Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Hey man, I love you this many dollars worth

Today is office Secret Santa day, which is humorous and awkward for several reasons. I had to miss about a week of work to get some minor surgery done, so I didn't even know about plans for Secret Santa until after I got back. All the deadlines referenced in the Secret Santa emails (and there were many more than necessary) had passed, so I just figured I had missed out on picking a person and having my name in the pot and everything else. Not so. My managers decided - and I just can't thank them enough for this - to pick a person on my behalf. Lets backtrack here for a second and note that I started this job 2 weeks prior to my surgery, which is just enough time to meet roughly seven people at a new office. This means that I have no idea who my gift recipient is (he's been pointed out to me, but we've never been introduced), and unless whoever got me is one of those seven people (unlikely), then somebody is in the same unfortunate, awkward situation as I was. "Hey man, I've never met you, but here's a small, generic token worth a maximum of $15. I picked it out for you based solely on your gender and what Bob in sales told me you look like. Happy Holidays." I really hope there is no bro hug involved.

Office Secret Santa is also awkward because I was hired exactly 3 days before my company's major round of layoffs, which means that as everyone is exchanging gifts with coworkers they've known for some time, I'll be standing there looking around like a lost puppy while people try to figure out who I am and why I deserve their holiday cheer. This is roughly the work equivalent of your cousin bringing her rebound boyfriend to Christmas dinner 2 weeks after breaking up with the long-term guy everyone loved, him taking the head seat at the table and asking your family what you got for him this year while Nana struggles to discern whether there's a new guy at the table or she's wandered into the wrong house again.
"Who the eff is that guy?"
"Oh hey everyone, I'm Steve. I started when all your friends got fired, really excited to be here. Happy Secret Santa!"
Also, I don't even celebrate Christmas, so I don't really feel comfortable being referred to as a Santa. Nor have I ever gotten a gift from Santa, as I have known for some time that he is made up. Oh shit, was that the secret?
I'm definitely curious to see who picked my name and what they got for me. I got my person a $15 gift card to Barnes & Noble. I figured this was a good gift on the assumption that all of my coworkers can read. I'd be perfectly happy with a generic gift like that, or my backup choice for my person, a bottle of wine. At least I didn't go the Creed route.
Less than one hour until the big secret is revealed - can you feel the excitement? I've never participated in a Secret Santa at the office, so my only frame of reference is Secret Santa at The Office. I feel like the real life version could be just as awkward, but not nearly as hilarious. I'll let you know how it goes.

Update (11:30) Agnes from HR just walked by and said, "Lets go get our booty!"

Update (12:10) Secret Santa over, phenomenal letdown even for my basement-low expectations. No awful gifts, no awkward moments, and oh yea, no present for this guy. According to my sources, my Secret Santa didn't show up to work today and obviously didn't drop his gift in the pile on Monday (considering he probably was going to pick up a Starbucks gift card during his morning coffee run on his way to the office today anyway). Also, the guy I bought the gift card for emailed me to say thanks, so we've still never officially met. Work is so awesome.


Cousin Balki said...

Hilarious story...and by far your best post yet..keep em coming b

joe said...

i really wish you had gone the creed route