A slight deviation from the Mummy blog for a moment. I have been asked to be one of two MCs at our office Christmas party on 18th December. In my pre-corporate days an office Christmas party involved a boozy lunch, secret santa and inappropriate flirting. The latter was scuppered when I ended up running an all-female office in HK, in fact none of my team drank alcohol except me so that one went too, but it was still a small and intimate affair where we all knew each other and then went back to the office in the afternoon.
The Christmas party at Gnome bank, however, is an entirely different thing. For one, it is huge. There will be about 600 people there, including the great and the good from the business (read: people who decide whether I will have a career here or not). It will be held in the cavernous hall that is the HK Conference and Exhibition Centre. Normally this would not bother me. I have spoken at conferences with more than this number of people, heck I even tried to crack a joke at one conference in Japan (it failed miserably due to the abject lack of a sense of humour of most market researchers). I can do this. I won't be funny, or even comprehensible (although memo to self not to drink beforehand), but it isn't this that is causing concern.
What really daunts me is that I will be standing up in front of 300 of the thinnest, best dressed women I have ever met, the 300 men will be pretty dandy too. There is something about working for a private bank that means people are just so darned presentable. Usually I potter around the office with my body of wobbly bits and frizzy hair. In my day job this doesn't matter too much, it is my brain more than my looks that people care about, but on the 18th, in front of 600 people, it will matter - a lot.
Panic, panic, panic. Must book hairdresser, buy new dress and sexy shoes (could I wear my sexy red louboutins all night or would I fracture my ankle?). Dress must make me look thin (hard), demure (harder) and sexy (harder still if I am also being demure). It must, at worst, not screw up my career prospects. At best it must get me a promotion. YES, a dress can do this! Panic, panic, panic.
I need to get to the gym, lose weight, exchange my hormonal skin for one with no blemishes, get a bikini wax, pedicure, buy a new designer handbag...
Oh my god, what have I agreed to.