Very rarely do I fail at work. Sure, I may have to push out a deadline, or even ask for additional resources, but in the end, I will meet my objectives. In fact, it is probably safe to say that I have never ever crashed and burned on an assignment.
I have completely gone down in flames. And I am very happy that I have.
Several months ago, I had been chartered with instituting a monthly happy hour for my company. I’m not in HR. I am not the social chairman of this little fraternity of ?????. (That’s Greek for geek, and I do use the terms “geek” and “nerd” with utmost respect and affection.) I am not the den mother of this troop of girl scouts. But I was secretly flattered that they had asked me to find the fun. I did several iterations of market research, identified a short list of contenders, did a very thorough gap analysis, but in the end, it was all just a little dog and pony show for the execs to prove we had done due diligence. They already knew all along that they were going to select...Pacifico’s.
The first time we went, it was a little painful, but isn’t that always the case with the first time? Just a medium-sized group of representatives from each department, gathered around a large table on the patio pretending to be there for internal networking, but really, we were segregated by department. If marketing wanted to get to know someone in project management, she’d have to yell across the table or get up and walk around the table. Attempts at casual non-work conversations were strained and inevitably circled back to work subjects anyway. There were some long, awkward silences, but thank god for the servers who came by to take orders or deliver our margaritas. Boosting morale? Developing a sense of camaraderie? Ha! We know why we were all really there – free food and drinks. Too bad the food sucked. And there was a horrible guitar-playing singer who wouldn’t leave until we tipped him a dollar to sing “La Cucaracha.”
But we tried again, and the second time, it was pretty much just as painful. Less the singer, but without that distraction I paid even more attention to the food. Jicama and cucumber that are limp and warm. Quesadillas that had to be sent back because they had so little queso I was embarassed for them. Fried things so heavy with batter they were virtually unidentifiable, not to mention that they were soggy with grease. Not even 2 margaritas, with a mid-swig switch to vodka/soda, could cover it up.
Pacifico’s is mediocre, at best, and the only redeeming qualities are that 1) the restaurant is located within walking distance of the office, which is important for us as we stumble back to the office after the much needed, but probably one-too-many 2) cheap, fairly strong margaritas. Other than those two factors, there is absolutely no reason to ever go back there. Not even for their Mexican sushi? Hombre, now that’s just nasty.
Thank god our monthly happy hour has been shelved. I just don’t have to put this little failure on my resumé ;)