“Assemble at 11:50 for the noon bus” we were exhorted, “Be on time!” I had my reservations about catching the bus to the function, being reliant on the corporate transport meant being held hostage if it rained or turned out to be a dud or I simply got bored and wanted to escape….

Will I or won’t I? Around in my head all morning, but finally I decided that yes I’d be the good corporate boy and catch the corporate transport to the corporate Christmas function.

So out we all trooped and then stood around and waited from 11:55 to 12:15 for the supposed 12:00 bus, more and more people passing in their cars, managers’ cars, on-call cars. Finally at quarter past I gave up, went back to the office, got my bike shoes and helmet, went and unlocked the bike and rode the eight and a half kilometres to Jells park. I’d managed to lock the bike up and got half way through my first beer at around 12:35 before the bus finally turned up!

The function itself? Who are all these people? We’re spread out over three buildings and I’ve no idea what entire sections do, let alone who individual staff are.

Catered barbecue and drinks in a marquee, good food — they learnt their lesson from a few years’ back — Alan’s farewell speeches and presentation, lucky door prizes, and so it went.

Left around 15:50 and was back at my desk by 16:25, the only hassles on the way back being riding up Ferntree Gully road after a large lunch, and the four or five carloads of ITS staff who thought they were being friendly by tooting on the horn — deafening loud blasts indistinguishable from the bogans’ prelude to a screamed “GERROFFDAFUGGINROAD!”