Company Holiday Party(ies)
Ok, let's try this again. I'll try not to lose this post before it makes it to the warm and cozy Home away from Home, otherwise known as SQL Server.
So I had two parties to go to in one night. One is for my company, Statera, and the other is for my current client. This was unfortunate as I pretty much had an obligation to attend both, which means that at best I could accomplish only half of each main goal I had for a given party. For my company party my goal was to mingle with folks that I hadn't met yet, as well as build on some existing relationships. For my clients party my goal was to build on some existing relationships...with cute girls.
Yeah, I'm a professional.
Let's face it, when a client wants you out of their company there comes a point when there's nothing you can do about it and you need to start falling back on the primal instincts that got the human race to where it is today. Don't get me wrong...I'm sure they would love to keep me around. It just comes down to a budget game. In this particular budget game, the Consultant is one of the first to lose. I'm actually pretty happy about that as a change is welcome. I've been there since February working on pretty much the same application and it will be nice to move on to something new.
Oh yeah, the parties. So at the Statera party things were a bit different than what I had imagined. The company had invited a bunch of their clients. This meant two things to me (as I would realize later): First, there would be a lot of people there that I didn't know. Second, most of the people I did know would be hob-nobbing with the clients. This pretty much eliminated any opportunity I had to accomplish my main goal as most of the folks I wanted to talk to I would either never see or would see but only be able to discuss things relating to whichever client they were standing next to at the time. I suppose this is an ideal situation for the company as they get to build relationships with our clients, and that's great. I just don't think a company party is where you try to do that. A company party should be used to celebrate the holiday's with folks you go to battle with and reward the employees in the company.
Don't get me wrong, it wasn't all bad. The food was excellent, the drinks plentiful, the music entertaining, and the service terrific. I would have been more than happy to stay there all night and just mingle, but I did have another engagement.
After a 15 minute walk and 5 minute drive, I arrived at party number 2 for my client. This one was being held at Ocean Journey, a local aquarium that has had some financial issues. They were actually recently bought by Landry's, which is a seafood restaurant chain. Kind of ironic (or convenient?). Anyway, this party was more of what my idea of a company party should be. All employees socializing with other employees that they don't normally hang out with and with the opportunity to brown nose with the higher-ups. The company has quite a few attractive young ladies working in various positions, some of which I get to interact with on a daily basis and others I don't. I was hoping this would be an opportunity to mingle with those that fall in the later category. Especially since my “Little Red-Haired Girl” is in this category.
If you're not familiar with the “Little Red-Haired Girl” from Charlie Brown, she's essentially his dream girl. He always shy's away and never really gets a chance to talk to her. Oh, and she has red hair. Well, my version doesn't have red hair and I don't really have a hard time talking to her (does that essentially destroy the analogy?), but she is never the less my dream girl.
As luck would have it, I did get the opportunity to talk with her. I guess I'll make a long story short here and just say that it didn't get much past that. I was hoping to meet up with her at the after-party-party, but that didn't happen. She went her separate way. I'm sure I could be a bit more direct with her, but in the whole co-worker situation it can get a bit hairy so I'm not going to force the issue.
That's about it. A few drinks at a bar afterwards with a couple of the co-workers and off to bed I went. All in all it was an entertaining evening, and well worth the time spent.