Diary Of An Entry-Level Employee That’s Trying Too Hard: The Office Party


Gil Humplestead is a 23-year-old, recent college graduate who recently got his first real job as a Junior Marketing Assistant Coordinator with Incorporated Partners & Co. Today, he chronicles his attempt to win the company Halloween costume contest.

Friday, November 1, 2013

Hey, Diary. Hump here.

Halloween was last week. Didn’t know if you had heard. Spent the entire week listening to Monster Mash and trying to memorize the dance from Thriller. I wasn’t too sure what my costume was going to be. I spent a lot of time thinking about it. I had heard how big of a deal the office costume contest was. I wanted to make sure that I’d further establish my ever-growing presence as the office Alpha Male with a handsome win over my coworkers. The winner even gets a $25 gift card to Ruth’s Chris Steakhouse. That’s the shit Gil likes.

I wanted to go as Don Draper, but just couldn’t bring myself to buy a skinny tie at Steinmart. I decided to go as Patrick Bateman. I wanted to really jazz up my costume with some fake blood, an Armani raincoat and stainless steel axe, but my dad wouldn’t give me his Discover card after I racked up a cool grand on a suit, some silver cufflinks and a couple of ties. Gary Humplestead drives a hard bargain, just like his son.

Regardless, I was ready to take what was mine. I’d have to make due with what resources I had at my disposal, just like Zuckerberg did when he invented Facebook. I already dress like Bateman on most days, anyway, so all I really had to do was spruce up my regular wardrobe to look like a murderous yuppie. I’d just go with a French-collar shirt, paisley suspenders and some pinstripe slacks.

Went to the costume shop on Wednesday to pick up some stuff to put the finishing touches on the Bateman ensemble. I was gonna get a fake axe and some stage blood to really make it look real. So I grabbed the most realistic axe they had and a 16 ounce tube of fake blood. Didn’t want to skimp. I wanted people to think that I really was covered in hooker blood.

The total for everything was $78 bucks. Chump change for a high roller like Gil Humplestead. My debit card ended up getting declined, but I played it cool and screamed at the cashier to call my bank and “verify the funds.” That’s only something big wigs say, especially in line at Party Warehouse with seven people behind you. It’s the kind of power move that earns you respect amongst the consumer public.

I stormed out of the store, empty-handed, but with a steely-eyed determination to make my Bateman costume work. It wasn’t very “boss” of me to use things around my house to complete the outfit, but I knew I could pull it off and make it look like I spent a ton of money in the process. That’s the kind of know-how and street smarts it takes to get to the head of the boardroom table.

So I laid out my outfit on my 800-count sheets that I got from Kohl’s and tried to give it the final touches. I didn’t have any fake blood, but I did have half empty bottle of my roommate’s Sriracha that he barely used. That worked. I sprayed it all over the shirt, made it really look like I had chopped a hooker to bits in a fit of rage. Classic Bateman. Now, I just needed the axe. I thought I could just duct tape one of my kitchen knives onto one of my golf clubs, but that just looked stupid. Although, I have been looking for an excuse to bring a golf club into the office for some time now.

I was getting desperate, so I had to get creative. I remembered that there was a fire hose in the stairwell on a couple of floors below me. Sure enough, there was an axe right next to it. They wouldn’t miss it. My costume was finally complete! Soon, I’d be soaking up the good life at the local Ruth’s Chris, drinking scotch & cokes, and putting down a 16-ounce T-bone and wedge salad.

I woke up the next morning and my room smelled like a spicy garbage disposal. The Sriracha had dried into a clumpy, brown mess on my shirt and the smell of it was really overpowering. But you know what else is overpowering? Gil Humplestead’s will to win.

I showed up a few minutes late to work, ready to take what was mine. I walked through the door and the receptionist, Sandy nearly jumped out of her seat she was so scared. That’s right, sister. Gil’s here. Or should I say, Patrick. Everyone was staring me down from their cubes, I could smell the fear permeating throughout the room. Sucked for them.

Mike from sales, who was dressed as a broke ass Mr. Mistoffelees from “Cats,” stopped by my cube a few minutes before the contest to ask me what my costume was. “Whaddaya ‘sposed to be there, Humplestead? A homeless axe murderer?” He really was into my costume, jiggling with laughter. I cackled and flicked a pretend toothpick at him, just like Bateman did! Then I told him I had to go return some video tapes. Man, I was so into the character.

So they lined us all up and I scanned the room for my competition. Sandy the receptionist was dressed as a cat. Mike from sales was Robin Thicke from the VMAs, but way fatter. Chris from accounting was “Batman” according to himself, but it was really just him wearing one of his kid’s cape. Really half-assed it. I had them all beat, for sure. But I heard some metallic clanking right before the office voted on the winner. It was Terry and he was in a full Tinman getup. I mean he looked like he was right out of The Wizard of Oz.

The office roared in appreciative laughter and thunderous applause for Terry Tinman. It was all over. Dreams of bleu cheese crumbles and au jus evaporated. I was defeated. Terry had won. Damn, you Terry. Damn you straight to hell. Gil will have his revenge.

I let Terry high five me and I ended up with silver paint all over my palm, which then proceeded to further ruin my French-collared shirt and I even got a little bit all over my pants. But it’s just like Winston Churchill said, “Success is not final, failure is not fatal: it is the courage to continue that counts.”

Smart Redcoat, that Churchill. Fuck Terry. By this time next year, I’ll have been promoted enough to where I can fire him myself. Gil’s comin’ for ya, Terr Bear. Lawyer the fuck up.

Hump. Out.

More Gil:
Buying Work Clothes
First Day
Training Seminar
First Sales Call

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Brian McGannon

What do I love? I love happy hour, a good golf tan, and getting moderately drunk during dinner.

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