Saturday, December 21, 2013

Holiday Nipping

Last week I attended the fifth holiday party since I joined the practice. I've made a tradition of reporting on them here, as those in the invisible audience will note.  I almost didn't make this one, the reason for which I'll explain in that other December Lamplight Drivel tradition, the Year End Summary.  What would I have missed?

Nothing especially memorable. Unlike work parties of Christmas Past, there were no inebriated soliloquies or displays of lasciviousness. Oh, there was plenty of alcohol flowing, much of it Irish beer. It had been a while since I had a Black & Tan.  This year the gathering took place at a longstanding establishment where the Sons of Eire (and those who love them) congregate for a very cozy atmosphere and some decent food and seriously strong Irish coffee. My little souvenir seen above comprised much of that beverage, which was so potent I had to dilute with more coffee.  I've become such a lightweight.

I mainly hung with the audiologist from our satellite office. I only get to see her a few times a year, so there's always much to catch up on. She's had a busy 2013: got married (and became a stepmom three times over) and lost her father. My wife and I joined the newlyweds at their home a few months back for a lovely dinner. She married a psychologist who had endless recounts of patient behavior. He also likes to cook.

Back to the holiday party. It was fun, but there was nowhere to dance. We did the white elephant gift thing. I received a Red Lobster gift card. Towards the end, a rather fascistic waitress began breaking down tables around us to set up for the next group. She uttered things that we weren't supposed to hear. Not very professional, lady.

Most of the staff attended. There were notable absences: those who left during this eventful year. One quit last month after 7 years of service in the billing department. The other was let go after a decade as administrator. It's a long story I can't recount here, but it was fairly depressing. It also made me think of the last 5 parties, and all those who've moved on. Do they still wonder what happens at our shindig? How they've become mellower and mellower? Not necessarily a bad thing, but certainly nothing for the history books. Maybe we needed more Jameson.

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