Friday, December 16, 2011

Pleasure before business

Despite my first official day at my new job not being until January 2, my new coworkers were still kind enough to invite me to their holiday party, held today at 1:30.

While I am loath to attend parties, I knew this one was vital to my future social success, so I sucked up my fears and RSVP'ed yes. I bolstered my enthusiasm by allowing myself to wear a pretty swell outfit that will no doubt make an appearance in The Unfashionista blog sooner or later.

Surprisingly, the party was pretty enjoyable. I think I'm going to like my new coworkers! Even during the first part of the party, when eating and conversation dominated the activities, I didn't feel a touch of social anxiety. And once the organized games got into full swing, I felt perfectly at home. Ahh, organized games. They take the edge off of any social occasion. I am happy to be joining the ranks of what seems to be a pretty nerdy group (to whom silly games are an acceptable segment of the annual holiday party). Hooray!

It didn't hurt that I actually won one of the organized games! I was initially disheartened to learn that most of the games seemed to require a certain threshold of coordination (aim, dexterity, etc.) which I utterly failed to reach. But I have stubbornness to spare, and in the game where the object was to hold two candy canes on your fingertips with your arm out parallel to the table until it collapsed from exhaustion, I won! Yeah! Five points for Valerie!

I also learned two delightful things about the University that were hitherto unknown to me. (1) All employees of the University receive their own iPad, to use as long as they remain employed by the University. My iPad was presented at the end of the night in the form of a very rigged grand prize drawing. Woohoo! I've been thinking maybe it's time to get myself a tablet, and now I don't have to think about that any longer. (2) Staff of the University get a Christmas vacation! It may only be a week, but I was expecting a maximum of one day. So if I last a full year here, I get a free vacation in the bargain!

It should also be mentioned that at the gift exchange (wherein the gifts were selected by the prize committee, making it something other than an "exchange"), I received a tin of chicory coffee and French donut mix, plus three strands of Mardi Gras beads. I traded the coffee for a roll of "cosmic" duct tape. (It looks like orange tie dye). I love the new multicolor duct tapes, but would never buy them because they are more expensive per foot than the regular duct tape, so I am quite excited to have received a roll for free!

I topped off my afternoon by shelling out 400 dollars at the auto mechanic (cringe. Moving along before I think about that too much) and then swinging by the house of my favorite former coworker, where we traded stories about the last 4 days, and I picked up my bag of ravioli that I had left the last time I was there. It was a good way to spend my afternoon.

My mood at this moment can only be described as "expansive." I think I'll top off this delightful day with an episode of Doctor Who!


Geoff said...

This must be some truly SWELL outfit if you are setting up a tease before it drops on Unfashionista!