Typically, the annual Christmas party usually happens at our Corporate Office, but this year the company decided to move the party off-site.
It’s exciting that we’re changing scenery this year. When you work for a company that associates itself with the lifestyle and culture of Los Angeles, having a party in Downtown LA seemed way overdue.
Now don’t get me wrong, I enjoy most of the events held at the corporate office, but I was one of many who was looking forward to an off-site event, even if it was in LA.
Need a Lyft?
If you RSVP’d to attend the party, the company provided a ride-share credit for Lyft to assist those who did not want to drive.
This was a nice gesture, but the cost of a roundtrip ride to and from Downtown LA during peak hours was way more than the actual value of the credit. So a group of us decided to combine or credits and split a ride-share to reduce the roundtrip cost.
We requested a Lyft that would accommodate 6-8 people, but when the driver showed up, the vehicle was barely big enough to accommodate 3. There was no way we were all going to fit, so half of our group jumped in, and the rest of us stayed behind and requested a new Lyft.
After a long wait, our driver finally arrived but somehow found a way to get lost just a few blocks from our pick-up point. 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 drivers look trustworthy, while others do not. This particular driver definitely fell into the “suspect” category but ended up being ok for the most part.
My only complaint was that it took us 30-minutes to get on the highway, which was literally 5-minutes away, and we almost crashed on several occasions. Nonetheless, the driver got us to our destination fashionably late, with all limbs intact.
The Secret Entrance
Before leaving the office, an announcement was made regarding a “special entrance” into the venue. I thought this was ironic because I just watched The Night Before just a few days ago.
If you haven’t seen it, check it out. Three childhood friends (Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Seth Rogan, and Anthony Mackie) lead you through a night of mischief to get into the holy grail of Christmas parties in New York City. After a night of debauchery, the guys finally make it to the party and have to pass through a bizarre “secret entrance” to get inside.
Upon arriving, we were greeted by a host, who then escorted us through what looked like the service entrance to a retro-themed hotel.
We head down a mysterious hallway with rusty old kitchenware, serving trays, random appliances, and a beat-up vending machine that turned out to be the “secret entrance.” It was nothing like the movie, but it was one of those hidden doors that leads you to a speakeasy lounge.
The host talked the entire time he led the way. I think he did that to distract us, but after a long Lyft ride, we were all a little annoyed. So, when the host revealed the hidden entrance, we all pretended to be shocked and surprised as we entered the party.
The ambiance of the speakeasy was retro-fitted. Everything from the decor to the DJ was reminiscent of the ’80s and ’90s. The venue was small and narrow but perfect for a private company event.
Aside from the main room, there were other hidden rooms, which all had their own themes. Two rooms were for karaoke, and the third was a digital photo booth.
I didn’t get there early enough to enjoy the appetizers, but the open bar was fantastic. The DJ spun a lot of old-school hip-hop, plus there were live performances on a floating stage that traced the outer rim of the bar. The live entertainment was mediocre but not too disappointing to take away from the night’s festivities.
The night was capped off with a company gift bag filled with goodies and another long-ass Lyft ride back to the office. All in all, it was a great turnout and a good first run at having the holiday party off-site. Can’t wait to see what’s in store for next year.