Chaos Attraction

The Office Not A Party

2020-12-04, 6:03 p.m.

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Cast list as of November 2019

Today was the annual "holiday advance," which is odd BigBoss parlance for "sorta the office party." So after a morning of meetings and me cramming yet another Important Documents project out the door, yay, we had a morning meeting in which they went over all of the improvement projects they have on a long list and how far along they are--some are, some aren't. I will say this for the online meetings: this gave my teammates the opportunity to Slack chat about they were falling asleep, what they wanted to eat, and in my case, things involving Baby Yoda. I said at Halloween he got a costume hat, at Thanksgiving he got booze and eggs, what shall Christmas be....oh, right, making the giant Lego Baby Yoda. Then after lunch on our own, we had a few hours of holiday activities.

First off: "scavenger hunt." This turned out to not actually be one and was more show and tell of stuff in your house. Since I didn't have the camera on and people were given two minutes to go find stuff (family photo, childhood item, winter item), I just kinda ignored doing that one and sat around knitting and reading all my advertisement emails. I will note that one person's commentary on her family photo was, "Everyone was smiling and I was throwing up." (Thankfully, you can't tell that last bit in the photo.) One person was all, "So I have my Ugg....." Note, just ONE boot.

They had a "use holiday backgrounds" theme going on, which had the following:
(a) One guy switching between various geek scenes and at one point one of them was an AT-AV apparently mowing down a Christmas tree. Later he changed to a face filter of himself with a Santa beard.
(b) One guy put a photo of his niece as his background. Later he put an angel halo face filter over himself. By the end of the party, someone took a screenshot of this, sent it to everyone, and most of the office switched to using his face. By the end someone was taking screenshots--"Can everyone smile with their John for a sec?" and BigBoss said to him, "I can't find you any more because you're all over the place...."
(c) One lady....I'm not sure if her kid was actually physically there or not because she kept flickering in and out of the frame, like a ghost child. I was afraid to ask.

Actual quote from the scavenger hunt after someone made a crack about dirty socks:
"Where am I supposed to get dirty socks at?"
"Take them off your feet."

Also, from the same guy with the feet:
"That's such a dad joke, Randall."
"It's Friday, I'm out of material."

"I always read the last chapter of a book before I read a book. I'm not going to invest time and energy in the characters if they're all going to die."
Randall: "Teresa, I'm not surprised."

Teresa noted that you can shut your cats into another room, "...which from what I understand is frowned upon with children."

Then we played Quarantine Bingo. "We're also celebrating us surviving 2020."

And then we had the gift exchange. For those of you wondering how we did it, our organizer did the following:
(a) Picked out $10 gifts on Amazon
(b) Had people Venmo her $10 (though see below)
(c) Designed a Power Point in which people picked a number, the gift was revealed, people picked or "stole," etc.
(d) Used a random number generator.
(e) Gifts will be ordered and sent to your homes later.

Teresa did an excellent job of this, and she had a lot of toys in it, which I approved of. She said she based it on previous office gift hits.
Quotes from the event from her:
"Well, don't get your hopes up too high. That will lead to disappointment. What could go wrong?"
"People have to rely on my sense of gifts."
"I apologize that most of these games would be more fun if we were in the office, but you'll just have to make do with your roommates or your pets or something."
When asked how some ornaments hung, she said they had nooses and then, "Well, I guess I shouldn't call them nooses..."

The aforementioned John asked, "Who stole that unicorn from me last year?"
Teresa: "Not that you're holding a grudge or anything, John...."
John: "I just want to check up on it!"
The girl who stole it (clearly I copied the chat for this): "it doesn't work anymore the unicorn LOL we had to give it away to the garbage" (It amuses me greatly that she chats like this, but man, I hope she doesn't do that on official communications or her term papers.)

And name was not on the list. I asked about it, she said she didn't get my payment. Now, I thought it had happened because Venmo asked me for her phone number digits. This was the second time I'd ever used Venmo, mind you, so I emailed her to warn her that it was doing that in case it came up with anyone else. I guess it didn't work, and I felt all dumb and embarrassed, but obviously that was my own fault for not checking to make sure it went through, either.
And then BigBoss, of all people, said I could use her slot. I felt embarrassed as heck, but that is incredibly sweet of her. (And at the end of the day I both Venmo'd Teresa and offered to draw BigBoss a lovely portrait of her adorable dog. We'll see on responses next week.)

Quotes from the event:

One person decided to pick based on the icons on the screen. "The packaging is better...."
Me: "I love how you're picking on packaging in ICONS." (Teresa was all, do you know how hard it is to find 18 different looking gift icons?)
Then after opening her icon, she got a travel journal. "The fact that you got a travel journal during a pandemic is not very nice."
Teresa's response: "You could spend time backfilling the travel you've done so're right, I apologize. Maybe that's why it was only $10."

