Typically, this kind of event usually takes place at our Corporate Headquarters, but this year the company decided to take the party off-site.
The company I work for has always embraced the lifestyle and culture of Los Angeles, so having this year’s holiday party in Downtown LA was probably way overdue. Now, these types of events are usually held at the Corporate Office, however, the fact that we’re changing scenery this year is pretty exciting. However, this immediately turned off a fair amount of employees, considering most already have a long daily commute.
I myself, enjoyed the events held at the corporate office too, but I would be lying if I didn’t admit that I was one of many looking forward to an off-site company event, even if it was in LA.
Need a Lyft?
If you RSVP’d to attend the Holiday Party, the company was courteous enough to provide a Lyft credit to assist those who did not want to drive. Unfortunately, the cost of a one-way trip totaled out to be more than the value of the credit. Therefore, a group of us decided to carpool to reduce the roundtrip cost.
Off to a Bad Start..
We originally ordered a vehicle that would accommodate 6-8 people. However, when the driver showed up, the vehicle was barely big enough to accommodate 3. Half of our group jumped into the first ride and 3 of us stayed behind to wait for the next driver. At this point, we were pressed for time as the party was scheduled to start around 6pm. Our driver finally arrived but somehow found a way to get lost just a few blocks from our pick-up point. So by now, I’m convinced this is going to be an interesting ride.
I’ve had my fair share of experiences with Uber & Lyft drivers in the past. Some look trustworthy while others do not. This particular driver definitely fell into the “suspect” category. Anyways, to make a long story short, our driver ended up being ok for the most part. My only complaint was that it took us about 30-minutes to even get on the highway (which was literally 5-minutes away), not to mention there were several times where we were split seconds away from getting into an accident. Nonetheless, we got to our destination safe yet fashionably late.
The Secret Entrance
Prior to leaving the office, there was an announcement made about a “Special Entrance” into the venue. I thought this was super ironic being that I just watched The Night Before (starring Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Seth Rogan, and Anthony Mackie) a few days ago.
If you haven’t seen it, check it out. The movie revolves around three childhood friends and their journey to get into the “Nutcracka Ball”, the Holy Grail of Christmas parties in New York City. In the movie, after a night of shenanigans and debauchery, the guys finally make it to the location where the Nutcraka Ball is held. They go through a bizarre “secret entrance” to get into the party. So once we got this notification of a “special entrance” this was the first thing that crossed my mind LOL.
Upon arriving, we were greeted by a doorman/bouncer that checked our ID’s, guided us to a platform/loading dock where we took a photo with a backdrop branded with our company logo. After getting our photo snapped, a host guided us through the service area of a retro-themed hotel, down an old mysterious hallway with old kitchenware, appliances and an old beat up vending-machine that turned out to be the “secret entrance”. Of course, our special entrance was nothing like the movie but it did end up being one of those hidden entrances that led to a Speakeasy Lounge. The host talked the entire time he guided us but that was mainly a distraction to add to the element of surprise. Annoyed at this point, we all pretended to be shocked and surprised when the host revealed the hidden entrance. We entered the venue ready to enjoy the hideaway.
The ambiance of the speakeasy was also retro-themed. Everything from the decor to the DJ was reminiscent of the early 80’s and 90’s; which was right up my alley. The venue itself was rather small and narrow but perfect for a private secluded company event. Apart from the main room, there were other hidden rooms, which all had their own themes. Two of the rooms were for karaoke (one of which was hidden inside a telephone booth) and a third was designated for photo ops with a digital photo booth.
Because of traffic my coworkers and I got there an hour late and missed the appetizers but there seemed to be a good turnout and the open bar was great. The DJ spun a ton of old-school hip-hop and there were a few random performances on a floating stage that traced the outer rim of the bar. From B-Boys break-dancing to a Michael Jackson impersonator, the entertainment was mediocre, but not too disappointing to take away from the night’s festivities.
The company event was private and only went until 10pm. As the night began to come to an end the music switched and locals begin to fill the bar. The night was capped off with company gift bags (filled with goodies) and another Lyft ride back to the corporate office. All in all, it was a great turnout and a good first run at having the company holiday party off-site. Can’t wait to see what’s in store for next year.