My job is pretty chill, thanks to my recruitment supervisor. And thanks to my super-active manager who is doing a damn good job for the staff appreciation events and never misses to be the life of the party. We’re indeed having our annual Christmas party at The Sparrow. I heard from an en-vogue girlfriend this gastro-pub located in the Mile-End is tremendous. Plus, the designed flyer said it’s open-bar - in canary yellow characters – and what a good way to celebrate their newly-acquired liquor license. I already imagined myself sitting at the European style bar in a cute sparkling dress, just as happy as a cheerleader, ordering a fancy and super-alcoholic cocktail, engaging in a small talk with the British bartender, eye the bosses of my company from the corner, and discreetly order another one.
“It’s mot!@*rfuck**g COLD outside!” The first brake to my flawless plan is that the little engine I am, can’t wear a lovely dress neither sexy heels tonight. So here I am, trapped in basic pants and frizz hair, when the heat rises at 6 pm with homemade cocktails dedicated to our company: Grand-Marnier, Prosecco and grapefruit juice with a blackberry embedded inside. Interesting attempt but my palate doesn’t like bitter taste. Well, my manager seems to enjoy, given she drinks as fast as the lightning speed, while a certain someone remains glued to me about a conversation which – I’m sorry - I can’t remember the topic. Fortunately I enjoy the traditional atmosphere of the place. The warm wood, cozy lamps and sparrows’ wallpaper are a perfect mix between my Grand-ma kitsch and the revisited vintage style of today.
About to have dinner, I consider my options. 1 – The bosses are sitting at the bosses’ table. 2 – Each department is respectively seated together following the same hierarchy they have in the office, except the French-speaking people who tend to form a “mixed” crowd. Needless to say, there is in reality no option but the empty seat. I end up with a awesome and very-scoped-on-the-goose man #1, a quite cute man #2, a man #3 with crispy adventures, an usually cold copy-editor who’s actually quite nice, and of course my particularly tipsy manager. Amazing how Super-Santa-Claus has the power to bring people together.
Cool, someone engages the conversation on where everybody comes from, until someone else dares to talk about Montreal's winter. Well, too bad, the mot!@*rfuck**g coldest winter in the whole galaxy apparently deserves an entire conversation - How do your ears feel when it's -25 outside and you forgot your hat at home? And what are your reactions when you're running late for work and need to plow your car for two hours? To break the ice, the hors d’oeuvres are then served by a courteous waitress: delightful oysters with a spicy sauce, veal breast nuggets with anchovy, and also sweet caramelized onions spread on bread. The main course is composed of a German dish called Spaetzle (basically home-made noodles with onions and artichokes) and braised lamb shoulder with olives, accompanied by fried potatoes, roasted roots and a surprising plate of Brussels sprouts with bacon and chestnuts, all served in disparate vintage plates. Original, unique and very rich in calories - Hey, it's Christmas after all! Mission accomplished for the Britishhh chief, I feel like I am in an old cottage deep in the wet and foggy UK. It’s so good but so heavy that I have to detach the button of my pants if I want to swallow at least one very-tempting profiterole. And I still manage to respect my personal policy to only do number two at home - agreement apparently not shared by all (!!!).
The party is then going on with our intimate guests. As a real gossip lover, it’s really interesting to find out who dates who and scoping the place out for a funny looking couple. Of course, I can’t actually say anything out loud because it’s very childish; but I am also supposed to say something like they look great and can’t put a word on how happy they look – just to help them forget the 30 pounds they respectively gained since their wedding. This is a very single-ish syndrome. To summarize, I think my co-workers may mind their manners a lot (or might have been as stuffed as I was feeling). Indeed, apart of a few tipsy employees and a couple of typical 80s dance steps, the wildest thing seem to be the office manager who takes her blue-electric-5-inches-Christian-Louboutin off. Ok, been there, done that.