Thursday, December 12, 2013

A Little After Work Entertainment

Office parties are always an interesting balance between business and reality. On one hand you head in there knowing that there are people you have been trying to track down for days and need to get a few quick answers or schedule a few meetings for the following week while, at the same time, you just want to relax a little bit and enjoy the informal get together. The trick is learning the give and take of the two.

Tonight was one of those nights for me as I attended a client’s holiday party. There were a couple quick things that I need to talk to a few people about but I made sure I worked them in and moved on as fast as possible. They had to get handled but I didn’t want to ruin the night with work. Plus you want to avoid getting the evil eye from their wife who is standing a couple feet away listening to every word.

The rest of the time is an excellent opportunity to let your guard down just a little bit and talk to as many people as you can. While you undoubtedly know many of them, there are bound to be a few people whom you’ve never met and a handful of people who have, until tonight, been a name on an email. Just like any event, meeting, or other type of gathering I’ve been to I go into it with the simple reality that you never know who you are going to meet or what you will wind up talking about.

Tonight the topics ranged from Rotary, Masonry, and other clubs and organizations to politics, firearms, and genealogy. It was quote the interesting night of ever changing dialogue and jumping from one completely different topic to another based on the person with whom I was speaking. But it was fun having a little variety in the night and I was able to learn a lot about many of the people in attendance.

Inevitably, at just about every office party I have ever been to, there always seems to be someone who becomes very loud toward the end of the night. Usually someone who has had a little too much to drink, whose face is about three shades beyond pink, and they still have a drink in their hand. Often their volume is accompanied with an overestimation of their abilities and a lack of appreciation for others around them (as well as people not around to defend themselves).

I like to remember these parties, the good and the bad, which is why I don’t drink at such events. Of course, the other major factor is that often I have to drive home but mainly it is because I don’t want to risk forgetting the details of what took place, again the good and the not so good. It is also ensures that I don’t turn into that guy. And if you’ve never seen that guy at an office party you better get some help. Don’t be that person. Be the one who remembers.