Wrong. So Many Ways.

Oh dear. It’s that time of year again: tonight is my work Christmas party. After last year’s truly awful Medieval Banquet-themed event, I had assumed that this year’s party couldn’t possibly be any worse, but it looks like I might be about to be proved wrong.

The first worrying sign came way back in July, when we were emailed a list of potential options, all of which seemed to be offered by this company: www.christmasparties.net, and which mostly seem to consist of a conference room in some shabby hotel that’s been decorated in a particular theme.

For example, how could you possibly resist the “Hooray for Hollywood” themed event:

As you sip your welcome drink in the glamorous foyer take in the aura of anticipation as everybody marvels at which famous stars they will see!

Our giant illuminated Oscars will lead the way to your reserved table, where you will have a rare opportunity to dine with the stars, as images of famous screen icons adorn the room.

So that opportunity to “dine with the stars” on your “reserved table” basically means that there are going to be a couple of film posters on the walls.

Or there’s the “Viva Las Vegas” night, which captures the spirit of Vegas with its “Tables dressed with black tablecloths and white napkins”, and I’m pleased to see that they list “lighting” as one of the items included. Wow. With these lights and tablecloths they are really spoiling us.

So the pretty universal reaction to all this nonsense was that none of us wanted to attend any of these overpriced, naff, tacky events, and were sure that the company could do a lot more with the fifty quid a head that they were planning to spend.

Flash forward a couple of months, and the people tasked with booking our Christmas party come round the office to ask everyone individually what they’d like to do this year. In an entirely impartial and non-influential voting system, we were asked whether we’d like (in a low, dull voice) to just go out as the company for “a boring, normal meal” somewhere or (in an excited, happy voice) would we like “a really exciting and fun themed party event with other companies who will surely bring along lots of single men and women”.

I voted for the meal.

And, of course, we’re going to “Disco thru’ the Decades“, because the entire decision on where to go for the evening should be based on the off chance that a couple of developers might pull. I think my favourite part of the theme we’ve chosen is their classy use of the deliberate misspelling “thru” in the event’s title. And I must say, I’m looking forward to “bopping along to the fantastic DJ” at “Club Awesome” as he plays disco hits from the 60s, 70s, 80s, and 90s. I imagine it will just be like being 16, back in Southport, and at the Kingsway listening to all my favourite songs, like “It’s Raining Men”, and “Oh What A Night”. And you can never listen to enough of the same 5 disco songs from the 19070s can you? I mean surely no other type of music happened during that 10 years, did it?

But wait, what’s that you say? There’s Karaoke too, for the “budding pop stars”? And that’s “awesome” as well? What are the chances! It’ll be just like that Pop Stars Factor show that all the kids are watching these days.

Oh, and I almost forgot to point out the opulent hotel where all this excitement is taking place. Don’t those stylish conference rooms look great.

I can’t wait. Can you tell?

4 thoughts on “Wrong. So Many Ways.”

  1. Matt, I don’t think you’re entering into the spirit of the event! I speak as someone who had a 70s-themed office xmas party last night, complete with fancy dress, Snowballs, and cheese & pineapple on sticks. It was admittedly a bit painful when they played ‘I Will Survive’, ‘It’s Raining Men’, and ‘Dancing Queen’ back-to-back – maybe they were contractually obliged to do so but just wanted to get them over with quickly… Have fun!

  2. A “70s-themed office xmas party”? Perhaps there’s mileage in that: maybe next year I’ll suggest “rubbish / clich├ęd office party” as the theme for our event: obligatory photocopying of body parts, compulsory gropings in a cupboard from the ugly guy from accounts, you know the sort of thing.

    In the end last night I solved the problem of all the dodgy music by hogging the karaoke for large swathes of the event and subjecting many of my colleagues to most of the selection of Britpop hits available on the list. Sadly my attempts to perform the least appropriate songs were thwarted–they refused to let me sing Tender by Blur (and there was, disappointingly, no Radiohead on the list) but I did manage to almost clear the room with my rendition of Bittersweet Symphony.

  3. Frankly I’m surprised you’re still alive. About halfway through “Sisters are doing it for themselves” I would have smashed a wine bottle and embedded the shards in the throat of DJ Fantastic, before being set upon and torn apart by a pack of heavy set middle age women for daring to express the view (admittedly in a violent way) that dancing to ’70s disco is a very bad thing. Apparently holding this view is akin to abducting a small child, molesting it and then dumping its body in the canal. And that act itself would be deemed acceptable if it was done whilst wearing an Afro wig and singing “Dancing Queen”.

  4. Other things about Thursday night that I forgot to mention include the ridiculous token system at the bar, a shameless method of pushing up the takings on their already shockingly overpriced drinks–3 quid for a bottle of becks, 4 quid for a bottle of “premium beer” (Stella), and *gasp* SIX POUNDS for a “mineral water”. It didn’t specify the size of bottle, but for that price I’m assuming it’s gold-plated and the size of a small reservoir.

    ME: (gasps) SIX POUNDS for a bottle of water? That’s absolutely shocking.
    Guy selling tokens: (looking slightly embarrassed) er, yes, but at these sorts of parties, no one drinks water…
    ME: At that price, I’m not surprised…

    By the end of the night, after polishing off all the dregs of the wine that came with dinner, in a bid to avoid spending too much money on their overpriced drinks, I still had half the tokens I’d stupidly bought at the start of the night left and I had to give them away.

    That showed them, didn’t it.

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