As I briefly mentioned in my previous post, this is traditionally the busiest week of my year. Not only do I have the usual workload to contend with and the usual holiday preparations at home, this week I have the misfortune of planning the office holiday party. Now, you’d think planning a party would be right up this gurls alley, and normally you’d be right, but this is the office party…need I say more?
To start with, working in academia, we don’t have funds for parties because the NIH doesn’t think food and booze expenditures are good ways to spend their research dollars. I mean come on…what better way to promote good health than a party? Not only does it relieve stress but it loosens tongues and often relieves someone of a job…which saves money and continues to relieve stress by giving everyone something enjoyable to talk about at the office for the next year. But until we can convince the NIH to give up a grand or two for a party once a year we’re forced to rely on faculty donations. Yep, I put those two words in the same sentence and yep, I even put them next to each other so you couldn’t miss your cue for hysterical laughter.
You’ll probably never see that combination anywhere else, ever again, ever. Faculty don’t donate…they exchange cash for tax deductible receipts…but they don’t donate. Our junior faculty make no less than 75k a year and the majority make double that amount or more, yet they don’t want to give up $50 to help pay for the paper goods, beer, wine and a ham or two for the party. Oh, did I mention this is a potluck? Yeah…they expect their lab members and grad students to provide the majority of the food. How many grad students do you know that cook? Most of them can barely afford to buy food for themselves on their measly stipends and their expected to bring a dish for a crowd? Helloooo!
Here we are two days before the party and 6 of sixteen faculty members still haven’t given up the cash or even mentioned if they will. I have had a couple say that they weren’t going to make it to the party this year. I guess that means their lab members are on their own. Ungrateful fucks!!
So, I spend this week every year running around trying to stretch the money, buy decent wine, guess what dishes we may need to purchase (since nobody bothers to sign up for the pot luck) and how much beer and soda to buy. I’ll undoubtedly hear how lousy the wine is (what do you expect on a $6 a bottle budget, asshat?), how we didn’t have enough of the right beer, or how many desserts and appetizers there were and so few side and main dishes. But when I bring this up at the next faculty meeting, not one of these dickheads will have the balls to suggest change or larger donations for catering. Oh, they’ll all suggest catering but not one will pony up an extra dime to pay for it. They will however complain that there were no door prizes or gifts for their children. How do I know this? Because we just had this exact conversation three months ago when they decided to return to the potluck format instead of the cocktail party format we’ve had the last two years.
So, I only have two more days before this nightmare ends and I promise I’ll quit bitching because then I get to look forward to MY holiday party which is always fabulous and full of the spirit the holidays should foster. And…I’ll have the best wine!!
Okay…I feel all better now. It’s time to take a percocet and go read my peeps because I miss you all terribly…you make me laugh and I need that.