I just got home about a half-hour ago. It's only Tuesday and it's already the week from hell. I skipped my gym visit (I'll try again tomorrow). Without boring you with too many details, all of us at the office are feeling the holiday crunch. Tomorrow afternoon is our holiday cocktail party, which I said I might attend. With the deadlines I need to meet tomorrow, I probably won't go.
I didn't go to last year's party either. While I enjoy our monthly department potlucks, company parties have never been particularly fun for me. I appreciate that companies do this to recognize and reward employees, but I find most of them superficial and boring. I've attended some rather extravagant office holiday parties. My first holiday party I attended in San Francisco was hosted by The Sharper Image.
The party was held at The Fairmont. Huge ballroom, tasty food, sloshed attendees. One of them, a telemarketing rep (name withheld) partied to the fullest extent. To the extent he doesn't remember what he did at the party. He only remembers the next day, trying to get home without shoes and socks. While he no longer lives in the San Francisco Bay Area, his story became legend.
My favorite office holiday party was when I was with Gymboree. It was held at The Exploratorium. We had the place to ourselves, ate tons of great food, and got to play with the exhibits. There was a really cool simulation of riding a luge. I had the best time throwing baseballs in my black dress (heels tossed off to the side) to get the speed devices to measure how fast we were throwing. Out of fear in ripping my dress, I didn't throw faster than 45 miles an hour.
As for memorable customer meltdowns, at Sharper I once had a customer who ended up calling the president's office (before PC's and online tracking) because he wouldn't accept my answer that his package was "in transit" the day it was being delivered. Another customer put her son on the phone and forced my co-worker to tell him his present wasn't arriving on time for Christmas.
What never ceases to amaze me is the amount of pressure people put on themselves during the holidays. Especially when they struggle to deliver gifts on time. My attitude to all of this is "SO FUCKING WHAT". If it's that important to get gifts to your loved ones on time, then you've got a seriously shallow view of relationships. If your recipients place so much importance on getting his/her gifts on time, then it's time to re-examine the relationship.
You don't deserve this kind of hell. Neither do the folks who have to listen to you bitch and whine about it either.