The transition from full-time employee to freelancer is filled with many positive changes and some major ones that you never really thought about. It’s a lovely, freeing feeling to be in control of your schedule, who you work with and what projects your work on. You want to run out and do errands on Wednesday at 2pm, you go and do it. You are able to schedule all the annoying things you have to do as an adult when there is the least amount of traffic and human gathering. And the commute! Well it takes me about 30 seconds to get to my laptop.
Of course there are downsides, not knowing what your next job is, financial uncertainty and sometimes you end up doing more work since you don’t have “real hours.” After 15 years working in the corporate world, the one aspect of working from home that I didn’t expect would have such an effect on me was the isolation. I always thought, aw this going to be great, I'm not going to get interrupted every 5 minutes with someone’s story about their kid or what they made for dinner last night. This is very true, I can accomplish far more on my own than in an office environment, but I am alone. I eat lunch alone, breaks alone, complain alone, drink alone … You are a company of one.
As the holidays are fast approaching, I realized this is the first Xmas where I wasn't invited to a company holiday party. I always focus on the positive first, well I don’t have to worry about an outfit, or who to bring, and how is that person going to interact with my co-workers or boss. Then I think, I'm going to miss someone acting a fool, free food and drink and that feeling (hopefully) that you have accomplished something together as a team.
That feeling inspired me to create this post. Why can’t I have my own home office party? I can order what I want, drink what I want, wear what I want with no pressure that my career is under a microscope based on my party antics.
HOME OFFIC XMAS PARTY RECO
RESTAURANT - NU BUGEL
Smoked Chicken Sandwich
Exotic Avocado Sandwich
If you've ever worked in an office, you probably have a bagel story. It's the one go to food that you can count on to make everyone happy and miserable at the same time. The first company I worked at brought bagels in every Friday. I thought, ah wow, free food! When you get paid nothing as an assistant you are happy to have anything for free. The more seasoned veterans of the company had lots to complain about. Why did you get the bagels from there? No lox? Where is the low-fat cream cheese? Everyone found something to complain about. I was shocked, but kept my mouth shut with my everything bagel and went back to work. It got so bad that the new corporate policy was that there was never going to be any food items brought in. Thanks for ruining it for everyone Nancy! My next office was predominately Jewish and that’s when I really learned the importance of the bagel and all its nuances. We also worked across from a bagel store that gave out a dozen bagels if it was your birthday. Needless to say there was never a shortage in the shared kitchen. After about 15 years of eating office bagels and spending my first year of University working in a bagel store (I know all the secrets) I decided to breakup with the bagel. I hadn’t had a bagel in about 2 years until this post. I realized I kinda missed that bagel. That feeling of what it represented, coming together in a tiny, dirty kitchen and taking a moment to complain together. This is how any good friendships are born.
I decided to order some bagels from Nu Bugel in Kensington Market in Toronto. This would be the first time ordering from them, but they had me at wood fired. Their philosophy is to respect and honour the tradition and history of the bagel while making the bagel inclusive of all cultures.
Like an good party, it's important to have variety. I ordered almost all of the Nu Bugel sandwich selection. Off all the ones pictured above, the breakfast sandwich was my favourite. The egg, bacon and cheese melted perfectly underneath the soft and salty everything bagel. The smoked chicken sandwich was a bit disappointing. The chicken filling was really flavourful but the whole wheat bagel, as you can see, was burnt terribly. It was really hard to eat, tough and dry. The exoctic avocado sandwich is an interesting choice for your veggie friends. It is full of avocado, sprouts and black beans. The description says spicy black bean, but I found it a bit bland and it could use a bit more of kick. This was the messiest sandwich, which is perfect for your party of one at home. In a group setting, sandwich architecture is key, you don’t want everything spilling out making you look like a fool. The pastrami and lox are expected, well executed but not mind blowing. My recommendation is the breakfast sandwich and everything bagels all day long!
I ordered Nu Bugel via Uber Eats (they can also be delivered via Just Eat) on Sunday at 12:36pm and the order arrived at 1:13pm. Not bad for what is considered “busy” for the Toronto delivery market. Their orders come in a non descriptive brown paper bag. Each sandwich is wrapped in their red and white check paper and accompanied with a small side green salad. Each salad is individual packaged in a styrofoam container with a plastic lid. The salad, even though it doesn’t look like much, has an amazingly delightful citrus dressing. The sandwiches are just thrown in the bag without thought or organization. I am not really feeling the love in this bag. Each item was intact and there were no bagel casualties, but it felt like there could have been a potential disaster! I expect a better takeout experience if I am paying $12 a sandwich and delivery.
