Years ago, Christmas used to be a lot more fun.
I don’t just mean when I was a kid, because as a child, other than Christmas presents, December only really stuck out as being rather cold and sometimes snowy.
But as a young adult, Christmas was an endless round of parties and excuses to meet up with people and drink, without any real responsibility such as the need to pay for it!
The office Christmas party was also a revelation to me, particularly in my first legal job which was for an entertainment law firm. As many of the partners worked in the exciting world of film, music and theatre, they were often as unconventional as their clients. One party was at Madam JoJos, which, for those of you who are too young to remember, was a cabaret show featuring many drag acts and artists dancing in shoes I could bearing have walked in. Think “The Bird Cage” of Robin Williams fame and you’ll get the idea.
There were also Christmas games – not the spin the bottle or pin the tail on the santa typed parties, but far more creative entertainment. There was a prize for the most imaginatively dressed person at the party, which I never won (I was far too conservative) but I did have to sit through a meeting immediately before the party, in the company of the partner I worked for, who was wearing jingle bells socks. These are socks that play jingle bells every time he crossed his ankles under the table and I had to simultaneously not laugh and pretend I couldn’t hear anything. He didn’t win either. He was the one who had set and was judging the competition!
I may not have one any of those competitions, but there was one competition I won three years in a row. That was the competition for the most abusive correspondence. Being a junior lawyer in the litigation department, I was often on the receiving end of some aggressive (mostly illiterate) communications from people who didn’t want to pay our clients. There was the guy who told me that I was as ugly as I was stupid, which was funny because he’d never met me, so he had no idea what I looked like. There was the woman who sent me a 16 page rant because I’d spelled her name wrong, even though she’d spelled it wrong herself in the original letter (apparently she was dyslexic and I was making fun of her on purpose!), and there was the marriage proposal – but perhaps I should leave that for another time.
If you are celebrating with your work colleagues this week, I hope you have a wonderful time filled with interesting party games, and hopefully not too many abusive messages.
Of course, if you are receiving abusive messages from people who owe you money, I’ll be happy to put them on my naughty list.
Kleyman & Co Solicitors. The full service law firm. Full of Christmas cheer.