[I’m INFECTED: Life As a Virus, Inc. Intern] Virus Open House, or, One Giant Extended Family Reunion

3/4!  Only one more and I can catch a few Zzs and hopefully stop “looking tired.”  Since my last two updates were “serious” in nature (one was all-out emotional, and the other was me trying to explain my newly-found geek), I’ve decided to make my third a fun one.  After all, just because these blogs are technically a “school requirement,” doesn’t mean that I can’t talk about fun stuff.

But first, an admission: working at Virus can get pretty hectic sometimes.  It’s an agency trait, really: in the fast-paced world of Marketing, and the even faster world of digital, there is always something new to get a hold of, some new area to innovate in or improve.  You’d think that, in a world of “EOD” (end-of-day) submissions and never-ceasing output, people must burn out a lot.

…Well, not really.  And for good reason: the people here at Virus know when to work, and when to stop, kick back, and throw a really good party.

Okay, okay, I know what you’re thinking.  Party?!  Frankie, you hate parties.  You’re an agoraphobic lobster!  You are admittedly socially awkward.  How can you be working in a place that throws parties?  Well, you’re right, I hate parties: the meaningless kind where you go to be seen and make small-talk and never actually do anything fun except stand around and maybe flirt and imbibe indescribable amounts of alcohol as a social lubricant when there’s no actual “socializing” to lubricate…you get my point.  I don’t like parties for the sake of throwing a party.  Virus Open House isn’t like that.

Part-company bonding, part-client servicing, the Virus Open House is a quarterly institution where, after office hours (of course), we open our doors to clients, partners, and friends.  Continuing that “family” analogy I’ve been constantly reiterating, the Open House is sort of like a family reunion complete with the occasional “talent show” and a Playstation 4.  It’s a chance for everyone to meet everyone’s significant others, friends, and actual biological family (Nike brought her brother, Miguel, who is actually friends with our President, Sir Miguel…which makes me wonder how they refer to each other, honestly.), and for everyone to take a much-deserved break, together.

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Being the aforementioned agoraphobic lobster that I was, I spent most of my time with the Virus Girls BD-Strat alliance of Helen, Arra, and Nike (representing Strat/Social Media) and Roch and Jovel (representing BD).  Strategy Head Rashmi was at an Indian Henna ceremony, but she was able to come a bit later, and we all ended up hanging out together at the couches, playing truth-or-dare, chatting, and meeting everyone else’s friends: Jovel brought some people from her old workplace, and Nike brought, as I mentioned earlier, her brother, and also invited her boyfriend, Rommel.

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A lot of clients and partners came, and I greeted some who I recognized, but mostly I was content to sit, chat, and watch the restless energy.

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The Virus Girls BD-Strat Alliance! + André Tani, Virus’ Executive Director for Business Development.  The colorful lights are a result of Associate Director of Business Development Mike Gabion’s cool sound-sensing laser machine.  

As far as parties go, this was a lot of innocent fun–mostly photos taken (many Oscars-style selfies), ping-pong matches, casual conversation, and happy faces.  There was no business talk; instead, everything was personal, relational, and set to the soundtrack of some cool music provided by DJ Amistocino (a.k.a. Nike) and Jaba, who made sure to play Disclosure’s “Latch” twice.

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Oreo couch assault!

I had to leave the party early, as I wasn’t feeling well, but not before taking a ton of photos, of which this is only a sampling.  Or, well, okay, I wasn’t the one who took the photos–my arms aren’t that long.  Instead, I brought along a “photographer” plus-one, friend and sometimes-collaborate Kyle, to help ward off agoraphobia.  He was warmly welcomed into the fold, was claimed by Arra as a “best friend,” and ended up falling in love with our Oreo Couch, but made a mistake of sitting between the cream and the top cookie.  Obviously, that invited becoming part of the sandwich.

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Me with DJ Amistocino, right before I go. 🙂

Friends, food (yes, there was food; I may have forgotten to mention that fact), and fun-and-games (someone actually whipped out a Jenga set) made this one of those rare parties that this socially-awkward midget Asian actually enjoyed tremendously.  And it wasn’t just the “party” aspect really–observing the conversations that went on, I could understand why everyone at Virus seemed so bonded, and why our infectious little agency has such strong client and partner relationships.  See, the thing I always hated about other parties was that someone was always left behind in the corner of the room to fend for themselves, feeling awkward and unwanted (9 times out of ten, this was me).  At the Virus Open House though, it was literally an “open” house–everyone made an effort to interact with at least one stranger, even if they weren’t particularly “social.”  And, whoever walked in the door, everyone looked happy to see them.  It was such a welcoming atmosphere, you couldn’t help but join the fun (or the selfie-taking).

I guess this reiterates the point I made in my first of these four updates–that my ideas about being “professional” were wrong, and did not necessarily mean ignoring the human side of interactions.  Relationships are as much a part of business as actually doing business is, and while of course during work hours interactions are strictly about work, I guess it does help to know that the person on the other line, helping you with this project or making your campaign, actually cares about you as a person, and the business you are doing.  It would definitely help me.

Virus Open House is Virus’ way of saying “We care enough to hang out with you and not talk business.”  And really, that makes it the best sort of party–a party where you can actually make friends.

All right, so that’s it for my “fun” update: 3/4!  Last update of the night coming up in a bit, but I really hope you enjoyed this one, and if you’re interested in attending our next “Open House,” or finding out more about the cool place I work, you can check out our Facebook page!

~ARoamingTsinay~

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