PARTIES ARE HARD
3:57 p.m. on December 09, 2005

I am so tired, every fiber of my being aches.

I had a hell of a week, which included planning and hosting my company holiday party. I am in charge of it every year and it never gets easier, although this may have been the simplest event I have done in 8 years of throwing company parties (3 at current job, 5 at last job).

This year we rented a small space, brought in caterers, a bartender and a band and had about 20 gifts to raffle off. It is still a ton of work of planning and organizing to pull it off. I can never sleep the night before because I am too worried about everything going right. I can never sleep the night after, because I am too busy replaying the event in my head, worrying if people had a good time.

The most lavish event I pulled off was pre 9/11, when everything was well with the world. The owner of the hotel where I worked wanted to share the wealth with his staff and wondered what to do with $25,000. I suggested playing “Wheel of Fortune”. I rented a wheel from a party shop and pasted different money amounts ranging from $40 - $200 and a few GRAND PRIZE slots. Each employee AND the guest they brought to the party could spin the wheel. Whatever money amount they landed on, the owner doled out in cash right then and there. The Grand Prize winners were each told to select an inflated balloon from a bunch and pop said balloon to discover their prize, which was written on a piece of paper inside. The prizes were $300, $500 and a weeks paid vacation. We also had separate raffle prizes, including a ping-pong table.

My favorite party was a year later at the same hotel. We could do trades with other hotels and travel related businesses. Our sales people went crazy with the trades, so we had some fine raffle items like a stay at a Victoria BC resort including ferry ride, Helicopter transports to the San Juan Islands (in Washington), and other nice hotel stays in neighboring cities, etc. The grand prize was round trip airfare for 2 to Hawaii with paid hotel stays in Maui and Waikiki. We had enough prizes for every single employee to do something nice. Even though I organized all this, I was still an employee and made sure I was in on the raffle. Sure enough, my raffle ticket was the last picked and Sasha & I got to go to Hawaii, which was one of the best vacations of my life.

I may never be able to outdo those events, especially since the hotel went bankrupt a few years later as a result of the stock crash, 9/11 & big earthquake in Seattle.






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