It was our staff Christmas Dinner on Thursday night. I missed/skipped it the first two years for reasons.
But last year I went, because I was prepared. I asked a friend if I could sit at her table. And it was OK even when we got to that part where we all stood and held hands while singing Silent Night.
So this year I planned on doing the same.
She said yes.
It was going to be fine.
The day before?
She told me it wasn't going to work... she'd been assigned a table to host and there wasn't room for me.
Most folks had organized their tables by now. I'd been overhearing conversations all week about saving spots and organizing who'd sit where, etc.
Grrrr. Bad enough I walk into these things by myself, now I was going to have to do the 'excuse me, is this seat taken? schtick'. Of course, if you're an extrovert, an evening that starts like that is just exciting. So many people to get to know. So many opportunities to meet someone new. So much fun just waiting to happen.
Our board of directors and their wives, plus all out of town/across Canada employees and guests would be there. First time in a hundred years the whole gang would be in town. Sigh, there would be so many strangers in the room.
The day before the dinner, it was suggested to me that I call A.M. Apparently her husband doesn't usually accompany her, and she might have a spot at her table...
So I gave her a call.
Yes! She was going. Yes! There'd be room at her table! Yes, her husband was coming! Yes, she was glad I called because someone from out of town was coming and needed to be picked up from the hotel, this was perfect, because I could do that, yes? And I could sit with her, yes? And take her back to the hotel, later, yes?
I had also been asked to take photos during the evening, most especially to capture all the service award handshake and hugs. So in addition to sitting at a table filled 90% with people I'd never met before, I was to take photos from the centre of the room, while the awards were being handed out.
Obviously, because I'm blogging about it, I survived.
No one I sat with works in our building. And for the record, I suck at taking posed, formal photos.
But I had fun, and people were OK, about me capturing them at their tables. So there's that. And in the end, I got to know a few more people who work outside of our office. This business of being stretched outside your comfort zone, just never ends, does it?
In case you're wondering who I work with, here is a small sampling of the photos I took:
Three things I'm Three Three things I am thankful for:
1. I work for a great organization. Minutes after we finished dinner, our President received a call that his mom was having a massive seizure. He and his wife left to rush to the hospital, and the rest of us all prayed for them at our tables. So glad we were able to respond in a meaningful way.
2. Thankful for the people I work alongside. So very passionate about the challenges and opportunities they have. Inspiring.
3. I didn't have anything fancy to wear, nor do I own an appropriate pair of shoes, so I went barelegged, in boots, with an old dress and older sweater on. But holy hannah I had good hair. So thankful I made an appointment to have Danica work her magic on my head.