Wednesday, December 03, 2003

The busy girl buys beauty

If I were to start a whole new journal, I'd name it "The busy girl buys beauty" from the Billy Bragg song of the same name. It's been totally stuck in my head for the whole day. Can't get rid of it.

Aaah Billy Bragg. My favourite Labour Party Leftist Liberal Troubador. I do love me some Billy Bragg. How 'bout you?

On the flip side of things I love me some Toby Keith too.

I have what I refer to as a fair and balanced turntable. Heh. That'd be a fun mix tape. A mess of Toby Keith boot up your ass America's pissed songs backed up with Billy Bragg's unemployment life on the dole I'm a striking mine worker in the mid 1980s in England protest songs.

I've been a mess lately. Busy with everything. Busy with running around and doing work related stuff and dealing with the kids. I've had a hell of a busy work week, which will culminate in the holiday party that I've been spending ever living breathing moment of my life planning for the last month, which no one at my company is coming to willingly.

I'm serious.

People are being FORCED to come by their managers. And they're all pissed because they don't WANT to go to a holiday party.

As of Wednesday of last week, 10 people had signed up. Of those four were solo, six were bringing a guest... for a total of 16 attendees. Nice. That was the RSVP deadline, so at noon I sent an email to the president of the company and asked him if he still wanted me to throw the damn party (not in those words).

He pulls my boss into his office and implies in no uncertain terms that I am not "selling" the party enough.

The hell I'm not! That week and the week before I went up to every person individually and personally and told them to come to the party, handed them an RSVP, told them it was going to rock them like a proverbial hurricane if they were there and make them feel like they missed the greatest thing EVER if they blew it off.

Most everyone just rolled their eyes at me and said, "Nah, it's on a Friday night. I don't go to company parties on a Friday night."

Now, hit the rewind button on my life and let's go back to September, shall we? When I was told that I was to arrange this festivus. I was told "Pick a Friday or Saturday night, not after December 17th." Right. December 17th was the date my boss S was going overseas for the holidays, so she wanted to be able to come to the party. That left me with December 5, 6, 12, or 13 to work with.

Most everywhere was booked on the 13th. I struck out with every location that I called. Our president, he had other plans on the 6th. That left me with the 5th or 12th. I informed my boss it'd be on a Friday. She ran it up the chain of command. They blessed it. So I pick a hall, line up the caterer, and we go with December 5th because the hall and caterer are both available that night.

Mind you -- this is now mid September. About 11 weeks ago. I send out communication to the masses that the party is on Dec. 5th, a Friday, and not a single person says anything.

I hang up signs in the plant where folks who don't have email can see it, and not a single person says anything.

Until last week.

"Why's the party on a Friday? Why's the party so early in the year?"

??? Excuse me? I went with the date I could work with, our President, the Director of HR, the Plant Manager and the VP of Ops blessed it. Why didn't you voice opinion 11 weeks ago when I could have done something different.

"Well, this is the first time in the 16 years I've been here that the party has been on a Friday, so I'm not going."

"I don't like to go out after working from 7am. I just want to go home."

"Why didn't you book the party on December 20th?"

"Why are we having it there? Why not at the dog track in Seabrook New Hampshire. It's very very nice."

--on that last one, fuck the dog track in fucking Seabrook New Hampshire. I don't care if it is the fucking Taj Fucking Mahal, I'm not having a corporate function at a dog track in New Hampshire. Who the hell would have thought of THAT one!

"Is there going to be Spanish music at this party? I'm not going if I can't dance to something I want to listen to."

-- uh, not unless anyone requests it. Are you requesting some Spanish music. If so, give me some artists and I'll talk to our DJ. And I'm sure the Laotians and the Cambodians are going to enjoy your spanish music as much as I will.

I realized that I can't make everyone happy. I realized that even if I booked the party on a Saturday night, I would have gotten "I spend five days a week with these people, why do I want to spend my one free night in the weekend at this thing."


Anyway -- our president and the manager of customer service went out into the plant to drum up support.

All the Cambodian girls were pissed because they wouldn't have time to go home and change for the party (uh, neither will the people who work until 5:30, like my boss A, who is going to get dressed in the restroom at the office). So they wanted to go home an hour early WITH PAY. And THEN they'd come to the party.

The plant manager got wind of this and came down on them like an overturned tractor trailer on an icy road.

So now they're not coming. Fine. Whatever.

As of the time I left today, there are now 48 total attendees signed up. Last year there were 65. There are 100 employees in our company. Most of the attendees are from the corporate office, only three people from the plant are coming. I guess after I left on Friday my boss got embroiled in a huge argument with everyone about how we ended up having the party booked on a Friday night in the first place and she wasn't in on the planning stage, S was. (S has since resigned and left, leaving us with this big mess. This big huge mess). So Monday morning I got scolded and lectured and "In the past we've always done it on a Saturday, how'd you pick a Friday" lectured, and I wanted to put my boot up someone's ass.

Not A's mind you -- it's not her fault. She's right. In the past we've always done it on a Saturday. But, no one told me that. I was told to pick a Friday or a Saturday. We'll have our party, those coming will have a good time, I swear to it on my mother's eyes and her nicotine filled lungs, and I will immediately book the party for next year on a Saturday night. If I'm still there, I'll throw them yet another fucking awesome party. If I'm not, at least they'll have the Saturday.

It is what it is. We've got what we've got. And I'm getting fucking shitfaced at this party.

Today I made centerpieces for the tables. I'm so damn Martha Stewart. Actually, most of the idea I stole from Meg at meish, in a photo that she took last year of fairy lights in a beer glass. I liked that look so much, so I decided I would recreate it. I went to crate & barrell while my parents were here (they have an outlet store in Kittery, ME) and bought 12 British Pint glasses. I got 12 strings of battery operated fairy lights from Honey (Baby Ben's mom), and 24 little bendable star thingies to make into wreaths for the bottom of the glass.

A and I wrapped the star thingies around the glasses today. This evening I drove down to get the fairy lights from Baby Ben's mom. I walked in more than half expecting him to run the other way, but he was so happy to see me.

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