Sole trader Christmas party

December 18, 2012 at 5:48 am | Posted in Short Story | 2 Comments
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Graham Christmas Small

You put these parties on and people make a mockery of them …

I work alone from my home office. Running your own business is great, but it can make you a bit paranoid.

Last year was tough and, as my only employee, I really carried the can.

When December came, I felt a party was needed to reward effort and boost morale.


I asked for volunteers to form a committee. Naturally, I was the only one who gave a damn. After squabbling over the budget, I decided not to allow partners.

I couldn’t agree on a venue, so opted to have the party at the office. I did the invite myself, after the printer said he couldn’t be bothered with such a small run.

The name tags didn’t take long either.

The RSVPs came back straight away, with 100% acceptance. I took it as a good omen.

I ordered light beer (someone had to look out for company liability) and a variety of appetisers. Even those horrible spurty asparagus vol-au-vents that burn your mouth.

I sourced a Portaloo in case there was a queue.

Anyone who’s organised a party knows what a time-consuming and thankless task it is. My sole reward for chairing the committee was that I got to choose where I sat.


I’d booked a limo for the night, but was the only one to cough up his share. It cost a fortune, since some idiot got the address wrong.

I arrived late because I didn’t want to be uncool. Even so, the cook, waiter, barman and DJ were the only people present. They seemed to be having a pretty good time.

The smoke, strobes and balloons were disorienting. I put up with it, recalling that I too had been young once. I’d authorised a taxi voucher, so I figured it was safe to have a tipple.

The barman gave me a drink with a funny name. It didn’t taste like beer, wine or orange juice.

The theme was Fun with Fur. I was disappointed when I saw another koala in the bathroom. Whoever it was must have also been upset, since they stayed there all night and wouldn’t talk to me.

The DJ refused to play my request, so I went outside to join the party games. I might be the boss, but I’m not aloof.

The limbo competition was a dead loss and blind man’s bluff took forever, but I won every other event except the three legged race (there were odd numbers).

The dinner was fine, though the Christmas crackers were impossible and some prankster rearranged the name cards. I ordered chicken but got beef and no one would swap. That’s gratitude!

In my speech I thanked everyone for coming. Despite having the best sales figures, I didn’t get a bonus; I’m so tight.

I did a quick change into Santa; I don’t think anyone realised it was me. Kris Kringle was a giveaway, but at least I got what I wanted. I even won the door prize.

The dessert wafers were so small, the waiter put two of them straight on my tongue. I left the party an hour later so as not to cramp my style.

Once I was gone, I really cut loose.

I did a skit taking the piss out of the boss. No one laughed – out of respect I guess. When the DJ played Time Warp and Nutbush City Limits, everyone danced in time.

I fired up the jukebox when the DJ left, but someone chose the same song seven times. I quite like the Nolan Sisters, but I felt for those who didn’t.

I tried a conga line but it didn’t catch on, so I grabbed the company video camera.

I couldn’t find anyone to film except the koala in the bathroom, who also happened to be filming.

When the hired help had gone, I went outside for a ciggie. No one would let me back in and I had to smash a window. The cops came; then the fire brigade.

Some fool had butted out on my tree fern.

At least there were no gate crashers.


Now I always front for work no matter how much I’ve drunk but I almost couldn’t face myself the next morning.

No one offered to help clean up and the only bright moment was when a bunch of thank-you flowers came.

You put these parties on and people make a mockery of them. Next year someone else can organise the damn thing.

Come to think of it, I might even take myself off the guest list!


Brought to you by Imagine Day the book.

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