Your average Dutch office party can get pretty lame. Often you will be stuck on a boat, or you will have a heard time enjoying yourself because Dutch people do not really dare to let loose, as they are with colleagues and they do not want to be spotted snogging that IT guy or being super drunk telling the boss she should f off. It is pretty understandable, especially as we often see British people totally make a fool out of themselves in Amsterdam.
However, there are office parties that actually are great. I really enjoyed a pub quiz we had in the paper company I used to work for, and not just because my team, The Millennium Falcons, won big time thanks to the movies and animals section ;). I really like seeing your colleagues in a different light, which is usually what does happen at an after hours event like that.
So we just had the office party at my current employer and it was lovely. It was held at the parking deck, so outside, which was a bit scary at first as it was raining most of the past week, but thankfully today the sun was shining, it was warm, and the party was awesome. I really liked how big it was, cause our office is huge, so there were food trucks, a DJ, a silent disco, a fortune teller, lots of places to get a drink (and even better: whiskey with ginger ale, which is awesome if you can’t drink wine and don’t like beer), and a woman making a caricature and a few photo booths.
No expense was spared, there was a nice speech from the CEO and everybody was pretty much enjoying themselves. It is very funny to see the age gap that does arise at these parties. No offense, but it just shows how many older people are thinking: okay, I should not go too crazy, I still gotta drive, this is my job.. while younger people are more opportunistic I guess: they think: hey how cool the boss is throwing us a party, let’s make the most out of it, talk to people, have a good time. May be I am projecting my own thoughts too much onto other millennials, but I do feel that the youngsters were really there to have a good time, and I have also seen office parties where the young people felt a bit odd or something.
And because the young people were having such a good time, the older ones also stuck a bit longer than usual. I think, cause I haven’t been to a summer office party at this company before. It was very nice though, it was really cool to see my old colleagues again, to have a good time, though I did not go too crazy: I did not dance, I did not get drunk. But I did go for the full experience. It is often frowned upon to make use of everything that is offered, but I simply really love trying new things. That does not have to do with greediness per se, it has to do with making the most out of it.
So yes, I went into the Volkswagen photo booth twice, at some point we even put five people in it, and yes I went to the fortune teller, and yes I got my caricature drawn up. It really was a very good time, which good food (great veggie options), lovely drinks and most importantly: an overall good vibe. I am not entirely sure which team made it all possible, but they did a hell of a job. The whole afternoon we were checking out what was happening at the parking deck from one of the top floors of the building, to see what was happening. So many cars came in, so much stuff was setup, really lovely. We even received some make up and hair stuff as a going away present, which was lovely too. I forced a few people to take it with them, cause again: people do not want to seem greedy, even though those goodiebags are not made to just stand there, you know?!
I had a blast, and I really hope other office parties will be just as fun. I am glad I have the pictures to remember it by, for example the fortune teller that goes with this article. She did a good job, but I will tell you more about her later… 😉