Wednesday 17 December 2014

Xmas Party season (Oh god, do I have to)

The drunken idiots that work at Byron Central Apartments.
In this picture taken early in the evening, everyone is at least standing upright.
The other day I was at work when Susanna, a work colleague, said, "Are you coming to the sausage sizzle?"
I replied, "Unlikely, as I'm a vegetarian, what's the occasion?"
To which she answered, "it's the work Chrissy party."
My mind lurched, 'god, is it that time of year again?', I said to myself. I looked down at the date stamp at the bottom of my computer screen, and saw that it was indeed the 15th of December, and so, yes it was Xmas party season.
I did end up going, though my consumption was kinda limited, as I don't eat meat, and I don't drink either these days. However, Susanna did ask me to go, which, since one of my most oft repeated complaints here in this blog, and at home alone watching television is that I don't have a social life. I went.
Actually now that I think about it, I don't really work here where I do my writing, I just sort of come in and sponge off the Byron Central Apartments network for my internet connection.
However, if you inhabit an office long enough, you sort of become involved, somewhat like a soap opera, in the lives and aspirations of those around you, and thus an invite to the staff party came my way.
It was held at Byron Bay Bowling club, and this club, like most others in the post-'smoking-is-banned' world, have had to turn to other sources of income, and thus they allow casual drunken idiots like us to have a bowl.
Showing my form while Susanna and Meggsie look on and laugh.
Anyway, we had a good time, and for many reasons (despite my caption above), no one drank too much.
Partly because everyone in this hippy town is on some sort of special spiritual diet/path/way of life, but also because here in the countryside, there is no public transport.
There are two parts to this, first, as there is no public transport, everyone has to drive, and secondly, due to the hideously expensive nature of Byron Bay, none of us lowly wage dogs can afford to live in town.
Scott the Boss lives up at Possum Creek, Meggsie the maitenance woman, lives in Clunes, 30 k away, Susanna, the receptionist lives in Mullumbimby, Elaine the cleaning supervisor lives also in Mullum.
So not much drinking went on, which I think is a good thing.
Partly because I'm a recovering alcoholic, but also because as I learned in the latter part of my life in the corporate world of Sydney, the annual Xmas party is a career threatening event.
It's the time of the year for photocopying your bum and faxing it to your boss.
I saw this happen one year while working for a large computer firm in Sydney, and I was most impressed that the disgruntled employee that did this rebellious act had the mental wherewithal to fax it from another part of the building, so that the boss couldn't immediately link it the employees partying in our part of the office.
We did wonder later when we got together in the new year whether the boss who received this most unwanted of faxes did examine the derriere pictured closely to see if they could decipher whose bum it was, but then we got on the juice and forgot all about it.
When we did come back to work in January, the bum-faxing employee was still employed, and so we gathered that the boss had not been able to figure out who it was.

It's also that time of year for having quick knee trembler with another staff member in the stationery closet.
Now this activity, is not technically illegal. However, the legality of the act (or otherwise), kind of depends of the marital status of the persons involved. And this broom or stationery closet act, invariably occurs because the people involved are married to other people and thus this is an opportunity for a bit of extra curricular naughtiness.
The logic here is that those who are married to each other, and work with each other, do not need to snatch a few stolen moments in the stationery cupboard as they have an entire house to cavort in.
If you do catch a couple involved in this drunken act at the Xmas party, the best thing to do is get a photo of them, and then if they are in any way above you on the work totem pole, use the picture as blackmail to further your own career and rise up the ladder.

The next thing that comes with Xmas party season is 'THE TRUTH!"
"THE TRUTH!" is that overwhelming desire to finally tell your boss what you f%^&-ing well think of their sorry arse.
All year you've had to cope with this mental pigmy ruining your life, and the office Xmas party, with a few free drinks under your belt seems like an ideal time explain a few things, as you see it, to your boss.
However I strongly caution you not to do this at the Xmas party, particularly if you have a mortgage and can't afford to lose your job.
If you really can't hold it back anymore, then it's time for you to get a new job.
Thus my advice for you is to get a new job, start it, then when two weeks have passed, and things are going well in your new place of work, phone up your old boss, and then let an air horn off into the mouth piece of the phone after asking them to listen closely.
The air horn will say it better than anything you can come up with verbally.

