Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Air Sick Lesson 7 / Why Group Dinners with Co-Workers is a Bad Idea

Last night I suffered through another group dinner with co-workers at my conference in Boston. For the most part I have always felt that nothing good can come out of these things. Its one thing to have dinner with a group of friends who you work with, but to have a group dinner with everyone from your company who attends one of these events is a train wreck waiting to happen.

No matter how much you enjoy your job, there are always people you work with that you can only marginally stand, the kind you give pleasant smiles to around the office but wouldn't want to be stuck somewhere with them for any extended period of time. Throw in a company paid dinner where alcohol is being served and they quickly pass being people you can marginally stand to people who get on your last nerve.

So here I was at one of these functions last night and of course several people decide to get lit and show everyone the real side to them. For three hours, you sit and watch grown men and women turn into pre-pubescent boys and girls. The more drinks, the more there marginally good side is pushed to the back and the real them pushes to the front all the while you are looking for a way to tunnel out of the restaurant and get the hell back to your hotel. I must admit you do gain some very valuable information about the way people are when they are acting this way, but since I already had a suspicion that I didn't like them very much I am not sure if it was worth three hours of being stuck at a table with them to confirm it.

By the end of the night I counted about five different holy wars being started between the various factions of co-workers. I confirmed that the people I really didn't care for before was completely justified after watching them down a couple of vodkas and seeing the real them shine through.

Bottom line, a work environment is fragile enough from 9 to 5. If you think throwing these group get togethers leads to team building your out of your mind. Keep work at work, social time should be for friends and family, nothing good comes out of co-worker drink fests.

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