Working the party

Champagne glasses

BOB MOON: The sound of clinking long-stemmed glasses rolled across the country last night as holiday parties reached their crescendo.

But for a few (let's call them unfortunate souls), last night was no time to kick loose. Somebody's got to plan all those over-the-top parties the rest of us enjoy — or at least read about.

Take Justin Jones, for instance. He's a party planner in New York City.


JUSTIN JONES: I started in this business as a waiter/bartender just like the guys that you see here. And being a fly on the wall at some of those parties is really...it's really quite an experience here in the city. Just seeing the amount of money and how money can spoil people and how it can really just turn you into, uh...people get downright nasty about some of these parties.

PHILLIP MARQUEZ: My name is Phillip Marquez. I work for Troy Protective Services part-time. I've been with them since 2001. My main concern, first and foremost, is to make sure everyone gets home safe. No one gets too intoxicated. Well, unfortunately that's not the case at parties. People always get intoxicated. They act other then themselves with alcohol in they system.

[Drunken Carolers singing "Walking In Your Winter Underwear."]

Our job as so basically maintain the crowd, make sure no one gets hurt. Makes sure no one, whoever's throwing the party don't get hurt. Make sure the bartenders don't get hurt. None of the waitresses, the waiters get hurt.

ANNIE CONWAY: My name is Annie Conway. You would never make any money at one of these things. It's a flat rate. You get something like 25 an hour to work just running drinks. And no one tips you cause it is an open bar...as opposed to a club, I mean anyone who works as a bottle-service waitress is in it for the, you know, ridiculous money as the bartenders. I mean you're guarenteed a 20 percent minimum of every check.

YUNLIKUE: My name is Yunlikue.

Sometimes people get drunk and they're like in a bad mood, so they try to take it out on a bartender. Maybe on a cocktail waitress. I had bad experiences like, you know, like, you feel sad because people are so like, depending on a crowd, sometimes are really rude and you feel like "It's a Christmas party or holidays, why everybody's not like nice and you know, try to make your work easier?"

MARQUEZ: Unfortunately, there may be incidents when we have to actually pick people up were they fall out and take them outside. Normally, security will take them outside and just leave them. What we do is we take them outside. We get 'em some water. We don't just let them go. We have them sit down on the curb. Get a breathe of fresh air. Get some water in their system and oxygen in they brain. And if they feel a little better, then we put 'em in a cab and send 'em home. But we don't let back in the party, cause once they fall out, you don't want to let them go back and drink again. That's less of a headache. So we just send 'em on their way. But we make sure that they are at least safe. Try to catch 'em a cab. Put 'em in a cab and send 'em home, you know to a safe environment. Hopefully, they go home.

[Drunken caroler sings "Fly Me to the Moon."]

MOON: Trey Kay produced that piece in New York City.

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