The annual company holiday party. I lasted 5 minutes. Now, that’s a record.

5 minutes.

That’s all I had to give at my company’s annual holiday party last night.

I walked in, went to coat check, ordered a non-alcoholic beverage, peeked in the dining/entertainment space, left my drink at the bar, went to the ladies’ room, washed my hands, left the ladies’ room, took a sip of my drink at the bar, went to the coat check, retrieved my coat, and then left.

Yes, all in one breath, that’s how fast it was.

5 minutes.

Remember how I felt last year?   Let’s carbon copy that, and lower the bar even further.  (Obviously my feelings have gotten worse.)

Parties are fine.  Partying with co-workers, people who I see daily in the environment of business?  Not so much.

Like last year, I had a full day.  I was submerged in work — engaged in the insufferable activity of mailing list preparation and distribution of the electronic corporate holiday card. From the time I walked through the door of my office, I never left…

  • Not to powder my nose.  (Okay, fine, I don’t do this normally, but I could have started, if I had the chance.)
  • Not to get a cup of tea.  (Remember last week I was on the SNAP Challenge?  I couldn’t afford tea, so I was sans tea for 7 days?  I missed it terribly.)
  • Not to have lunch.  (Um, did you read that?  Yes, no lunch.  #TheGreatLunchHunt was a no-go.)
  • Not to stretch my legs a bit and rest my fingers and hands so that 10 years from now I won’t have Carpal Tunnel Syndrome.
  • Not to even get fresh air from the hallway.  (Granted the hallway isn’t exactly the Great Outdoors, but at least there’s a “breeze” from the foot traffic.)

After scheduling a delivery of one of an exec’s card for tomorrow morning (Did I mention that he had a 3,000+ mailing list), I walked my weary self to the venue.

Which brings me back to the 5 minute episode replay above.

Just the thought of: “Whatcha doin’ for the holidays?” Or, “You going anywhere?” was too much. 

I was exhausted.  I had a full 10 hours behind closed doors in a small, window-less office.  I was hungry.  I was parched.  Hadn’t had one beverage all day.  My head was pounding.  My eyes were hurting.  My fingers were tired.

And NOW, you wanted me to participate in small talk???

You must be out of your doggone mind.

Maybe I should have read this: “How to Navigate Your Company’s Holiday Party Like a Pro.”  Oh well.  *shrugs shoulders*

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What side of the fence are you on?

Thoughts on a company holiday party…

  • A must.  You never miss it — the food, the drinks, the camaraderie.  It’s a highlight of the season.
  • You know what? Just give me the money in my paycheck and you can scrap this phony baloney bogus love fest.

And while we’re at it, gift giving – gift accepting…

  • If it’s not “Secret Santa”, then don’t do it.  Exchange pleasantries and keep it moving.
  • Oh, I do it all the time!  So much fun!  Especially when I get a gift from the one of the “suits”.  Winning!

So incredibly humbling…a true meaning of shock and awe.

Have you experienced something that makes you wonder: “Oh my God. Why me?” but in a good way?  I had the shock of my professional life yesterday evening.

I won’t bore you with all the details, but this is really incredible.  I’ve had a rough two weeks at the office, culminating in two very, very disturbing incidences, the second of which involves a colleague completely attempting to discredit me professionally to the “Powers-That-Be”.  The original incident, which has not been settled, and the subsequent incident which amounts to who I’ll identify as the “Bus Driver” saving their behind at the expense of someone else (i.e. me), has been an eye-opening experience.  This has forced me to ask myself many serious questions.  It has been a real test during this holy season of Lent.  I’ve received very encouraging words from family, friends and my blogging and Twitter buddies, and for that, I am truly thankful.

Life can be so ironic.  Here I am dealing with a professional nightmare at the office, and the professional organization to which I belong and have been actively involved with for many years, bestows me with the honor of “Member of the Year” recognizing my work and commitment to the organization over the past year.  So incredibly humbling…a true meaning of shock and awe.   It made me so choked up and misty-eyed looking out at an audience of faces who in turn were looking back at me, clapping and cheering, and giving me positive energy and admiration.

You know that saying, “When God closes a door, He opens a window”?  That’s what I feel.  He probably knew I was at the end of my rope, at the end of putting up with nonsense and ready to simply do as I’d said in my post:  “It’s the 30% that gets you to the point of picking up your belongings, walking out the door and not looking back…”

After what happened last night in a crowded Manhattan hotel ballroom near Grand Central Terminal, with the recognition of my peers, I know there are good people in this world who are not “out to get me”, believe in me and appreciate what I do — even if I never, ever sought the attention or glory in the first place.

My confidence was shattered last week during the closed-door meeting at the office, but I’m regrouping.  I’m not an overly religious person.  You won’t hear me quoting chapter and verse, and I know when I get to the Pearly Gates, it’s going to be something else — believe me!  But they’ve been moments in my life — and this is one of them — where I have a profound belief in the words of “Footprints“:

One night I dreamed I was walking along the beach with the Lord.
Many scenes from my life flashed across the sky.
In each scene I noticed footprints in the sand.
Sometimes there were two sets of footprints,
other times there were one set of footprints.
This bothered me because I noticed
that during the low periods of my life,
when I was suffering from
anguish, sorrow or defeat,
I could see only one set of footprints.
So I said to the Lord,
“You promised me Lord,
that if I followed you,
you would walk with me always.
But I have noticed that during
the most trying periods of my life
there have only been one
set of footprints in the sand.
Why, when I needed you most,
you have not been there for me?”
The Lord replied,
“The times when you have
seen only one set of footprints,
is when I carried you.”

- Mary Stevenson