Are we having fun yet?

It is about four in the afternoon and the works Christmas party is well under way. Our offices belong to a “campus” with six office buildings around a central open area. We have lawns, trees, a couple of ponds and a little waterfall.

Currently it has been decorated in a sort of seaside theme (although we are nowhere near the sea) with lots of beach umbrellas, beach balls and a couple of fake bathing huts. Coloured banners are flapping on the flagpoles. Various food facilities and bars have been set up under canvas and there is a portable stage with band.

I should have brought my camera, or at least got a phone with a decent camera and memory card on it. So we’ll have to make do with word pictures instead. It certainly is an uplifting sight.

There is bunting and some of the beachballs are hanging like lanterns from the trees. It is a warm day but a breeze is blowing so it’s not too uncomfortable. Oh yes, and there is one little ride thingie which has a mechanical surfboard in it. You balance on it and it moves up and down, faster and slower. Doesn’t look much fun to me but then I’m not a surfer.

Crowds are milling. Admittedly at the moment they are mostly queuing for food and/or drink but undoubtedly they will mill more effectively in an hour or so. I believe the party is scheduled to go on into the evening. Special buses and wheelbarrows are being provided for the incapacitated.

So I have to ask myself, why am I sitting in the first floor lounge of Building F, overlooking everything through large sheets of tinted glass rather than being out there having a good time?

The question contains the answer. I do not regard it as being a good time. It is sad, perhaps, but I never have. While I love socialising with friends at dinner parties, gaming sessions or just chilling out I dislike crowds of people, particularly people I am quite happy to interact with at work but about whom I desire no further knowledge. I could claim to be recovering from a virus (which is true) so I might be more willing to play along if I wasn’t feeling so stuffed but I suspect not. Call me a curmudgeon. No, go on. Feel free.

I know I’m not the only one. Various people are still at their desks, working or pretending to do so. However most of these are people with whom I do not wish to be identified. Surely I’m not as weird and asocial as they are?

So I have compromised. I have left my desk and am almost part of the crowd, albeit behind a window about four metres above it. My chair is comfortable, there is just enough party noise to make me feel I am vaguely part of things and it is quite cool. Every so often someone that I am keen to avoid walks past outside, re-inforcing how sensible my choice has been.

If this joy of avoiding parties (there must be a word for it in some language) was a recent development I might be worried and take a trip to the doctor. Alas, it is a chronic condition which has been with me as long as I can remember.

The worrying thing is, I like being safely behind tinted glass. It feels like being at the zoo although I’m not sure whether I’m outside the cage or inside.

In a little while, people will start getting drunk and unpleasant and I will take the opportunity to go home. Pathetic really.

This entry was posted on Sunday, December 13th, 2009 at 10:00 am and is filed under And furthermore.... You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Both comments and pings are currently closed.


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