The closest that I came to THE TRUTH! was when I was working for a water cooler supply company in  North Sydney.
The boss was a brutal, fat, arrogant bully, whom I heartily detested.
He it was who would call all of us in the computer department into his office, tell us what he wanted done, then tell us how to do it technically, even though he was unqualified.
We would go away and do it, then when it didn't work, he would blame us, and threaten us with the sack for incompetence.
Man I loathed that arsehole.
Anyway, the Xmas party duly arrived and I made possibly the only good decision around drinking I ever made in that heavy drinking period of my life.
I could feel the rounds of temper rolling into the chamber, and knew if I had a few beers the desire to tell my boss THE TRUTH! would be uncontrollable, and so I decided not to drink at that party.
It stood me in good stead, as the boss returned late that Friday from an interstate trip, and called me into his office at six pm to discuss some technical matter. I think this was a power trip on his part, dragging me away from the Xmas party, but I handled it, largely due to my being (for once) sober at six pm on a Friday night.
Actually when I did follow my own advice and left that company, what happened was kind of amusing.
I had ceased talking with the fat controlling boss by this point, and had put all my energies into the new job search. I found one, and was due to start on the Monday with a new company in Sydney's CBD.
Due to the nature of contracting computer work at the time, you rarely gave notice, and this I didn't do. I got my ducks in a row at the new job, and kept drawing my pay from the water cooler company.
Then my last Friday came, and so I thought I had better tell the boss I was leaving.
I went around to his office, and spoke with his secretary, a lovely, matronly, middle-aged woman named Lee. "Hey Lee," I said, "is fatso here?", I said jerking my head in the direction of the fat controller's office.
"No," said Lee, "he's in Brisbane I think, and I'm not even sure when he'll be back."
"Oh," I said, somewhat non-plussed, "well, I'm quitting, and so I came to tell him that."
"Oh," replied Lee, "well when are you finishing up? Can you tell him next week?"
"Not really", I said, "I'm quitting now, starting new job Monday."
"Oh," said Lee again, "well, I'll leave a note for him to see when he comes in. I'd tell him myself, but I'm quitting today as well."
And so Lee and I walked out of the building late that Friday, and never looked back, either literally or metaphorically.
I would still love to know what the boss made of it when he did return to the office and found that the computer department was now unstaffed, and that even his secretary had left without a spoken word as well.

So over the Xmas party season, don't drink and drive, don't fax a picture of your bum to the boss, and don't, however much you wish for it, tell your boss THE TRUTH!
Wait till January, then let it rip from the phone on the desk at your new job.




You gotta stay focussed Lachlan!

This photo on the right shows my sink, seemingly with a kind of reverse snow storm bulging upward. It is of course, detergent, and clearly I had turned on the tap to do the washing up, then squirted the detergent in, and then got distracted.
What happened was that just as I began this process, my phone beeped and it was a message from Scott the boss and supervisor of the apartments that I live in.
I do a little work for him now and then, and this text was to do with work, and so I got involved in replying to his text. Then as I typed on my phone screen I began to notice a different noise, as of a kind of trickling, like water spilling into an underground cavern, heard from a distance.
When I looked up the foam was piled high in my sink and the water was trickling over and onto my kitchen floor.
I leapt across the gap and switched the tap off, then reached in and took the plug out, to let the water drain down to a manageable level.
Then I looked down at all the water running across my floor, and got out the mop and started to squeegee it up.
Once I started, I then realised that this a perfect opportunity to clean my floor, which I duly did.
So although the headline reads 'stay focussed', in the end this happy accident meant that I cleaned my floor.
Where does a year go, huh?









This ain't over.

And so finally to the youtube clip below.
It has nothing to do with Xmas party season, but it's another of my favourite Simpsons moments, and it came on the other night, so I was reminded to share it with you.
What happens in the plot is that Grandpa Simpson starts a fling with 'stone-cold hoochie', Zelda, played by Olympia Dukakis.
Grandpa and Olympia then flee to Branson Missouri, to have a fling. Now Branson Missouri is, as Homer describes it, 'like Vegas if it was run by Ned Flanders'.
Ned Flanders being an ultra-behaved christian.
Branson, Missouri is the place which repeatedly has the epitome of ultra-naff, Andy Williams, performing there.
That's how bad it is.
Anyway, Homer and the family head down to Branson to bring Grandpa back, but they get on the wrong bus, and end up in Bronson, Missouri.
Bronson, Missouri is populated entirely by Charles Bronsons. Wives, Mothers, fathers, kids, they're all Charles Bronson.
For those who don't know, Charles Bronson was the essence of the seventies TV tough guy.
Most notable for his starring role in the Death Wish series of movies. In which he played a sort of vigilante who solved all the ills of the world with extreme violence.
Anyway, for those who remember the wooden acting, and ultra-violence of Bronson on screen, enjoy this six-year-old Bronson asking his mother for some cookies.

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