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Bon Journal

End of the year staff events

Last night I arrived late to our staff Christmas dinner. It was held in the grand ballroom of the Institute of Civil Engineers off Parliament Square in Westminster. The ceiling must have been twenty meters high.

Although I had looked forward to it with great anticipation and even put on a new black dress, I was very unlucky to get on the slow train into town. Having missed the welcome drinks, I became too sober to enjoy dinner, especially in the absence of two male colleagues who were supposed to sit on both sides of me. I scooted to one side and ran out of conversation before long.

Fortunately the speech was short, and the music was continuously danceable. The beat lured me to the floor. I danced with colleagues I knew well, colleagues I've never worked with, and colleagues I've never met before. It was a communion of sorts.

This kind of event made all the hard work in the year worthwhile. It reminded me of all those times I had celebrated with my colleagues and ex-colleagues - in London, Houston, and Singapore. It's both a thank-you and a reenforcement. We belong. We work towards a common goal. We are family - as the song goes.

19 December 2001 Wednesday