Review (out of 5 👍🏻)
LOX - 👍🏻👍🏻👍🏻
BREAKFAST - 👍🏻👍🏻👍🏻👍🏻👍🏻
PASTRAMI - 👍🏻👍🏻👍🏻
AVOCADO - 👍🏻👍🏻👍🏻
CHICKEN - 👍🏻👍🏻
Food Protection - 👍🏻👍🏻👍🏻
Environmentally Friendly - 👍🏻👍🏻
Branding - 👍🏻
RATING - 3/5 - 👍🏻👍🏻👍🏻
WINE - ROOST WINERY - 2016 TWO WRONGS MAKE A White
When you have a variety of salty flavours going on at a party it is best to find a nice acidic white wine. The salt smooths out the acid and provides a nice balanced pairing. If you are having a day party, like myself a great white will keep you peppy and in a great light mood.
The Roost is a brand new family run winery located on a picturesque hilltop near Ravenna, Ontario with stunning views of Georgian Bay. It's about a 20 minutes drive from Collingwood and Thornbury, They specialize in cold-climate wines in a truly spectacular setting. I found this winery this past summer and received a private tour of the grounds and their modest winemaking process. They are young, but there is much promise for this winery. I can picture a lot of weddings in their future!
The Roost is about bringing friends and family together in a beautiful and relaxing setting, allowing them to dream away an afternoon or evening, making them the perfect pairing for our holiday party.
Two Wrongs Make a White blends Riesling and Frontenac Blanc. Two grapes that don’t usually blend well, similar to most office parties! With a lot of experimentation this winery has figured out how to make these grapes get along, like a good HR department. After working out their differences they are now quite a racy pair, but best served when they are chilled. It you want to take a little edge of the wine try it after a salty bagel bite, but this wine can be enjoyed on its own.
ENTERTAINMENT - PLAYLIST
Get the party of one started with this old school classic!
Spotify - Home Office Xmas Party Theme Song
ENTERTAINMENT - Office Christmas Party
Office Christmas Party was released last holiday season but is now available for your streaming pleasure courtesy of Netflix. This film follows a traditional holiday script, they company is doing poorly so we have to create an elaborate plan to save everyone’s jobs and bonuses! While the script is thin, the portrail of crusty employees and employers around the holidays is spot on.
Here is a list of the most relatable moments:
1) Morning holiday parties to reduce the likelihood of a drunken lawsuit
2) “No one listens to HR.” Mary (played by Kate McKinnon)
3) “There is a lot of bad energy in this office.” IT (they're always aware!)
4) “Why is ginger ale now $2? Corporate is trying to crush us.” (just leave our vending machine prices alone!)
5) “Feeling a FU vibe down there.” Clay (played by boss TJ Miller)
6) “This party needs CPR.” Clay (just leave at this point)
7) Party hire (the boss gets drunk and promotes someone)
There is always this tension around the holidays at corporations. How well the company is doing is usually reflected upon how good of a party they have. No party, watch your back! Are you going to get a bonus or gift? Who is getting one? It all becomes highly competitive. You work hard all year, here is a mousepad to do more work 😒 If you make it to the party you let loose, and we all know the people that take it a bit too far. Mary warns the team that “the decision you make tonight will effect the rest of your professional career.” She is right, do you ever feel the same toward Steve in accounting when you see him bust out the cabbage patch on the dance floor? The holiday party is a trap from employers to see who they should put on their naughty list. If you do live in the corporate world, organize an after party without management so you can really let loose.
Whether you attend a party or celebrate solo, raise a glass and enjoy the true meaning of the holidays, gilt free consumption!
Here are some Office Christmas Party conversation starters:
1. Do you expect a Xmas gift from your employer?
2. Should a company offer an open bar at their holiday party?
3. What’s more important, good food or good booze at a party?
4. What is the craziest office Christmas Party you have been to?
5. Do you think parties will become more restrictive in light of harassment scandals?