Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Party Bullies

The two of them surrounded me at my desk last week. You'd think more than two people are required in order to fully surround another person, but between the two of them they still capably managed to convey a sense of siege. I shrank a bit from their intensity.

They glanced at each other, and J began: "Let's talk about the holiday party."

Each December as a company we pick a date and someone volunteers their home, and we have an informal little holiday party, just as countless other workplaces do. This year, oddly, there had been no talk of having a holiday party, so I figured that was the problem at hand.

"It's funny that we haven't heard the date yet, isn't it?" I mused aloud.

D ignored me. "Don't you think it would be more fun to have a nice party at a restaurant, for a change?" she demanded, looming over me where I sat in my stubby office chair.

J nodded vigorously and added, "Instead of just hanging out at someone's house..." Her perky nose wrinkled ever so slightly in distaste.

I tried to subtly scoot my chair away to give me just a hair more breathing room while I considered the suggestion. "Yeah, that would be fun," I agreed. "I mean, I always like having it at someone's house because, well, it's free, but..."

J didn't wait for me to finish. "See, I told you nobody would want to do it," she spoke over me. She folded her arms across her chest and looked meaningfully at D. "Everyone just wants to do the same old thing, year after year."

D returned her look, shaking her head in exasperation. "God forbid we try anything new around here!" she snorted.

"Um," I began, torn between feeling offended at the way they talked about me right over my head, and feeling terrified that they might rend me limb from limb if I didn't board the Fancy Holiday Dinner Train. (I can lurch my chair into D, and while she's off balance I can probably leap beyond J's reach and slip to freedom out the fire escape...) "I didn't say I thought it was a bad idea--"

J shrugged. "Come on, D," she sighed. "Let's see what B says." Together they turned and left me alone in my office.