Ted Wilson Reviews the World: An Office Holiday Party

★★★☆☆ (3 out of 5)

Hello, and welcome to my week-by-week review of the world. Today I am reviewing an office holiday party.

One of the benefits of being a senior citizen is that people are reluctant to judge you when you do something socially unacceptable. For instance, when you show up at a party to which you were not invited, it’s rare that someone will ask you to leave. Instead they assume you are lost or lonely and take pity on you. When I came across an office holiday party last night I was both lost and lonely, but that was unrelated to why I stayed. I stayed to review it.

I missed the name of the business I had wandered into, but from the looks of it it was a real estate agency. I say this because there was a picture of a house on the wall and it wasn’t my house which isn’t for sale, so all the pieces seemed to fit.

Having never been to a modern office holiday party, this one was not as crazy as I expected. No one seemed very drunk, no one quit in a fit of rage, and no one photocopied their butt. I kept walking past the supply closet and opening the door, expecting (not hoping — I’m not a pervert) to find people having sex but it was empty every time. I tried leaving the door partially open with a condom on the floor, but no one took the bait.

It was clear who the boss was, because she handed the cleaning lady a $10 bill when she walked in and then the boss asked everyone to give a round of applause to Grace. It was awkward because then Grace still had to clean and everyone avoided speaking to her. I tried striking up a conversation with her but I abruptly halted when she asked, “Who are you and what are you doing here?” I could see why no one spoke to her. She asked too many questions.

Everyone’s favorite person at the party was Alejandro. He kept patting me on the shoulder and calling me buddy. He smiled a lot and seemed very interested in everything I had to say. I like when people seem to care, even if it’s fake. As long as I can’t tell the difference that’s all that matters. He said we should get together sometime but he offered no concrete details.

The most exciting moment was the Secret Santa gift exchange. Unsurprisingly no one had gotten me anything, so I gave myself a stapler I found in a desk drawer. It’s not stealing if it’s Christmas. Everyone seemed to love the gifts they received, and Grace seemed happy to have the gift of a job and to clean up all the wrapping paper.

The night ended without incident and everyone got in their cars and drove home, except for me because I was still lost and just gave up and stayed in a hotel.

Over the 45 minutes I had been at this office party I had grown to feel like these people were family, and it made me sad to say goodbye, knowing I wouldn’t see them at work today and that they weren’t hiring.

BEST FEATURE: The bowl of punch was delicious. I drank over a gallon of it.
WORST FEATURE: The small, fake Christmas tree was the only decoration.

Please join me next week when I’ll be reviewing Mt. Everest.

More Like This

Poetry, Flash Fiction, and Graphic Narrative for Every Holiday Experience

From the archives of The Commuter, we bring you a smorgasbord of reading material for whatever kind of holiday you're having

Dec 30 - Recommended Reading

Our Favorite Essays and Stories About Home

8 writers consider the question "what does it really mean to go home?"

Dec 26 - Gnesis Villar

Could the Three Ghosts of Christmas Save the Scrooges of the Trump Era?

Why "A Christmas Carol" is especially poignant today

Dec 24 - Reina Hardy
Thank You!