A few years ago I went to one of those company Christmas parties. It was held at a hotel and there were hundreds of employees, so I was able to sneak in even though I had been working for the competition for at least a couple of months. No one cares in the slightest whether you should be there or not, everyone is too excited that day to think about little details like that. The party consisted of a dinner, a raffle, and a dance. In other words, the party consisted of criticizing the menu, criticizing the raffle gifts, and getting drunk as dogs to forget about all of the above.
Sitting with my former colleagues, the conversation was a drag. The idiot assistant marketing manager kept wanting to impress the CEO’s niece by talking to her about aeronautical engineering, which is the typical topic everyone is eager to talk about at a party. Until dessert, everything was tedious, with the exception of company veteran Mr. Rodriguez, who mistook his blood pressure pills for sleeping pills, and nodded off over the consommé, blowing bubbles in the soup through his nose. The story was a hit on Instagram, but since Rodriguez doesn’t even have a cell phone, he never realized that he had become a worldwide celebrity. So, when some cute Instagrammer would ask me on social media if Rodriguez worked with me, I would immediately answer yes, and, if she was cute enough, I would even offer her unpublished photos of Rodriguez sleeping in other locations (in a meeting, in a bathroom, at the funeral of the former CEO…). If asked by some male freak eager to get the original video to trump the school parents WhatsApp group, my answer was, “No, I don’t work in that dump anymore and I never met the old man.”
At the end of the dinner, two comedians came out on stage and hosted the raffle. Between the two of them, they were as funny as a mosquito bite in the eye. A giant mosquito with malaria. That’s where you would discover the personality of each employee. Normal people yawned. The proactive people shook their heads and sent messages to some manager asking what idiot hired these two undertakers. And the brown-nosers cracked up with phony laughter as soon as they noticed the CEO smiling at some joke.
At the gift-giving, I got a pocket document shredder, which was great, I guess, for clipping my toenails. Then I took the opportunity to lock myself in the bathroom to smoke a cigarette, setting off the hotel’s fire alarms, which led everyone to believe that the company had paid for extra Christmas lighting. Still, I failed to convince the head of human resources to pay me for my contribution to employee job satisfaction. He was the guy who, whenever you went to ask for a raise, would say, “Did I tell you that my mother fell down the stairs, that my car was stolen with my wife in it, that my son didn’t get into college, and that we just discovered a tumor found in my cat’s tail?”
The fun part was the dancing. Obviously, we all wanted to hit on Pauline, a very blue eyed girl of French descent, with blonde, short hair, and dressed sixties style, like the back cover of a Beatles album. When I saw the head of marketing trying to back her into a corner, I had to act. I went up to him and said, “I just saw your wife standing there at the door asking if the party’s over. She’s come as a surprise with your fourteen kids!” Naturally, he is neither married nor does he have children, but Pauline scuttled away from him faster than if he had told her he had coronavirus.
I spent the rest of the party trying to buy Pauline a drink. Mission impossible: drinks were on the house and even the office cheapskate was inviting her. I managed to talk to her and my formal conversation didn’t interest her in the least. So I decided to tell her that I no longer worked there and that I had actually crashed the party. Suddenly a smile of interest flashed across her face. I was making headway. You see, the bad boy still comes across more attractive. Then they wonder why their relationships always go awry.
Pauline turned out to be pretty, but with less conversational skills than a bean bag. So I ended the party dancing with the CEO’s wife, which is just the sort of thing you do when you’ve had too much to drink and you know you can’t get fired from the company you don’t work for.
This year I still haven’t decided which party I’m going to crash. Pauline’s new boyfriend does karate, so I fell out of love almost as fast as I lost interest in repeating party. The one at the White House looks good, but I may just die if they bring Amanda Gorman back to recite poetry. My friends at The American Spectator, after this article, won’t be inviting me (Auribus teneo lupum). And, for reasons that escape me, neither Ivanka nor Tiffany Trump have invited me to their parties either, so far. So, if you see me at your office Christmas dinner stealing canapés and winking at the interns, remember to greet me discreetly. To recognize each other the code is: three short sips from your wine glass and a gentle pinch on the nose. Yours, not mine.
Itxu Díaz is a Spanish journalist, political satirist, and author. He has written nine books on topics as diverse as politics, music, and smart appliances. His most recent book is Todo Iba Bien. He is a contributor to the Daily Beast, the Daily Caller, National Review, the American Conservative, The American Spectator, and Diario Las Américas in the United States, and is a columnist for several Spanish magazines and newspapers. He was also an adviser to the Ministry for Education, Culture, and Sports in Spain. Follow him on Twitter at @itxudiaz or visit his website: www.itxudiaz.com.
Translated by Joel Dalmau