Every year on April 15th, the office closes promptly at 5:00 and meets up at a local restaurant for drinks and dinner to celebrate making it though another tax season. We call it the Survivors Party.
No, we do not wear skimpy clothing, stab each other in the back, or scavenge for immunity necklaces.
Spouses are invited and we often run into other accounting offices doing the same thing. Merced is a small town and there just are not that many restaurants. So it’s a party we look forward to every year.
At least I thought we all did.
This year, the office manager sent out a message a mere ten days before the 15th telling us where and when the party would be held. This is a pet peeve of mine. Two, actually.
First, she knows we have this party every year yet she waits until the last minute to book it. In fact, I am fairly certain she does not take the initiative at all but only makes the call when one of the partners realizes we have not set anything up yet and tells her to do it. As I mentioned, there are not a lot of restaurants to choose from and we cannot always get a reservation for our large party at the last minute.
Second, we always go to the same restaurant. Always. Why? Not because the food it great, no. We go there because they are a client and always behind on their bill. We take our party out in trade.
Now don’t get me wrong, the food is quite adequate. It would just be nice to try something different now and again.
So we get the party notice, it is late, but we are having a party, just like we have done every year I have been an accountant, which is twenty plus. Three days later, we receive an email from Big Kahuna saying the party has been postponed to a later date, probably in May.
I can see deciding to institute a new tradition. Maybe people are dog tired on April 15th and would rather go home than to a party. I can see that. What I do not see is how you can set up the party as per usual, get it on everyone’s calendar, have their significant others clear their calendars for that evening, then cancel, all without consulting the staff. You know, the people the party is really for: to thank them for all their hard work.
And why, exactly, was the party cancelled - excuse me - “postponed?” Not in deference to people who might be tired and just want to go home, no. Big Kahuna cancelled the party because he wanted to drive to the coast to see his son play in a baseball tournament. A tournament that runs from Wednesday (April 15th) through Friday.
So whether he attends the party and drives to the coast afterward, either that night or early in the morning, or skips the party entirely and drives to the coast late in the afternoon, he still misses the Wednesday game but arrives in time for the Thursday game. He chose to cancel our party and thanked us for our understanding.
Dude, this is me, not understanding.
He had the balls to add, “I know this is changing tradition, but as our new President said, “change is in the air.””
The same President he refers to as Obamination. I am pretty sure there is a rule against quoting someone you loathe when the phrase you formerly ridiculed suddenly fits your circumstance.
The first thing that came to mind was: why should the entire party be cancelled just because Big Kahuna chooses not to attend? He is not the only partner. The plans have already been made. Why rain on everyone else’s parade?
So a staff member sent out an email asking who wanted to get together anyway just for drinks and appetizers.
And that is where it all fell apart. You would think, what with everyone already having the time reserved, people would say yes. One unsociable sort said no immediately. Another played the kid card, citing having to make special food in preparation for wisdom teeth extraction the next day, because teenagers are incapable of feeding themselves, apparently. The remaining partner clearly did not want to attend but felt he had to. Dude: It’s a party not a chore.
What with all that cheer and goodwill floating around, I said:
[For RSS readers: video inserted below]
Several people did get together but I was so disgusted with the whole thing I pooped out and went home. I was no longer in the mood. Deciding whether or not to go out and have fun should not be so hard.
And now I find out no one expects we will ever actually have a Survivors Party. Big Kahuna’s email said “maybe in May.” The general consensus is, “I’ll believe it when I am sitting in a deck chair in Big Kahuna’s back yard, sipping on a cool beverage.”
I was pissed the party was cancelled but I did assume we would eventually have one, until I heard that. What a bummer. Even if we have one now, it won’t be the same. Gone is the relief felt on April 15th as the last tax return walks out the door. It is not a Survivors Party if everyone is well rested and no longer feels harried. What is the point?
It will be an office party. Big deal. And listening to Big Kahuna and Buff Kahuna bicker about whose house will host the party, clearly indicating neither one wants to have us all over, does not encourage me to attend. Not that it is optional. If it were, it would be cancelled due to lack of interest because we are an office of party poopers.
And to think I used to be the Happy Hour Coordinator when I worked in the Bay Area.
Any bets on whether they go back to having an April 15th party actually on April 15th next year?