Even in this stealing game, there was one person who got stolen from a lot. Always happens to someone.

Dianna wanted to steal from Hope: "Remember you work closely with me every day, right?" "And I appreciate you!"

For the record, here's the gifts and number of times stolen:
1. tripod (2)
2. bath bombs
3. truffles
4. scratch art rainbow mini notes (this is what I got, as a steal from the girl who got stolen from too much)
5. gloves (2)
6. mug (1)
7. water bottle (1)
8. Magic 8 ball. Teresa explained this as "this is the non-technical version of the random choice generator." (1)
9. Fantastic Beasts screenplay (2)
10. desktop cornhole (beanbag throwing)
11. desktop boxing (1)
12. light-up beanie hat (1)
13. Hogwarts castle and sticker book (2)
14. cow popper toy shoots balls (1)
From the guy who stole it: "That cow popper's going to go great with my cow onesie."
"Sounds like a picture for us later."
"Sounds like next year's picture for the Xmas advance."
15. ornaments/banner
16. socks (2)
17. travel journal (see above)
18. tea and cookies. The first/last guy said, "I was thinking of stealing the tea and cookies, but I think I'm going to stick with the boxing."

A good time was had by all, AND we were allowed to "leave" work at 3 today, so huzzah! Since I haven't exercised all week, I walked around on my patio for 90 minutes listening to a Dolly Parton interview. See, I actually went outside.

My "City" Lego advent calendar continues to baffle me. Today's object wasn't even photographed on the box. However, I did discover that the instructions for how to put the things together is listed on the inside of the box you take the items out of. Today's unphotographed item was...some kind of yellow truck? I showed the strange item from two days ago to folks at the Yarn Club meeting during lunch and their best guess was same as mine: some kind of police APB scanner...thing?

On Thursday night post-Holidailies, I watched a play called "Enter Your Sleep," put on by Zoom Theatre. I had some reservations about seeing a play that had a dream plot--both because I generally don't like them in fiction and in real life they're even worse (I've had some real weird ones of late I can't even explain), but this was done incredibly well and was very clear--despite dream format--as to what had gone on.

Beyond this point I am going to go into spoiler territory, but I will say that this play involves ah, depression and ah....a bad thing happening to somebody due to said depression. If this is a trigger for you, look away.

Spoiler space
"Nobody forced you to move to New York. You brought this upon yourself."

This is the dream of Glory Zico, replaying various scenarios, both real life and somewhat imaginary, about the recent death of her best friend, P.K. They are from Tulsa and Glory hit her limit on living in Tulsa (she's a lesbian, I assume that had something to do with it) and she moved to New York. P.K. did not follow, had a dead end office job he hated, and he was planning on moving to Austin but I guess somehow never did it... and instead shot himself.

This whole dream is Glory dealing with/trying to figure out the whole situation since she wasn't there and didn't know how badly things were going. People in Tulsa seemed to think that he and she would get together romantically--they tried sex and both seemed quite bored with it--but they also seemed to have some kind of "split apart" dynamic, I guess. Glory said it would have made things easier if they were into it.

There's excerpts from Winnie the Pooh, When Harry Met Sally (the "men and women can never be friends" section), and they solo dance to "I've Had The Time Of My Life" from Dirty Dancing.
P.K. doesn't know what he wants, but he doesn't want to be sad any more, and is this all there is?
Bottom line: he says, "It's not your fault." She says, "It feels like it."
At the end, she wakes up, freaked out.

I watched the talkback after the show. He's in NorCal, she's in SoCal, they've never physically met. They talked a bit about the staging and she said she had spike tape all over for his sight lines and they could only see each other part of the time.
"Anything can happen on Zoom, right?" the director said. She's done this play before IRL as well.
"I just couldn't give my actors a hug. That's all I want. Gigi and Jesse have never physically touched in their lives. I'm just waiting for that moment, where this iteration of P.K. and Zico can hug," the director said. AWWWWWWW.
They also said that after their first few shows making the actors run their own computers, they have learned to use remote control software--they are using Connectwise Control--to remote control into the actor's computers and mute/unmute, change the backgrounds, etc. so the actors don't have to do that too.

If anyone else wants to see it, it runs the rest of the weekend on more East Coast times and it's free.

This actually happened to my cousin Kristen--I mentioned it years ago when her friend Joey, who I also knew, killed himself. I’m certainly not going to mention this to her, but I do kind of wonder how she’d feel about it. Probably depressed.

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