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The last employer paid holiday party I attended was in 1985, when I worked for a weekly newspaper in Old Saybrook, CT. We actually got a free meal, drinks, a band, the whole thing. Since then, not very much. At the New Haven Register, the staff decided to take matters into its own hands. We did a potluck thing every year, with food lining tables in the conference room, congealing throughout the day. It was pretty dreadful.

I've never worked at a company that held a holiday party for employees. And Christmas bonus? Not a one. (I did work at a company one Thanksgiving where we were all given a turkey.)

Oh man, West Coast Christmas parties in the advertising business were legendary. Full on sit down dinners, bands, choreographed stage performances with employees in costume and the staged propped, the receptionist splayed out on the table at the end of the night with the Head of Finance and the Art Director both slobbering over her. Think Mad Men, with the Golden Gate Bridge in the background.

Umm...this seriously freaked me out and I'm not sure I'm going to recover.

My parents are named Bob and Betty.

Even in these rather sedate times, ad agencies still throw better parties than business in general.

But they're very different than they were 30 years ago.


Sorry to say that the Jersey Shore cast did not show at our office party. I blame the last minute venue change...

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