Alcatel-Lucent Xmas party (17th December 2010)

I’m counting down the days till the holidays – can’t wait, only another week to go!

I stayed back in the office after work (most of my colleagues have left for the day by 4.30pm) to catch up on my Mauri Ora assignment till about 7pm before heading off to meet Jono at The Grand for his work Christmas party. It’s ironic that I’m attending Alcatel-Lucent’s Christmas party when I’ve boycotted my company’s party this year; Telecom has always been known for throwing the best Christmas party in town but disappointingly, that won’t be the case this year. For the first time, we were allowed to bring along our partners PLUS up to 3 kids to the party themed ‘Only in NZ’ that is held during the day (12-6pm) on a Saturday – it’s just going to be a family day event!! Many of us were looking forward to partying it out after slogging hard for a year and though it is great that we could bring along a ‘+1’ this time round, I doubt the party would be as fun as previous years. No offence to those with families but seriously, you can’t really p-a-r-t-y when you have kids in tow, you know…

Around 7pm, I headed to The Grand to meet Jono (the party started at 4pm and partners can only attend from 7pm). You must be wondering if this was the same The Grand that was on Courtenay Place several years back. Yes, indeed it is – having changed ownership several times, this 3-storey bar has had several name changes: The Grand, Shooters and back to The Grand again (not sure if it was re-purchased by the original owners thus the change of name back to The Grand). The whole bar was booked out for the Xmas party (all 3 floors) and this year, the theme was ‘GLOW’. Almost everyone at the party was wearing glow sticks as bangles, chokers and a few creative ones manage to twist the glow sticks into glasses. Most of the attendees weren’t dressed in costume which seems the norm with the ALU bunch – they aren’t as costume crazy as Telcomers at parties. Hmm, I’m not sure how does an Avatar and Native American red Indians fit into the ‘GLOW’ theme but they were there…Jono and I had on our brightest clothes, him in his bright pink polo shirt and me in my red dress, an eyesore for others when we stood next to each other haha! Definitely fit the meaning of glow = brilliance or vividness of colour :)

Joel and Shane too work for ALU and brought Yayi and Ella respectively to the party so we hung out as a group with several other common friends at the party, chatting and laughing together over our free drinks and food available throughout the evening. It was interesting to see 3 white boys with their Asian girlfriends (3 of us girls from 3 different countries) in our group of 20-30-somethings. In fact, our group kind of reminded me of the youngsters from Beverly Hills 90210 TV series, only minus all the dramas seen in the lives of the characters in the TV version ;)

“Quick, come on – there’s a photo booth downstairs!” said Emma excitedly as she rounded up the girls to follow her to the photo booth located somewhere in the building. The husband and wife team from WE DO Photography & Design have set up their photo booth on the ground floor and us girls (Yayi, Ella, Emma and me) had a ball having our photos taken. We managed to squeeze into the 1m x 2m booth, pulled the curtain close and pressed the green button for the camera to take our photo with us changing poses and positions every 4 seconds (4 photos, each taken 4 seconds apart). Silly faces, sticking out our tongue, even a show of cleavage shot!! There was also a box of props available in the booth filled with geeky glasses, feather boas, masks etc. for us to use if we chose to.

“Let me see, let me see!” We were all eager to see the outcome of the photos, standing outside the booth for the machine to ‘spit’ out the 6” x 4” photo sheet that had the 4 photos taken minutes ago. We cracked up laughing as we looked through them. It was so much fun that we did it AGAIN! Frankly speaking, the photo booth concept is great for parties, even weddings – gives people the privacy to capture their photos (and silly antics) at the event and have something to take home with them on the same day.

Girls Emma, Ella, Yayi and I having our photo taken at the photo booth


We headed back to the top floor and split into couples to play a round of pool. A live band was playing cover songs on the 2nd floor and several people on the dance floor boogieing to the band. Talking became more like shouting with the mix of noises as more and more people arrived, filling up the venue. Alcohol still free-flowing though strangely, they started serving curry and rice around 9pm, which was after they served dessert of ice-cream, cheese and fruits. Hmm, curry and rice to absorb all the alcohol so one can drink more??

“Come on, group photo, NOW!” called out Sam to the gang and everyone headed downstairs. The booth that usually accommodates 2-4 people was now jam-packed with 8 of us squeezing and pushing against one another to get into the photo. It was hilarious when we tried to shuffle ourselves in the tiny space within 4 seconds – some photos only had parts of us, or one or two missing from shot. So what do we do? REPEAT! 

Group photos of the gang - in the midst is Joel, Jono, Sam, Lee, Yayi, Emma, Ella and me

Me and Jono with our silly antics :P

How many people do you think we can squeeze in here?

One final photo before they take down the booth!

Jono and I headed home around 11pm as the party began to die down. We walked to the bus stop and bussed home, adorned with glow sticks – Jono picked up a stack from the table on our way out of the bar and put them around my neck! We’re going to ‘glow’ all the way home :P


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