Function funk

I recently had to attend another work function. I’ve never quite been able to get to the bottom of why we have these tedious things, but I’m beginning to develop a theory that they form part of the staff appraisal process – as a test of employee loyalty.

Attendance is technically voluntary, but unless you have a spectacularly good excuse for not for not being there+, you are expected to show up. Honest reasons for staying away (“Frankly, I’d rather beat myself bloody with a tire iron…”) are met with stony-faced disapproval from members of management and should be avoided at all costs. Unless, of course, you already earn pots of money and couldn’t be bothered with trivialities like salary increases.

Surly waiters; indifferent food; speeches that run to seven pages and beyond – these are all cunningly integrated to ensure maximum psychological impact. The heavy-calibre guns usually emerge later on in the evening, when senior staff get hammered and suddenly start exhibiting that slightly creepy, I’m-your-best-friend-in-the-whole-world behaviour.

My date bore all of the above with far better humour than I’ll ever be able to muster. I owe her big time and she knows it.

+ Such as brain-removal surgery – although that would mean you’d have absolutely no reason to miss any subsequent work functions


35 thoughts on “Function funk

  1. “My date”? “My date”? Thirteen lines into it, and you only casually mention “my date”??? Have I not mentioned the vicarious living before?? Sheesh.


  2. worst work function I’ve ever attended:
    “oh, and by the way, seeing as you’re all here we’ll be spring-cleaning the entire place. and no, you’re not getting paid for it.”

    that’s why your waiters were so surly, dude.


  3. Speaking of which, we have just such a gathering coming up tomorrow afternoon, down at Camps Bay. And given your rather succinct summation of these kinds of events, is it any wonder then that only 180 of the 500 “guests” have accepted the invite? I can hardly wait! Thanks for yet another masterful insight into the “way things are” 🙂


  4. I think it’s just your company. I organize staff functions for the guys all the time. After the last one, they couldn’t stop telling m how much they loved it.

    Which is good ’cause oftherwise I’d fire their unenthusiastic asses.


  5. I second ANNE on this one… ‘your date’ simply will not suffice… we shall have to beat you with your own left foot and make you talk. WE WANT DETAILS


  6. anne: I was trying to establish a context. Without that, what do you have? People standing in lifts facing in random directions, that’s what!

    betenoir: Just as well you don’t work at the sewage treatement works, huh?

    parenthesis: My sympathies. Maybe you’ll be lucky and the lizard aliens will abduct you before then.

    cedric: You are the very soul of motivation. I believe the beatings are continuing.

    granny wrangler: You’ve done this before. I can tell :mrgreen:

    m: You’ll catch more bees with honey…


  7. marissa: Cold comfort, I’m afraid. Well maybe “cold” isn’t entirely accurate. Lukewarm, perhaps. Definitely congealed and oily, though.

    ‘zilla: Totally awesome :mrgreen: She has good taste, too.


  8. Am I the only one who noticed you use the words ‘date’ and ‘bore’ in close proximity?

    If I were her, I’d have serious doubts about my taste. Next she’ll be confusing the wasabi for avo…..



  9. i usually make my way to the bar as soon as i feel the speeches looming.

    By the way, what happened with the blog awards, i see the voting’s closed, when do they announce the winners?

    Did you win? Did you win the Macbook..?


  10. Oh come on! “My date bore all of the above…” I have this friend who throws these things into her conversations, too, waiting for the listener to ask. I never ask any more. Drives her bananas.


  11. I was just chatting about this last night with a friend…these functions should incur ‘time off in lieu’…as I believe they’re above and beyond the call of duty.

    I wrote a post today called, The other side of the mountain. Duke told me off, he even used the word “Sis”, cause I was using your name in vain…he thought it was an ode to you and was disgusted to find that it wasn’t so I felt compelled to visit.


  12. Only you would make the boring stuff sound interesting and throw the interesting stuff ( i.e. DATE ) in as background noise.
    Not falling for it. Want details.


  13. Mmmm.

    I have given up attending all these functions, as well as as many meetings as I possibly can. When people start giving me the gears I start citing discrimination against minorities.

    Is is sooooooo nice to be able to manipulate the system.


  14. They are never, ever, under any circumstances your best friend. They do get that creepy eyes-glazed-over look when trying to pull it off, don’t they? You subjected someone else to this? And they went? Knowingly? Eesh. They must like you or are afraid that you might blackmail them or something. 😉


  15. other-duke: Conversations with oneself can be so rewarding 🙂

    andrea: Let’s see who cracks first, shall we?

    spoon: Convoluted compulsions are always welcome here.

    forgottenmachine: Apocalypse now, eh?

    tripeak: That won’t fly with my firm. I think most of them are actually aware that we’re in Cape Town.

    terri: Sure thing. You’ll find all the details you could possibly want here.

    inyoka: Ja well, I’m just a small cog in the big machine.

    chitty: Scary, isn’t it?

    em: Hey, I got kicked off Fear Factor for being too hardcore.

    livewire: Or something.

    parenthesis: “…You cut me deep, Shrek. You cut me reeeeal deep…”


  16. My work dysfuntions rules:

    Rule number 1: never ever take anyone you like to a work function. It is like going to the loo in front of your new boyfriend – no matter how comfortable you feel together it should always remain an activity done in private, behind closed doors, and not dragged out for hours (as it will result in piles).

    Rule number 2: Never ever dip your pen in the company ink. (Except if he / she is the French intern and it is their leaving party – in which case, Où est la plume mon petit bebe..

    Rule number 3: refrain from skinny dipping / pole dancing / boob flashing / karaoke (unless you are the French intern). Exhibit A,B,C will be archived in the “company/christmaspics/dodgy” folder on the server. Again.

    These rules don’t apply if you work for an ad agency. Then it is considered very rock and roll and in fact, compulsory


  17. This is my very first attempt at public participation (apart from buffets at weddings)…have i peaked too soon? oh dear.


  18. Finally managed to log in and catch up on some blog reading.

    Office functions are the best when you get to work the next day and hear you are bonking the whole sales team. You end up wishing you could partake in those glorious fictional sex life.


  19. granny wrangler: Fear is always a factor.

    anicker: Damn, I think I need to find me a job in an ad agency. Regarding the other – Twin Peaks, perhaps?

    rev: Tried that last year. Didn’t work, but at least I tried.

    katt: No such luck here. We don’t have a sales team.

    the tart: My thought exactly, but I generally like to adhere to a 100-word minimum for blog entries.


  20. I learnt something valuable this month. When you get kicked out of your job, but haven’t technically left yet due to that hazy one-month period, there is a blissful pro in that you no longer get invited to official functions that are held during office hours and are therefore mandatory – such as a recent one that involved a motivational speaker.

    I went browsing at a sex shop instead. But that’s another story. (It was research. I promise! Ha haaa!)


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