Their party was just getting into high gear. The owner of the company had decided to pull out all the stops this year and spring for a restaurant buyout. Literally, he was buying the whole restaurant for the evening so that his staff could eat and party without interruption from the public at large. The wine was flowing and the “boss” was basking in the adoration of his staff. His top salesman was escorting a gorgeous “model hot” date around the room introducing her with obvious pride to his coworkers. Everything was going swimmingly.

Many restaurants offer the “buyout” as an option to large parties, if the potential party is large enough, or rich enough, accommodations can easily be made. However, many restaurants rely on return business, no one likes to get all the way to their favorite restaurant across town only to find out that instead of having to wait a little bit for their favorite table they are denied entrance all together. A few experiences like this might make them decide to go to their other favorite restaurant instead, leaving the jilted favorite with one less “regular” customer. It is for this reason that many restaurants use the buyout sparingly. Usually the restaurant figures out what their average sales on that particular night would be, adds on an inconvenience fee, and warms up their credit card machine. Some buyouts can cost $20,000, or more, depending on the restaurant and the night.

Back at the party the waters were beginning to get choppy. The top salesman’s date seemed to rather enjoy her lemon drop cocktails. After several of them her ultra-short red party dress had become disheveled, she had lost a heel, and she was beginning to look less like Gwyneth Paltrow and more like Courtney Love. She had also begun glaring with increasingly reddening eyes at the grand pooba. Somewhere between the entrée and the arrival of dessert she decided to let the “boss” know what she really thought.

“You know,” she said slurring her speech. “You don’t treat your employees very well.”

The boss looked at her and then looked around nervously for his salesman. The “Paltrow” clone had managed to ditch her date on the way to the bathroom and now had “the boss” cornered at the bar.

Being surrounded by subordinates, it was obvious that the boss didn’t know exactly what to do with someone he had no power over. He tried his best to wiggle out of a potentially embarrassing situation.

“Miss, what did you say your name was,” he ventured politely extending an arm to guide her away.

“You know damn well what my name is,” she snapped at him, slapping his hand away.

The waters were now really getting rough. The boss was probably beginning to think this party might not have been a good idea after all. After dropping several thousand dollars on a party he was now being accosted by an uninvited guest.

Office parties are one of the great perks of the holiday season. You can really see what the company you work for thinks of you as employees by the amount of effort they put into thanking you for your year’s trusty service. Restaurant parties are the stuff of legend, sometimes going on for days after the initial event. The week following one is often filled with red-faced apologies, sometimes a new relationship or two and occasionally the termination of someone’s employment.

The boss at this party was probably thinking of the latter as he desperately scanned the room for his salesman.

“Where’s ‘Jack’?” asked the boss trying to change the subject.

“You don’t treat him right,” she said jabbing her finger at him.

“Miss, you don’t really know what…” he began, still scanning the room beyond her weaving head.

“He’s the best employee you got,” she continued undeterred by his attempt to speak.

Apparently she had been saving this verbal barrage for some time. Nothing, not even an explanation, was going to stop her now.

Eventually “Jack” found her, but by then the damage was done. The boss quickly took him aside and judging from his gestures and the looks on both of their faces “Jack” had lost some standing in the eyes of his boss. Soon after, a cab was requested. When it arrived, “Jack” was seen hustling his “date” out, with her writhing and struggling, desperately trying to get back into the party and back at “the boss”.

After their departure, dignity returned as the party waters settled down. When it finally ended, sometime after midnight, people piled into cabs provided by the company and made their way home. The next morning I’m certain that “Jack” was probably hoping no one remembered the name of his date, his boss was thinking about banning dates to next year’s party, and one young lady was wondering what happened to her shoe.

 

Jeff’s Model Busting Lemon Drop

 

1 ½ oz. Charbay Meyer lemon flavored vodka

½ oz. Cointreau

1 ½ oz. Good quality lemonade

2 lemon wedges, slit in middle

Superfine sugar

Cocktail glass

 

Combine liquids in a cocktail shaker with ice and shake well. Place sugar in shallow saucer, wet the rim of the cocktail glass by running lemon wedge around the rim of the glass. Then place glass upside down in sugar, making sure to coat rim evenly. Strain shaken drink into the sugar-rimmed glass. Take the other lemon wedge and place cut sides down in sugar, until evenly coated, place on rim of glass. Call cab and keep date away from boss.