Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Holiday Office Party

It’s Holiday Office Party time. 

Being a freelance worker person you wouldn’t think I’d get invited to a lot of Holiday Office parties, and you would be right…I don’t.

Not that I didn’t get invited to them in the past.  I did, but it got to a point where I would rather redeem bottles and cans at the supermarket all night than go to another Holiday Office Party.

See, most people—normal everyday working people—usually go to only one Holiday Office Party.  Maybe two if their spouse or significant other also has one.  But I would be invited to maybe 3 or 4 sometimes 5, mostly since as a “person of freelance,” I worked for several different entities at any given time. And each one would graciously have a party for their staff employees and a select group of freelancers and such, including the occasional actor or two. 

No one you would have heard of unless you were an aficionado of pharmaceutical clinical trial videos. 

So I guess that was always kind of nice; to be included in the select group of holiday invitees…part of the family, as it were.

And when these companies were small, and you worked closely with the owners and operators, it was actually a little like a family and kind of fun to get together for a nice holiday dinner and schmooze.

But now a lot of these small companies have merged or consolidated with bigger companies over time and the parties tend to be on the large impersonal side.  And if the event takes place in the actual office setting, which happens quite a bit in these cost cutting days, instead of a nice restaurant or club, like in the good old days….well, let me just say that sitting on someone's mouse, drinking eggnog doesn’t inspire a lot of holiday pleasurable as that might sound to some

And since you’re in an office setting, despite the twinkle lights and chintzy garland strung from the exit signs, and really have very little in common with a lot of the folks who have gathered in the name of Holiday goodwill, and yes, freelance politics, the only thing people can think to talk about is business. And who needs that; especially with a bottle of beer in my hands...not to mention the reindeer antlers on my head? 

I stopped drinking at these things quite some time ago; ever since I asked one of the big bosses, “Who hired the Wookie impersonator?” and was told that the Wookie was actually his wife who had a bad reaction to electrolysis.

Then there’s dealing with the actors, who are always performing and talking in deep over modulated voices…even the women.
Some even bring their own Teleprompters. 
When they ask you what you do, and you tell them that you sometimes write and produce and direct some of these pharmaceutical clinical trial videos then they really warm up to you, mostly because of the eggnog, and start treating you as if you can help them land their big breakout role in the upcoming bladder control study that they heard through the “grapevine” was in the pre-production “pipeline”. 

To be honest, this always amuses me, and I kind of  like being treated like a “person of import”, even though I have no idea what they’re talking about, so I usually just nod and smile and give them some pointers like, “I can’t say much, but drink as much water as you can over the next couple of months and get in touch with your over extended bladder. You might just have a leg up on the competition…so to speak….”

Then there are the other freelancers who are just as lost as you are, so they gravitate to you and of course, they too have to ask what you do.
  Often they will tell you that they do the exact same thing, and then you see the wheels start turning as they start to pump you for info as to what you’re working on and where, as they begin to develop a strategy to take the already measly amount of work you get in a given year, away from you. 
And, if only out of politeness, you respond in kind and ask what they’re doing now, they will assail you with a list of vague projects they’ve recently worked on, are working on, or hope to be working on soon…because I’ve never met a freelancer who doesn’t say they’re busy every day of the week, weekends included... especially weekends.

Later, when you run into them at the mall or on the beach in the middle of the day, they tell you they’re doing research or developing some ideas. You see, with freelancers, especially writers, process is everything.

So you can see why I might prefer, instead, to throw my own Holiday Office Party right here at my own little office.

But I find the Boss annoying, and way too critical and much too demanding. 

Plus he thinks he’s sooooo funny and sooooo clever…and there’s nothing more annoying than a person like that.

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