Saturday, December 09, 2006

Christmas Parties

And so it was the dreaded 'office party' last night, at the hotel pictured above. A far nicer venue than we have ever been to before. The food was actually rather tasty and I had a much better night than I expected. After suffering terribly with IBS all day, I had feared that I would have to go straight home to bed and miss out on the one free evening that work provides. But I managed to get there nonetheless, with some of my colleagues and sampled the free champagne (ok) the free wine (terrible) and the one beer that our free drinks tokens covered.

The evening highlighted several things to me:

(1) Dress Codes - the theme for this party was 'smart/casual'. As my work is based in London and the majority of my immediate colleagues fall into the 25-35 age group, I decided that smart jeans, 'cocktail' shoes and a dressy black and gold top was appropriate. (And the latest Debrett's publication is in agreement). A number of my colleagues evidently agreed, as they too were wearing similar outfits. Other attendees attire ranged from jeans and trainers to pretty much full black tie via cocktail dresses, kilts and suits. On the whole, we appeared a rather motley lot, as no-one ended up looking appropriately dressed. Even the host's dress to my mind did not fit into a smart/casual code; I long for the day when this awful dress code is obsolete.

(2) Behaviour - I was surprised at how many of my colleagues did not feel that they should be taking to our overall manager. To my mind this is foolhardy on many levels. First, it is rude. To deliberately exclude someone from the conversation or by refusing to meet his or her eye so as to avoid conversation of any kind is unnecessary and hurtful. Secondly, in a work related context it sends a message to the boss that they are unable/unwilling to maintain any conversation outside their immediate social or work-level context. Translated into the office environment, a person who does not even talk to their manager at a party is unlikely to be remembered or considered for promotion or leadership roles.

I think I will leave the list there for now as I have tired of whinging and reflecting on negative things. Instead, I am thinking of sunshine and of the impending festivities. I have still to finish purchasing my Christmas Presents or write any cards. The first of ours have begun to arrive and we shall go and buy a small tree on Sunday, which I hope to decorate with lights and candy canes. Goodness knows where it is going to go - I think that we better have a table top one.

1 comment:

lain said...

I think the only thing worse than smart/casual is business casual. Ugghhh.