Tuesday, November 22, 2011
o Christmas tree
Welcome to the holiday season, a time of warmth, generosity, togetherness, and 'Christmas Parties'. Every year between November 15th and December 24th I want to quit my job, crawl in a hole and weep until it's all over.
I've posted before about large groups but that does not even begin to express my feelings about restaurant filling, pre-booked, pre-ordered, set menu monster-sized parties. I'm crying a little even now as I anticipate the coming month.
First off, if you ordered in advance for your dinner, DO NOT switch at the last minute. Just because your friend's choice looks better than yours does not entitle you to change at the last moment. This will result in someone else getting the wrong meal (imagine if half the people in your group did this?), which will cause the kitchen to back-up and have to re-cook a dozen meals and throw out the dozen they already made. Not nice, eat what you ordered for the love of Santa!
Second, drink in moderation. Yes, you're spending time with a bunch of people you don't like at the best of times (family/coworkers) so you may want a little social lubricant. But be careful, too many candy cane martinis could result in serious tongue-wagging embarrassment.
Third: as mentioned in the other post, pay attention to your server. Make a mental note of who they are (note: the young thin blonde and the older brunette are not the same person) and pose your questions and requests to that server. Be patient, there are a lot of you who all want things at the same time; The night is young there is plenty of time to get drunk.
Inevitably, most Christmas parties get a little rowdy and by the end of the evening the ever present guest list breaks down like this: There is, without fail, at least one male in the group who feels it is his calling in life to get impossibly drunk and inflict himself on the female staff. There is often a puker - who of course never reaches the bathroom in time and leaves their festive present "discreetly" in a napkin or under one of the tables. Don't forget the unhappy employee/unrequited lover who ends the night loudly complaining about their boss/lover to anyone who will listen - inevitably ending in tears and drama and refusal to get in the cab to go home. Of course the lingerers are a common occurrance as well. These are the people who hang on to the bitter end after everyone has left, they keep the staff, who try to reset around them without much success, hours later than necessary. Last but not least, the boss/coordinator/head of the family who is in charge of paying the bill has always overspent on the event itself and cheaps out on the tip.
This year at your Christmas party, get into the spirit of giving; give the gift of good behaviour to your restaurant staff this holiday season!