My employer held the annual Year End Employee Recognition Event (aka Casino Night) last Friday. Apart from a few secular Christmas tunes such as "I'll be home for Christmas" from the combo playing light jazz background music, the yuletide spirit had been completely expunged from the central plaza at the Marriott and replaced by the Las Vegas spirit. The craps table was mobbed by my fellow workers and their spouses. Every seat was filled at the poker and blackjack tables. These merry gamblers were playing for points rather than cash, and whoever had the highest point total at the end of the night stood to win a cheap gift card. Despite the paltry payoff, gambling fever ran rampant, followed closely by intoxication. One colleague, already deep in his cups at the start of the festivities, reached over to give me a friendly pat on the back, missed me by a foot, and nearly toppled to the floor. He mumbled something about dark suits and optical illusions before wishing me well and drifting away into the crowd.
Here is a saying worthy of note: If you stick around long enough, you see everything there is to see. This is why I left the party at 9:30 p.m.