The company that pays my bills (known for it’s ultra laid back workplace and being banned from public party venues) was recently purchased by a much larger company (known for being uber corporate, strict and boring). With last Saturday being the date set for the parent company’s Xmas party, everyone was keen to see what would result once these two styles of business (and alcohol) were mixed.
Tash and I arrived at the Paladium at Crown a healthy 45 minutes late and were confronted at the door by three surly thugs, seemingly dressed as the Fonz, who acted tough, abusive and tried to send us off in the wrong direction. Although fancy dress was strictly verboten, the invitation to the event had a Saturday Night Fever theme. Our brains struggled to comprehend how 50′s Greasers fit into the 70′s Disco scene. Unfortunately for us, the crimes against humanity by the event manager had only just begun.
We found our table and snuck into our seats just in time for the next horror, a mock game show hosted by a guy who looked like Mathew McConaughey’s character in Dazed and Confused. I’m not sure what direction he was given in terms of his character, but it seemed to be a) be unfunnny, b) use an annoying American accent, c) be sexist and unfunny. As he ‘chose’ contestants for the game show, he slobbered all over anything bearing breasts with lines like “she’s beautiful enough to be an assistant” and “ooh she’s got a lovely pair”. Commence jaw droppage.
This painful display went on for long enough to put me in to some kind of catatonic fugue which could only be lifted by… oh I don’t know… something ridiculous like a middle-aged Bee Gee’s cover band strutting past our table and onto the stage. Which is lucky, because that’s what happened next. The dancefloor had up until now been uncharted and the half hearted, half mimed performance by the Bee Gees Tribute band wasn’t helping things. That was until Dave and Bonnie got the party started. Score one more for VJ.
In the interests of keeping the party stunted and awkward, the organisers then came and cleared the now bulging dance floor to let the ‘professional dancers’ do their thing. An assortment of 6 or 7 grinning gameshow models (of both sexes) bounced into the room in some vaguely 70′s attire. They assumed their positions on the floor and moved their legs and arms in time with the music. I would have been bored stupid but we were busy planning to sabotage the display. By this time our main mission for the night was to generally cause havoc and get away with as much chaos as possible. It was our antidote to the night’s organised inanity. In the end Whitey and TJ just walked onto the dancefloor amongst the dancers, then Andre joined. Then Andre started doing backflips on the spot, a talent he had kept hidden from us until now. The dancers were surprisingly good sports and played along.
Sometime after the dancers had left, Dave, Tracey, Tash and myself decided to crash the party next door. Our party had around 350 people, the GHD Group party next door was at least twice that size. They had a Hollywood theme and were being entertained by a band lead by a Paul Shcaffer look alike and three Madonna impersonators. The average age of the occupants was probably around 45 but a throng of young blood laced with some drunk oldies was commanding the dance floor.
At first we just got amongst the crowd but when the band started playing an Aussie rock medley it was time to up the ante. There were steps leading up to the stage. I walked up and commenced getting down, jiggy and funky simultaneously. I threw up devil horns. I played air guitar. Soon Dave and Tracey joined me, shouting stuff like “the accounts division rocks!!!” and “I love this company!”. The crowd ate it up. They cheered us on and took photos, it was comedy gold.
On the way back into our Xmas party, I almost bumped into a waiter who jokingly asked me “How’s the GHD function?”.
The rest of the night is a bit of a blur. They started playing Nutbush, and in protest against uniform dance moves Dave, Tracey and myself got onstage and did an impromptu interpretive dance. Security kicked us off the stage.
The food was terrible, the staff were rude, the greasers were mind baffling, but in the end it was a night to remember, and word from up the food chain is that our company was a hit with the corporate crowd.
There are more pictures here.