Friday, May 29, 2009

And, if you ask nicely, I might attend YOUR party, too.

I almost never go to company outings. Our firm has a great deal of outings and get-togethers, ranging from informal "Let's order pizza and sit and talk" days to informal "Let's go to that steak restaurant and drink a lot of beer" days to "Let's, for some reason, all take a party bus to a Brewers' game" day to golf outings and Christmas parties and then a day that we all had chili...

I could go on, but I'm getting bored. And that's the thing about these get-togethers and parties and outings: they're boring. They involve, first of all, the people I work with. Which means that what we have in common is... work. So when we're all together at the office, we mostly talk about work. And when we're all together at the restaurant nearby and trying to figure out which of the cheeses on the platter is edible and which is "decorative," we talk about... work.

Plus, the main activity at these things -- drinking -- doesn't do anything to dispel the boredom. While there's always the chance, I suppose, that someone will get hilariously drunk and strip off their pants and insult someone else, that's a slim hope to peg an entire evening on.

The only company party I've gone to in the past few years that I enjoyed was the Casino Christmas party our office manager put together. I went, because I almost always go to the Christmas party, but I went expecting to be bored through two hours of small talk and gross hors d'ouevres and then to go home early.

Instead, I was greeted by not just gross hors d'ouevres mostly of the mushroom-and-shrimp variety, but also a craps table, a roulette table, a blackjack table, and a poker table, all with professional dealers and chips and promising some fun.

Now, I'm not a gambler, not with real money. But this night was awesome: Our office manager had gotten these dealers to come here and they had real chips, which we gambled for, and then we could use the chips to "bid" on Christmas gifts -- so it cost me nothing but I got to learn how to play craps and roulette and have an excellent time. We stayed for nearly four hours -- or about 240 times the length of time I ordinarily want to stay.

It was so cool, I wished we'd just do that everytime: get a little slice of Vegas or Atlantic City at our own company party. I keep bugging the office manager to do just that: To call Dial a Dealer and set up another Casino night.

Dial A Dealer has professional, Vegas-quality dealers just waiting to come out and host your party or Casino night or poker night. They've got tons of ideas on their site for what kind of party to host, and it doesn't have to be company parties, either: They'll do a Murder Mystery Casino Night, so you could combine two great ideas into one, having your guests gamble and solve a mystery, all at once.

And, if you're an aspiring or professional dealer, they'll help you with a casino hire or promoting your own business. All you have to do is click one of those links and you'll be whisked to their site, where you can find professional dealers to host your party, or set yourself up as a professional dealer to host others' parties.

Either way -- attending or hosting a Casino party, it sure beats a night of chili and hoping that you'll get to see that couple from accounting make out.

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