We had the company holiday party this Friday. Which was at a local winery, followed by dinner, followed by a pub. And which started off depressingly: I had a lovely conversation during the first five minutes of the bus ride, but I spent the remainder of the ride listening and realizing that those who surrounded me had a very different approach to (some aspects of) life from me, were at a quite different stage of their lives, or both.
The winery started off bad, too: over-oaked wine, and while I'm no wine expert, I can say with confidence that the cheese and chocolate that they served it with were bad. So: if they don't take food seriously (or aren't aware that they're serving bad food), why should I take their wine seriously? But then things got better: I played a game of go against three of my coworkers who were collaborating on move choices, and then played Medici with one of them; we played a couple more games of Medici on the bus to the restaurant, it's a good game that works well on the iPad.
The food at the restaurant was nice: not exceptional, but certainly better than at the winery. And I enjoyed the conversation, including a discussion with a Korean colleague of mine about K-Pop groups and Korean dramas. I, along with about a third of my colleagues, skipped out on the pub and took an earlier bus back: while the early employees all enjoy alcohol-focused occasions, more recent employees feel less uniformly so. I mostly read on the ride back; there was one conversation going on nearby that sounded like I would have enjoyed it, but I was just far enough away that my inertia overcame my desire to participate.
All in all, pleasant enough: it started off making me feel more alienated from my coworkers, which presumably wasn't the desired effect, but had the reverse effect by the end. And probably I should change the balance of how much time I spend with which coworkers...