Attended my company’s annual dinner last night. As far as I can recall, I don’t think my first employer (also in publishing) had an annual dinner; my second employer (an education outfit) had an annual Christmas party, which was fun in its once-in-a-year way. Last night’s dinner was held in a hotel ballroom, with a wedding banquet menu, sans shark’s fin. Not overwhelmingly formal, despite my earlier concern at having to gussy up for it, but loads of money was definitely splashed.
The festivities began with an open mahjong session (played a bit, which was quite fun cos almost everyone was learning the game and no money was involved), mini game stalls (I failed at velcro darts, argh), and cocktails (I think I OD-ed on OJ). After the obligatory dinner speeches (bilingual and set against the undulating white noise of bored chatter), there were raffle draws (I didn’t win nuthin’!) and prize-givin’ galore (my team won a hefty number, but ’twas for work I wasn’t involved in — didn’t stop me from bundling onstage a few times though). I won second prize for guessing the winner of something a while ago, but I’m not sure what the prize is. Probably lunch money.
Had quite a raucous time overall, probably cos I was wildly cheering on people for this and that. Whooping and clapping incessantly can bring on a high — the resultant influx of oxygen, maybe. No one got drunk and vomited, so that was a big plus, though I think I encountered a paper bag of the stuff on the MTR home … People were generally determined to have a good time, shedding their office-hours demeanour for the night. However, I honestly think that some people can be rather creepy when they’re “in the moment”. Oh yeah, and I kept a party hat and a feather boa on all night (didn’t arrive with either, all right), for reasons unknown (maybe cos the hat was light and shiny; the boa was duty-bound). If you’ve ever got a dose of me in a strange yet buoyant mood, yep, it was there last night.
Daytime was pretty fun too — my department had a Secret Santa gift exchange, where you draw lots to get something of an equivalent value for someone specific. I got a rich red scarf outta it. Nice. I’d pieced my gift together from Randy Pausch’s lecture on time management, but I think my gift-recipient might have misunderstood it as a strong hint that he needs to work on managing his time better. Well, don’t we all?! Ahem. Yester-day was good too cos it was GLiu’s birthday/team lunch, but I spoilt it for myself by choosing macaroni and cheese. I’m lowering my lactose intolerance steadily.
I shall leave you with two links to two impressive teachers — will make you warm, fuzzy and hopeful, just in time for Christmas:
May the blessings of Christmas be with you and your family!