I wish I could say that I avoid these miserable little excuses for “corporate-bonding,” too, but once again Veb is right on the money.
Get there a half-hour to an hour late, nurse one or two drinks for an hour or so (WEAK ones…highballs or bottles of beer…stay away from cocktails), MAKE DAMN SURE the top execs see that you’re there and interacting, then bag out at the earliest opportunity.
On the other hand, if opportunities arise to boff an Editorial Assistant or two in the Coat Room…
Skip it. You can never replace time so don’t waste it, especially on these high school oriented losers. If the company was smaller and you’d be noticed, I’d say go, but since that is not the case, don’t.
Me, on the other had, have had about a gazillion jobs in the past 10 years and all parties are different. Here’s my rundown.
Stock brokerage: Fancy club dinner. Got to dress up. That was fun but the rest was stuffy.
Dentist office: lunch at the club on boss. Nice. Casual, rest of day off with bonus in hand.
Bank: dinner (pay it yourself) with co-workers and supervisors at fancy restaurant. Okay. WAste of money pretty much. Then company party at company HQ in Detroit. Sure, I want to drive 1-1/2 hours to attend a hors d’oevre get-together with the cheeses. Boring waste of time.
Homebuilder: Fun! Dinner on riverboat and cruise. Next year, dinner show and cruise on General Jackson. Good people, good fun.
Bank: not there long enough; however, hubby works there and they put on THE SHOW when they do their Xmas party. Excellent time! Very fun. Family picnic in summer is fun too.
Project management group: not there long enough. Boring people, completely out of touch with reality. Thank heavens I didn’t have to go!
Software company: relatively fun. Good people but jerk boss. Brown nose event if there ever was one.
Law firm: Sure, I’ll drive to Detroit for an after-hours dinner (that I can’t take my spouse too) so I can sit and eat with people I hardly know. Throw in the fact that support staff and attorneys have different parties and it just sucks all the way around. Not that I wanted to go to a party with the attorneys but geez! talk about setting up cliques!
Public University: fun so far. Coffee hour for the faculty (staff bought baked goods). WAs okay. Staff (all women) getting together at local pub for dinner and gift exchange. Everyone gets along really well so it should be fun!
Hate 'em. Big waste of time, especially since my company does them after hours. I had a perfect 0 for 4 streak going until I got curious last year and decided to go. People were shocked that I showed up, so in a company of 150, my absence was always noticed. This year, our party is Saturday, and I’m not going.
To echo what most others say, it’s a waste of my time. If it were during business hours, I guess I would have to go, but it’s not, so I won’t. I spend a third of my life with these people, I’m not going to spend any more time than I have to. I socialize with exactly one person that I work with, so I’m not about to go to a phony bullshit office party to hang out with the rest.
That said, if you do go, don’t get tanked. Pretend you’re on stage in a play, and act like you want to be there. Be seen by those that should see you, then slink out as soon as you can. Beware, as politics and backstabbers abound at every office party. Don’t ever assume that anyone you work with wouldn’t sell your ass out to further their own agenda.
As a rule, I hate them–even though I like most of the people with whom I work. Since I generally work with small groups, I usually attend to avoid the razzing awarded to those who avoid them, but the fact that it’s a company function sucks all the joy out of it for me.
I did rather enjoy the little “Murder Mystery Dinner” thing we did at a local restaurant–mainly because I wound up sitting at the “Perry Mason” table and spent the whole evening in character (including identifying the murderer) without any of my clueless coworkers realizing what I was doing. I even referred to the schtick by a very Masonesque title (“The Case of the Calculating Killer”). This led to a lot of inner amusement. I strongly recommend playing a role–it really does help.
Agreed. Been in my workplace 10 years and noticed very early on the bitching and gossiping that goes on with both male and female colleagues. For this reason I never go to the xmas do. I went the first year and hated it. Never again and I can’t stand how people question why I’m not going. So many peole have issues these days and if people at work bitch about me for no reason and backstab then I do NOT want to see these people outside of work. I would rather see my real friends, my boyfriend and family. They can’t even go for a simple drink to the pub without talking about whoevers not present. Boring as hell! I’m sure some people at my work have no friends outside of work and only socialise with colleagues. They organise a Xmas party every year where everyone pretends to be ‘wild’ party animal. Stupid smirky looks about your outfit from some of the girls who wouldn’t understand the word ‘Class’ if they took a degree in it. Work is work you’re there to do a job first and foremost not to make friends. Don’t get me wrong I like about half the people I work with but others are just too much and what I see of them at work is enough. The people I do like will be friends for life but I have no interest in forced socialisation with the whole team. The whole thing makes me cringe it’s so fake.
There’s an Office Party, and then there’s an office party!
The Office Party with the whole company is just a tedious ass-kissing gauntlet. That’s the one where the senior management has to act like they know who you are and that they give a rat’s hairy grey ass, and you in turn have to act like every word they speak is a perfect gem that must be polished and preserved.
I don’t much like those. In fact, that one was supposed to be today but it was cancelled before I even took a shower. It almost sparks a renewed agnosticism, since it brings me back to supposing that there might be a god and that he sent the snow in order to save me, specifically, from having to play nice on my Sunday afternoon.
The office party! is the one where the ladies I actually work with get together and drink a little too much and talk too loud about subjects that others might deem better left unspoken. That one’s nothing but a good time. Last year we went to a restaurant/bar, then a movie. The one we call Hollywood (because of the big fake boobs and perfect teeth) smashed an uncovered tit on our car window and cackled like a hyena on our way to the theatre.
Don’t be concerned about the nickname, we all have one. Except me of course.
Two varieties of office parties where I work: the Holiday party, held at a bar where someone has either engaged a deejay or simply told the bar manager to turn up the sound system all the way. Drinks and snacks, no actual food. Nowhere to sit down. Unbearable and how the hell can you “bond” with someone when you can’t understand what they are shouting at you and vice versa?
Second type, the summer outing. Inexplicably held in early August with an outdoor temperature three years in a row of over 90 degrees, with high humidity to boot. No shade, no swimming, no fans, a hot lunch, and a lot of beer. It was torture; I actually thought I might be having heat stroke the last time; dizzy, feeling faint…
So I stopped going. When people ask, I just say I wasn’t feeling well, and didn’t want anyone else to catch whatever it was that I had. This year I made the suggestion that a holiday party would work better if they’d rent a venue with a music room and a quiet room, so people who didn’t want to dance (almost everybody) could actually talk to each other. Told that this wasn’t possible. I’ll be missing this party too…
We only have a Christmas lunch, potluck. But to make it a little fun last year I brought in some stick on mustaches and a couple of Christmas games.
When our Department head walked into the lunch and saw us all with our mustaches on, he nearly bust a gut.
So this year I found some more mustaches at the grocery store. I don’t know who else is wearing them and for what, but it’s fun!
We don’t have to go to an office party this year (thank God for getting fired, eh?). I’m wondering if we should make it our habit to not go to any office parties at the next places we’re hired at - I can really live without that kind of socialization.
I used to work for an insurance company that didn’t allow alcohol in the office. If you think office parties are awkward, dumb and pointless, try standing around with a bunch of people you don’t care about sipping nothing but fruit punch. Booze is the only thing that makes it bearable.