Being in that I'm a semi-new employee at my company (eight-ish months in), I felt compelled to make an appearance at our corporate holiday party.
The hubs and I suited up in our best cocktail appropriate attire and headed up to the Cobb Galleria (big events facility in metro Atlanta).
We followed other cars and the parking attendants' light sabers to a parking deck flush with the facility. I left my coat in the car, making the executive decision that a coat check might be more trouble than it's worth.
We entered the party and double-checked with a banquet employee to make sure we were in the right place. Check. We quickly made friends with the photographer, the wife of a company structural engineer. She was hilarious — encouraging people to take photos in front of the Christmas tree and telling people they ought to come back after a few more drinks. The photographer, who's name I can't remember (Lisa maybe?) introduced us to her husband. I learned he works with the Facilities department on waste water and building management projects. I shared with him that I'm in a semi-small part of our organization that sells advertising to the car manufacturers (Ford, Toyota, etc.). I asked him if he'd moved to the new office yet. So we talked for a few minutes about the new building and how nice it is and about an interior fountain that's not going to be installed after all (I didn't know there were plans for an interior fountain!).
Dan and I mostly hung out on the periphery. We were nervous to sit down at a table and get engrossed in conversation because we could only stay for an hour or so. After all, we didn't want to miss my bro and his girlfriend's annual tacky sweater party. Keeping to ourselves wasn't challenging, as I didn't really see anyone I knew. I mean, I heard that a lot of people opt out of this party for other Saturday night plans, but I was hoping to see a colleague or two.
Xylophones were chimed and dinner was served. The long drink line prompted a good idea on Dan's part: me go stand in the drink line while he went to grab a plate of food for us both. While Dan was in line, a woman asked him, "So, do you work for Arcadis or does your spouse?" Dan took a moment to reply but said, "my spouse." The woman replied, "Oh, what group?" Dan found the answer that made the most sense at that point in the conversation: "National Accounts." The woman seemed like she wasn't familiar with the department but didn't ask questions.
Dan and I found each other then found a vacant table where we could sit down. He told me about his conversation in the food line — and we promptly inhaled our food, hoping that no one would talk to us or that no one would ask me anything else.
And that's how we found out we were at the wrong holiday party... for 45 minutes. That's right... my employer's name also starts with an "A" but it's definitely not Arcadis.