Yesterday we had a “closing of accounts” gathering at work. Well, we weren’t at the office but at a restaurant. At very first we met in a small conference room at the stadium — we took a private bus there (oh and how we laughed on the way). After the formalities we spent some time at the exhibition there (sport stuff, whee). I looked through the medals and things pretty quickly and then went to stand at the door to wait for everyone. A couple of guys had spotted a table football in a corner and went to play. After a while one of them came back and said “Minna, come, we need a referee.” That was a very sweet gesture because I was standing there all alone. So I went and I was even asked if I wanted to play but the boys were so excited about the game, I let them play. In the foyer there was this stand with a big photo of a pair of ice skaters on it with the faces cut out (I don’t know what those are called even in Finnish) and on the way out our sales manager put his head out the other one and people started taking pictures but first he needed someone to fill the other face. He said “someone? Minna?” I declined (cameras, eep) and the managing director went instead (much better!). It was so odd to be asked to take part in all those things, I’m not used to it which is why I don’t “butt in” but rather keep a distance.
We had a lovely — and very loud — time at the restaurant. It was very fancy, I was told, but it looked pretty normal to me (of course, I didn’t see the prices so I wouldn’t know the truth). The person who sat opposite from me said that you know you’re in a fancy restaurant when you’re not really sure what to do next and how to eat something. Very true; our first appetizer was some sort of vegetable soup served in a small glass mug. It took us a while to realise that you were supposed to drink it. The staff tried to offer me wine a couple of times (“are you sure you don’t want some red wine with the main course?” after I had turned down the initial white wine) but by the time we had coffee (and brandy or amaretto) they believed that I didn’t want any alcohol. The food was delicious; it was the first time I ate asparagus, it wasn’t too bad. Sort of silly to eat just that with a little sauce.
I left shortly after 10:30 and was at home after eleven, went straight to my room and toppled into bed. I’m still tired so thank gawd it’s Friday.
I had been a little sceptic about spending free-time with co-workers. I didn’t attend the christmas party (the possibility of seeing drunken co-workers was a little too much to handle) or a double birthday so now I decided it was time to start participating. I’m glad I did, the people are as fun and easy to be around with as at work.