Holiday Party

We’ve got a short Friday of work, as our office holiday party starts at one. Or, even earlier, or shorter, I guess, since it, the party, is at Zola, at Eighth & F Streets. We’re at Nineteenth and M. So we pile into cabs to get there.

I ride with Ryan, Michelle, Nancy, and Joe. Ryan’s in front with this giant poinsettia, so the other four of us are smashed in the back seat. It’s your basic Ford Crown Vic cab, like most of them seem to be, built to seat three in back. But four of us make it work somehow.

At Zola we’re led this way and that. Through the kitchen at one point. I tell Joe I’ll give him a dollar to yell La Migra to the kitchen staff. We’re led by a landing, where we’re up above the Spy Museum, which is next door to Zola. Then we head to a back room, our private dining room.

It’d be fairly grim, with its concrete walls, but said walls are somewhat cheerfully masked by hanging sheer fabrics. Scrims? The tables are round and seat ten each. There’s an open bar that we pass on our way to the tables. I ask after their white wine, but they’ve got no pinot grigio, just chardonnay. Yurk. I go with the red, a shiraz. We’re each given a slip of paper with whatever entree that we chose by email a few weeks back. Rodney hands out the tickets for the prize give-away.

I sort of semi-follow Joe and Ryan to a table in the back corner. Ryan’s recently bought a house in Silver Spring near Joe and they’re standing discussing the neighborhood. They’re also standing directly beneath a speaker blaring music. I choose at the table as far away from the speaker as possible, although I’m not sure it’ll be far enough away, that I’ll be able to hear anything.

Kyra and Lauren arrive and sit next to me, to my left. To my right, along the wall, are two empty seats, then Ryan, then Joe. Gladys sits to Lauren’s left. Michelle sits to Joe’s right.

There’s munchy vegetables as appetizers. Then Marty speaks. Or tries to, but we can’t hear her until they turn the music down. Marty gives a nice speech summing up the year. Then we eat. Then Marty and Matt give out the fabulous prizes.

I win something that I’m supposed to pick up back at the office, which thing I promptly forget all about. Days later I’m in crisis as to what is the protocol for such a situation. Should I ask around about whom to ask about the thing that I can’t remember? Should I keep quiet and hope that whoever is holding said thing at the office notices that I haven’t picked it up? (Though I’m pretty sure that there’s no like physical record that I was the winner of whatever it was that I won.) Should I keep quiet and hope that no one ever notices the one prize that’s left unclaimed? If there’s like an email out to all staff about unclaimed prizes, should I still keep quiet, so as not to be that guy who’s so ungrateful as to not even remember what it is that he won?