Wednesday, November 12, 2008

508th Post - Corporate Canada

First of all, I sent the first draft of my interview with so-and-so to him a few minutes ago. If he approves of what the draft says, you'll see it here as soon as Thursday.

I e-mailed someone today regarding life in the private sector. He reads the blog and wrote of some things that had happened with him, which he asked me not to tell on this blog, so I won't. But it reminded me of something that happened to me, back in the day.

Some of you know that I work as a civil servant, but my roots are in the private sector. I thought I'd relate an amusing anecdote from that period of my life, my misspent youth.

It was the annual Christmas party. There were door prizes. The top prize was a free trip anywhere Air Canada flew. The second prize was a bottle of wine.

Throughout the course of the evening, staff names were removed from the board. My name remained up there. Also throughout the course of the evening, I drank. We had been given a couple of free drink chits, and the practice was that the married folks didn't drink much, and we single guys were the beneficiaries of these chits. I drank a lot that evening.

I was feeling pretty good within a couple of hours. Not so good that I tried to dance on the buffet table, not so good that I tried to grope someone, not so good that I puked in the punch bowl, but I was very comfortable. I was comforted further that evening by the fact that my name remained on that board.

Despite my stupor, I couldn't help notice that my name was still up there on the board, while more and more of my colleagues' monikers were not. People began to speak of me in hushed tones, the kind of tones usually reserved for people they respected, even liked.

By 10pm or so, there were just a few names left. Mine was one of them.

I began to pray that they would select my name next. It was an inebriated form of reverse psychology, I guess. But it worked, because my name was still on the board as more names were shed from the board.

Finally, at long last, whatever time it was, there were just two names left on the board. And... my name was one of them! I could hardly stand at this time. Remember, free liquor!

I should pause for a moment and tell you that the corporate world and I never really did see eye-to-eye. I mean, I respected the big wigs who visited our branch. I knew they could make my life miserable, barely worth living, if I crossed them sufficiently. My nose would get the appropriate shades of brown and I had learned to laugh at whatever attempts of humour they mustered. But I never felt comfortable there, and people who knew me well, knew that.

So, who was the other person whose name was on the board, along with mine? None other than the general manager's, of course!

And, do you want to guess who ended up winning that free trip, and who got the bottle of wine?

Do I really need to finish this story? I mean, really?

It was probably the most overt example of sucking up to management that I had ever seen up to that point. The moment I saw the g.m.'s name up there on the board, as liquored up as I was, I began to sift through the bottles of wine and said, "I'll take this one", and shambled away, my spirit broken.

And, of course, Mike's name was drawn. I hope he enjoyed the damned trip. I enjoyed the wine.

Bevboy, who still doesn't like Corporate Canada that much.

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