I went to an Eviction Extravaganza for a company I used to work for. At their first holiday party two years ago, they’d had a live reindeer in a corner and cases of company-branded wine, most of which was swigged by Silicon Alley liggers. We drank the rest of it on Friday; it had sat in the supply closet all that time.
I hadn’t been to the office in a year. It’s a beautiful loft with a clear view of the Empire State Building (green and red for the holidays). All the desks were gone, so it looked just as it had when we moved in. We took pictures of the empty server racks, then we danced and told stories. People eyed the remaining furniture. We saw guests wheeling chairs into the freight elevators. My friends who’d been laid off looked sad and worried; no severance, and nobody’s hiring.
All that money spent on parties for strangers, on fancy office space and plasma screens, on first-class airline tickets for a startup CEO. As Tim said when accosted by a film crew while stumbling drunk outside yet another dotcom party in early 2000, “It’s like fucking Rome before the fall.”
Reindeer are surprisingly large. I won’t mention the smell in case this blog gets to seem obsessive.