Justin works for Quality Electrical Systems wiring up control panels. (No, he's not an electrician, and his major at the U has nothing to do with anything electric.) He works on some really big panels. When he first started, he put together panels that make hospital rotating doors work, and now he does panels for huge water purification plants.
Every year QES has a Christmas party; the first couple I went to consisted of an all-you-can-eat dinner and bingo for gifts. Once you got bingo, you could choose from a variety of wrapped gifts labeled "elf" or "elfette." While I always got nice gifts, they weren't always what I wanted. But, with the receipt I headed back to Kohls and exchanged them for a Kitchen-aid Stand Mixer the first year, and accessories for it the next. Sweet.
This year, instead of purchasing and wrapping gifts, QES decided to pay for all the employees to stay a night at the Zermatt Resort in Midway! The night was fun and... interesting.
The first item of business was to pose for a complimentary 8x10 photo. I kind of felt like I was on a cruise ship... all dressed up waiting in line to get my picture taken before I could enter the activity. And the photographer totally lined up the printed photos when he was finished just like they do on the ships. Pretty funny. It turned out okay, but I don't know where I'm going to put it in my house... kind of random.
One morning, while I was waiting for Trax to come on my way to school, a guy came up to me and asked to use my phone. When I declined, he said he had missed the "last" bus and needed to call home for a ride. I told him my minutes were low... he said he would only take a second. Finally, I gave in and let him use my phone. A couple of days later I received a voice message: "Hey! This is homey from the Trax station. I just had your number from my caller id, and thought I would give you a call. Wanna hang out some time?" Seriously? He used my phone to get my phone number? Who does that?! I didn't respond, and he called 3 more times. I finally answered, and when I told him I wasn't interested, had a boyfriend and didn't want him to call anymore he called me a terrible name and said I should worry. Worry? What was he going to do? Justin called, talked to his Dad, and I didn't hear from him again. Some people are PSYCHO!
Okay.. back to the Christmas party. After I shared that story, the lady next to me got all excited. She started telling me about some dating book she just bought her daughter, and it took her about 20 minutes to get it out of her system. (I guess the cards did work, fostering all that conversation...)
Next, dinner arrived. The appetizer was (I think) supposed to be tomato soup, but it was like eating spaghetti sauce. There was one shrimp in the bowl, with the tail on. I wasn't sure exactly how to eat it - or where to put the tail when I was done. We kept joking that it seemed like marinara dipping sauce, and we needed bread, so of course, when I had almost completely finished my soup... they brought out the rolls. Then, when everyone had finished their roll (and got crumbs all over - we didn't have a bread plate either) they brought out the butter.
Finally, the last two guests at our table arrived. This guy and his girlfriend live with his parents, but the parents and the girlfriend don't get along... so she comes to work with him and sits in the car ALL day long. I'm not sure what she does in there, but there's a rumor about coloring books. Anyway, she showed up wearing sweat pants and a hoodie, sat down next to Justin and completely turned her back away from the table. The couple didn't say anything and wouldn't even look at any of us. It was SUPER awkward. The rest of us just tried to keep up the conversation so it wasn't so weird. Then... Ron couldn't take it anymore. Justin asked him to share his question and he yelled out: "My question?! Chelsea, what's your favorite color?!" I couldn't keep from laughing. But I tried really hard. When she didn't answer, he loudly said "There are people sitting at our table that haven't even been acknowledged!" It was so awkward. And weird. And HILARIOUS.
The main dish was next... Justin ordered one beef plate, and one chicken. I thought I was in the mood for steak, so he took the chicken. And he was the lucky one. The beef wasn't steak exactly... it was super fatty and super tasteless. The chicken was really tasty, but Justin was still starving after he had finished. As he put it: "Honey... my metabolism is so high, that meal was like throwing a twig in a furnace!" He couldn't believe there were only 3 carrots, a small chicken breast, and a few pieces of red potato on his plate.
Last was the gift exchange. They gathered all of our name tags, and after we heard our name drawn, we could go choose a gift. After Justin got his gift: (I'm not kidding here...) men's thong underwear, I couldn't hear a thing. Everyone was laughing and talking so loud I never did hear my name. I got the last gift on the table... but I didn't mind a useful gift like winter gloves. Oh, and I'm pretty sure someone forgot to bring exchange gifts, so they purchased two pair of blue gloves in the hotel gift shop. Both myself and another guy got the same gloves. And they were 15 bucks each!
We decided to go swimming, so we could actually mingle with some of the people we wanted to see at the party. The pool was really cool, but I'm sort of disappointed we were there on such a cold night. There were two pools, one indoor and one outside, connected by a little "river". The wall came completely down to the top of the water, so you had to swim underwater to get outside (or go through the door on "land" but who wants to be boring like that?) Justin went out and came back with the report that the drips of water on his face froze in the few seconds he was out there.. so I went to the hot tub instead.
It was only a 12 capacity space, but there were probably close to 20 people inside. My sister-in-law (yes, Jus works with his brother) and I squished in anyway. And during our stay, someone tried to turn the jets on, and turned on a waterfall instead. I wasn't in range, but the people sitting directly under the fall didn't look pleased. I'm not sure why they would install a waterfall in a hot tub - where people who don't want to get their hair wet/just want to relax decide to be - instead of in the pool, where the splashers usually reside. Anyway, about 2 minutes after that escapade, when everyone got over the shock of being dumped on and had resumed their original places, the lady that sat next to me at dinner turned on the waterfall yet again. The look on those people's faces was classic.
I'll spare you the details, but it was so nice to be able to get away for a night and spend some time with my hubby. And as a side note - sleeping on that amazing king-sized bed was a big reminder that we really need a new mattress. And new pillows. I almost asked the front desk if I could take them home.