Thursday, April 26, 2012


I can handle small talk, in small doses.  I'm referring to the type of chit-chat generated between people who don't know each other well, and who aren't especially interested in getting to know each other better.  I don't mind a little banter about the weather, or witty repartee.  But my tolerance is limited.  After half an hour or so of shmoozing, I'm ready for it all to be over with already.

You can therefore imagine how enthusiastic I was about a work function at which I was expected to shake hands and make nice with almost-strangers for over three hours. 

I've never seen my workplace look more beautiful.  A large room was cleared of desks and equipment and converted into a reception hall.  There was a DJ, a buffet of hot food, servers circulating with hors d'oeuvres on trays, a bar at the entrance, and a bar at the rear.  There were rented chairs and tables, and little white candles everywhere.

The caterer did an excellent job.  The servers were unbelievably friendly and helpful.  With around 100 people in the room, a server approached me.  I was holding an empty glass.  He asked me if he could get me another orange soda.  I was so impressed that he remembered what I was drinking that I said "Yes, that would be great!" even though I didn't really need more soda.  I ended up holding a glass full of soda and ice cubes for the next hour.  It made my hands very, very cold.

One advantage of hosting an event on site instead of renting a facility is that I could go to my office every now and then to unwind.  I'd put my freezing soda glass down on my desk, close the door, and surf online for five or ten minutes.  Then I'd feel ready to go back out on the floor (soda in hand) to meet more humans wearing suits.

I wore a nice blouse, blazer, and pants. Most of the women in the office changed into dresses.  Just prior to the start of the event, they clustered together in front of the mirror sticking on their false eyelashes.  I got a few pointers on how to apply false eyelashes, on the offchance that I should ever want to wear them.  (I'll probably never be bothered.  My naturally stubby eyelashes will have to do.) 

A couple of the women were also stepping into brand-new pairs of high-heeled shoes, purchased specially for this event.  Me, I wore a nice pair of flats.  No way was I going to set myself up to be on my feet for hours in heels.  The next morning all the gussied-up ladies had blisters.  One of them had such sore feet that she had to take a painkilling pill in order to fall asleep.  I tell you, it's just not worth it.


Warped Mind of Ron said...

Heels aren't to bad it's those darn corsets that will hurt after a bit... ummm... not that I know... nevermind

DarcKnyt said...

Yikes! Painkillers to sleep through foot pain?! No thanks! Sounds like a nice thing to be able to slip away and come back later. Nice! We don't have many soirees at my office, but that sounds like it was fun.

LL Cool Joe said...

I've never really understood the appeal of high heels on women. I know some men love them, but I find it unappealing to see a woman tottering around the place. Apart from Kylie of course. :D

Jenski said...

I've never felt like gluing fake eye lashes to my eye lids...and I'm much too practical to wear ridiculous heels...particularly for work in my line of work.

Also, I think it's awesome that you can do things like this now (even if it was work related)!

Jameil said...

Heels are worth it sometimes. But NOT for work functions! I love a good caterer! I usually just deal with my eye stubs known as lashes as well. I wore falsies for the first time at Halloween and loved them! I'll definitely be doing that again! I thought I'd wear them for my wedding but it was too much unlike myself.

DarcsFalcon said...

I remember watching my sister put on the false eyelashes circa 1972. Ripping them off after dates looked painful so I never was much interested in trying them, lol. :)

I think you scored a major advantage, being able to duck out for a few minutes of personal air. Awesome for those more introverted types who get drained by excess socializing.

New heels to a party? Oh no! That's for the comfy shoes if you're going to be on your feet for any length of time! Sounds like your co-worker learned a valuable lesson. I hope her feet are better now.

Sounds like it was a fun event overall. :)

Granny Annie said...

Chit-chat is definitely NOT my thing either and I believe it is both a waste of time and money. Do the customers even like it really? Couldn't we just mail them all a pack of shrimp to eat in the comfort of their homes and save everyone the agony?

Sparkling Red said...

Ron: My goodness! So, does Scooter help you lace up your corset? I hear one needs help to get it properly tight.

DarcKnyt: It was as fun as a work event can be, which is not super-fun, but not terrible.

LL Cool Joe: I agree. Very few women know how to walk elegantly in heels. I can appreciate the shoes themselves as objets d'art, but they don't always look great when they're put to use.

Jenski: You don't go for the sexy scientiest look? Hair in a bun and that can easily be shaken down into a luxuriant mane, and stilettos to go with your pipettes?

Jameil: I've never tried false eyelashes. Since I've already given up on the bother of contact lenses, it's likely I'll never try. False eyelashes with glasses would be a silly combination.

DarcsFalcon: Oh, I think it's going to take a few days for my coworkers' feet to heal. Both of them stand all day as part of their jobs, too, so it's doubly awful that their feet are all messed up.

Granny Annie: I love your idea! I'm totally tabling that at the next party planning meeting. "I vote for mailing out packets of shrimp instead. Who's with me?"

Lynn said...

Sounds like a lovely party. And I'm with you on the heels - never again.

raisingahappyfamily-momof8 said...

I am definitely on your program! flats all the way, every day!!
I am your newest follower..pls follow back if you can.

G. B. Miller said...

I don't do much in the way of chit-chat at anything. I simply observe and listen. A lot more safer.

And fun. :D

Emma Gorst said...

I wore fake eyelashes on my wedding day. I got used to them after a while. They're certainly glam :-) but not for the faint of heart!