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Christmas parties

19th Nov 2011
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Christmas party invites are coming in. After a polite no, they are either binned or deleted depending on the nature of the invite.

Since the year I went on my own, it is such a relief for not having to attend work or any other Christmas party.

Some would ask why I am such an unsociable/boring sod. The simple and a clear response is I just do not like or enjoy them. I do not want to see people who I have been avoiding the whole year and then try and make (shout) small talk behind the loud music. More importantly, I have never been able to talk to a girl who I fancied. She was either married, had a boyfriend or was into some tall guy from our office. It was never me behind the filing cabinets! Does this sort of thing happen?

Then there is trying to talk to my own manager, for the whole year it has been professional. What do I talk to him/her about at this ratchet Christmas party? “So how is your love life?” This would not have been good for my career. Best I could do like many others- “Good party? Are you enjoying yourself?” How boring! I just wanted to get out of there.

There is also the dancing. I just do not have the figure or the rhythm for this. Men in general, particularly middle aged men, are terrible at dancing. We look right prats on the dance floor. Think of David Brent from The Office and you will get what I mean.

I ask myself why I forced myself to go to these parties. It was to get up the career ladder. To be seen as I am part of the crowd. I fit in. The effect of not making an appearance would not have been good for my career. They would have some talk, “he did not attend”. The higher up the career ladder I climbed, the more visible I became to others. This did not make attendance an option.

As my practice grows and I take on staff, would I have Christmas parties? Yes only if the staff wanted it. I would do my five minute speech good year etc. Stay for one drink and then exit.


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Replies (10)

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By petersaxton
19th Nov 2011 14:21

What you could do

I think the least you could do this year is to take your staff for a meal at a great restaurant. Don't dance and be glad there's no filing cabinets.

Show her that you don't just think about work all the time but make sure you don't say anything that makes her feel uncomfortable.

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By FirstTab
19th Nov 2011 14:28

Not looking for advice

Wasn't looking for advice on how to handle relationship with my staff. I am highly experienced on this area having managed teams over a period of years.

I just wish you do not comment on my postings. I have no control on this.


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By petersaxton
19th Nov 2011 15:07

I'm sure you are

There's a difference between experience and ability.

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By FirstTab
19th Nov 2011 15:11


and you clearly demonstrate this.


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By User deleted
19th Nov 2011 20:04

Good idea

I think it's a good idea to take your (in general, not specifically FT) staff out for a good nosh even when it's a smaller office. Though it works less well when it's just an office of one like me - though I do prefer my own company! It doesn't have to be dinner, lunch would work well too. Couple of glasses of wine, recover in the afternoon ready to stumble home. It does require staff though who are actually prepared to spend time with you rather than just in your presence and they have to be happy eating in public which not everyone is (I have a friend who hates work lunches for both those reasons).

I'm really getting into the Christmas spirit now :)  Can't wait to get my fairy lights up!

Oh and I never let my lack of dancing ability stop me jigging around - usually while waiting to be seated so that anyone with me is completely embarrassed. "Strictly" here I come!

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By Peter Bonetti
21st Nov 2011 09:10

Heat? Kitchen?

Personally I thought that Peter's suggestion was a perfectly reasonable one. Maybe the acidity of your response was a result of your hurt at the assumption that you weren't considering rewarding your member of staff for their efforts on your behalf throughout the year?

I would imagine your years of experience in successful team leadership would have led to a healthy recognition of the value of motivation after all.

When you post a blog on a public forum you surely invite comment as an inevitable consequence, whether you want to or not.

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Image is of a pin up style woman in a red dress with some of her skirt caught in the filing cabinet. She looks surprised.
By Monsoon
21st Nov 2011 16:59


We're a small office (4 of us including me) and we do xmas lunch. I'm like FT; I don't like parties. Thankfully, I've never had to go to an office party and I can't see me organising one here, ever. Xmas meal though, definitely. It's teambuilding, or something. Better than that, it's a jolly out of the office and is (hopefully) tasty! ;-)

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By petersaxton
21st Nov 2011 17:20

Audit teams

I don't like the usual office parties but parties when you are auditors are totally different.

On audit you get very close to others in the team. Then you are allocated to another audit team and you bond with them and don't see the first lot. We would always have celebrations because people were joining, passing exams, getting promoted or leaving all the time. You would turn up and see people you got on really well with but hadn't seen them for months.

I remember the first time I passed exams. There was four of us and we had to arrange refreshments in the pub for about 80. Two were at the bar making the orders and two were going round seeing what people wanted to drink. By the time you'd gone round once and got the drinks it was time to go round again.

The next time a group of us were paying we changed the plan. We went in the pub and ordered 50 pints of beer and 10 bottles of wine. A few orders like that and we could relax.


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By ShirleyM
22nd Nov 2011 21:29

Only two of us :(

So we are joining up with another local accountant, his employee, and a freelancer, and we are all going to celebrate together :)

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By Wilston
10th Jul 2012 08:18

Christmas is full of fun and joy and to increase your joy and happiness just share these Christmas Greetings   and you will get the best of  all

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