i kind of think those parties are mean. you're not just making fun of a sweater, but also anyone who likes them unironically, laughing at their bad taste.
i have some far flung friends but i'm not really a 'travel to see them' person. honestly, i don't even like visiting my friends who moved 45 minutes out of the city. it's such a hike to get out there that i only go for big milestones. or i try to make something happen in town. and i started making some new friends who can get together for happy hours or a random Saturday night without it being a giant production.
i only buy presents for friends' kids if i'm going to see them. and i only buy books, because it's really more about me wanting to give books i love to kids rather than an obligation of gift-giving.
it brings to mind that (now former) judge in dc who harassed a dry cleaners for years with a bunch of outrageous lawsuits, all over a pair of lost pants
not particuarly happy about this, but not surprised. we're all looking at it from the 'after work/theft' angle given the framing of the suit. but i would guess that part of their reluctance to say workers should be paid for this has to do with the fact that a large percentage the federal govt. and many other companies make their employees go through screening to *enter* the buildings. like my mom works for a very large global employer with tight entry security. only one allowed at a time through the turnstiles. or federal buildings with metal detector and bag screening. i have friends that have to surrender their cell phones to a locker. if they had ruled in favor of the workers, stuff like that would have to have been included.
this is an interesting question. my office does pay for a big all-staff party. we used to have an evening thing that was pretty fancy, with live music and dancing. now it's an afternoon thing. 2-4 pm and we all get to leave early. i kind of prefer the current set up. some individual departments also have smaller gatherings, and they vary from potlucks to cupcake breaks. my dept was the only to have something out of the office at a bar, which our EVP paid for out of his own pocket (50-ish people, food and open bar). he left in the summer,they haven't filled the position yet, and we wondered if we'd still be having our dept party. it was always a real highlight for us since our dept is the busiest right now, better than the main office party. but his direct reports, about 6 VP's alltogether, decided to continue the tradition and banded together to pay for it which is AWESOME. it's really generous of them, and it goes a LONG way towards keeping our morale high.
"It was sort of imperative that the work I was doing for them was the most important thing in the world to me and that I was fully behind their operation." i don't think so. are we sure performance wasn't a factor? i mean, maybe this person isn't actually *good* at marketing. it's pretty self-congratulating to say that you were fired for not being "enthusiastic enough" about a job you hated "anyway" but i SERIOUSLY doubt he was fired for 'failing to hide' that he didn't like the job. marketing really is a game of initiative. if this person had zero initiative, was openly contemptuous of the entire concept, then he probably wasn't getting any results anyway. there's also a world of difference between lacking enthusiasm, and 'buzzkill whose attitude mocks the fact that other employees take it seriously'.
the idea that you only rent in the city for your young single years before moving to a larger space in the burbs? that doesn't really sound new to me... and i also don't think it accurately defines millennials as much as it did the previous generations. i mean, that's basically the plot of friends. i feel like we're already past that being a 'new thing' and they are writing an article for 20 years ago. i live in a megacity city, own a place and want to stay there. we have neighbors with kids who own, rent and co-op. we have neighbors who throw parties every weekend. we have neighbors who are retired. i also know plenty of people who moved to suburbs immediately post-college or never actually left in the first place, so they never did a megacity thing at all.
yeah. i even had that conversation with my guy back when we first sstarted dating. 10 years later... i still ended up in the same place. partly it's because of some health issues he has, combined with an on-call work job. that's the part i can never quite articulate. that i feel like i stretch myself to be available or to get things done, to make up for the things he can't do because of his health or job. or because it's my first instinct- to try and make 'it' happen. like he has a hard time saying no to his (widowed) mother, so i end up stretching to make myself available all the time for stuff with her. we got into a big argument the other day because i was upset that he often forgets to even *tell* me about plans he makes with her, let alone asks me in advance whether i A) have time and B) want to. and then i get blindsided when she refers to outings that i'm not even aware of. i was basically like, "this is the end. i am not doing anything else unless you ask me in advance, and if your mom wonders why i'm not around you have to tell her the truth, not make some kind of excuse that shifts the blame to me."
yeah, i made it clear early on in our relationship that i would absolutely be angry rather than pleased if my guy unilaterally decided to buy something expensive as a 'gift' for me, instead of us talking and buying it together.