Every year my company tries to do something nice for their employees for the holidays. There’s a lot of work and planning that goes into it, from the “what” to the “where” to the coordination of raffle prizes. The year I had William, they had a fancy lunch at a restaurant… I didn’t get to attend that one. The next year they did a fancy lunch on a harbor cruise boat. The following year they did a fancy breakfast at Disneyland and gave everyone a park hopper pass for the day. I don’t think they’ll ever be able to top that one! The year after that, it was a fancy lunch at a ritzy shopping mall. This year, it was a fancy lunch at a harbor restaurant.
I guess one of the options they explored for this year’s event was renting a theater for a preview of the new Star Wars movie. Sadly, the theater didn’t get back to us timely, so we chose the fancy lunch at a harbor restaurant last Friday. My co-worker told me yesterday that the theater had just called and cleared us for this Friday. But, yeah, too late.
Anyway, we had a good time and the most interesting story I took away from the outing was my parking adventure. So, valet parking was paid for by the company, including gratuity. Except when I got there, the line for the valet was backed up into the street and was 10 cars deep. So I backed out of the line and drove to the next stop light to make a left turn and park at a meter. Except the stop light was malfunctioning, so I had to wait through two cycles and then went against the red light. I finally got parked and started putting my hard earned coinage into the meter and realized that the meter didn’t allow payment over 1 hour, but it still took the money with no option for a refund. Jerk! The meter dude was standing right there and when I asked him about it, he shrugged and said, “Yeah, well, it says right there…” and he pointed through the inch thick, foggy acrylic cover at a minuscule sign inside the meter. Ohhhh-kay. My loss. He suggested downloading their parking app and paying that way, then I wouldn’t have to leave the party to feed the meter. Turns out, it was a good suggestion and was a good topic of table conversation, too.
The best part of all these Christmas events, though, is the early release. After we put in our appearance at the event, and sit through the endless raffle prizes that I never win, despite prayers and hopes to the contrary, I get to leave and go somewhere and spend the rest of the day with my little guy. That is truly the greatest gift my company gives me. Who cares about 55″ televisions? I’d rather see a 45″ tall little guy any day over a 55″ square monster!
Plus, we discovered escalators, Chick-Fil-A, Baking Betty’s (creme brulee cookies… swoon), a gelato store, a koi fish pond and, of course, the super tall Christmas tree that is just perfect for running around like a silly goofball. And when Tony arrived, William told him he needed a second dinner from Chick-Fil-A and a second dessert from Baking Betty’s. Hmmmm.