December 19 2009
Christmas parties in most buildings are sprinkled cookies and sparkling cider toasts. Not that many people come. I guess they figure if they don’t have enough to say to each other in the time it takes to come down in the elevator, how will they make it through a few hours with fellow tribesmen. But it doesn’t have to be that way. If you build it they will come – in droves. So what’s the secret?
FOOD – lots of it – an ecumenical repast of pastrami sandwiches to chow down on before you get to those cookies, plenty of fresh fruit, and crudite to sample in between, and a touch of the bubbly to wash it all down. At my building more people come to the party than go to the annual meeting. And each year they show up earlier and earlier in order to pile up their plates before the best stuff is gone.
When you have food stuffed in your mouth you really can’t talk anyway. But the amazing thing is that everyone does – the ruling caste, residents, and staff – for one night all of us on a equal footing.
One year someone decided to serve sushi instead. That didn’t go over big. Rice is nice, but raw fish doesn’t satisfy the primal craving for red meat that many of us have – PETA People excepted. But it made people come to the annual meeting – to complain. Sushi never showed it face again at our party.
Apart from commingling, one of the main reasons for the party is to dispense good cheer in the form of cash to all the people that make the building run. And the guys at ours are terrific. They have saved me from myself more times than I can count.
I admire those of my neighbors who have their red-enveloped money carefully pre-packaged and ready to go. I’m convinced they’re the ones with the spotlessly neat, hierarchically-organized desks. My desk is a mess. And I never have my gift-giving act together by party time, this year being no exception.
The key to enjoying yourself at the party is to hang out with the guys, who generally bring their own stash of beer, not a beverage generally served by wine-drinking tribesmen. Above all be careful not to discuss anything about what’s going on in your building because the festive mood could turn in an instant. And that would be a real shame because life in High Rise Society is pretty good. Cheers!