

    So if you can manage to not do any of that, I’d say it’s been a roaring success!

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