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  • My issue with these types of events is I'm usually on the team planning it and I have to work during them and don't get to enjoy it.

    So, last Friday, the head of our business unit sent out an email to a blog post about the new return to work policy. Starting in September, they want employees back in the office at least twice a week. Doesn't affect me as I've been going in twice a week for the past year. There is a distance requirement - meaning if you live withing 50 miles of our office, you have to come in. Anyway, I get why they're doing it but man, I read the comments from employees and they were NOT happy. I have a feeling a lot of people moved during the pandemic and now it's a challenge to get into the city. A lot of people were hired over the past three years and were considered remote employees but now they have to start coming in. Many people commented on the fact that the blog post was dropped at 1:30 on a long weekend, which was the first thing I thought of. I think that sucks. Very poorly done. This could get ugly.

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    • Originally posted by SJHovey View Post
      I think you guys are looking at this all wrong, and hurting yourselves in the process.

      Company social events are not designed to force you to become friends with your co-workers. They are designed to give you the opportunity to become friends with co-workers, to communicate differently with co-workers than by text or email, to develop relationships. And relationships are really important if you want to advance your career.

      I'll use Cafe as an example. We've all probably drawn mental pictures of what posters look like, sound like, act like, or how they communicate. In some instances you might be dead on, but I guaranty that in others you'd be very surprised.

      That is what company social events are about. They get you out from behind the screens and let you talk to people face to face. Human beings need that personal, direct socialization. You will benefit by it. Candidly, humans are getting worse at, mostly due to technology.

      The other thing that it does is that it gives you a chance to show what kind of decisions you are capable of making. When people are encouraged to relax and have a good time, to you relax and have a good time or do you get drunk and make a pass at your boss?

      The reason you all think it's stupid is not because it is stupid. It's because you're introverts, and it's hard.
      I saw my entire department on a regular basis. Some daily, some weekly, some monthly. But we all lived in cube farm so we saw everyone face to face. And in that time, I learned which ones that I could barely tolerate. So that's not a valid reason.

      We socialized in meetings, too. Where you are face to face, there's always small talk before and after meetings. So there's that.

      And I never once thought they were truly places where you could relax, BECAUSE you were also supposed to network for your career- theoretically. So there's that. I never really saw anyone that "hustled" at those events have a productive path to being a manager or technical specialist.

      Again, the part I really hated was 1) seeing people suck up (not network) to bosses when they were complaining about the same people and 2) learning things about my co-workers that seriously questioned their motivation to do good work- which is the exact opposite that these things are supposed to do. Let alone learning that few of my co-workers actually share any thing that I'm interested in. I've never seen one person I've worked with at any Michigan hockey game, let alone the concerts we go to, or the other arts events we go to.

      You don't address either of those flaws.

      Being an introvert needs to be allowed, not forced to comply.

      Funny thing that for the last decade or so of working, the individual had to pay their own money to go to the events.... I'm not paying to go to "senior day" at the local fun place. Yes, the best they could come up with for an event was an afternoon at one of those places that seniors go to when they graduate from high school for an afternoon. It was bad enough that the previous events were bowling or golf- things I've not done much of since college.

      Comment


      • Originally posted by Scarlet View Post
        My issue with these types of events is I'm usually on the team planning it and I have to work during them and don't get to enjoy it.
        Sorry to let you know that there's a non zero amount of people who really hate those events. It's not your work that's the issue.

        Comment


        • Originally posted by MichVandal View Post

          I saw my entire department on a regular basis. Some daily, some weekly, some monthly. But we all lived in cube farm so we saw everyone face to face. And in that time, I learned which ones that I could barely tolerate. So that's not a valid reason.

          We socialized in meetings, too. Where you are face to face, there's always small talk before and after meetings. So there's that.

          And I never once thought they were truly places where you could relax, BECAUSE you were also supposed to network for your career- theoretically. So there's that. I never really saw anyone that "hustled" at those events have a productive path to being a manager or technical specialist.

          Again, the part I really hated was 1) seeing people suck up (not network) to bosses when they were complaining about the same people and 2) learning things about my co-workers that seriously questioned their motivation to do good work- which is the exact opposite that these things are supposed to do. Let alone learning that few of my co-workers actually share any thing that I'm interested in. I've never seen one person I've worked with at any Michigan hockey game, let alone the concerts we go to, or the other arts events we go to.

          You don't address either of those flaws.

          Being an introvert needs to be allowed, not forced to comply.

          Funny thing that for the last decade or so of working, the individual had to pay their own money to go to the events.... I'm not paying to go to "senior day" at the local fun place. Yes, the best they could come up with for an event was an afternoon at one of those places that seniors go to when they graduate from high school for an afternoon. It was bad enough that the previous events were bowling or golf- things I've not done much of since college.
          Neither one of the two things you identified are actually "flaws." You learned something at the event that you didn't previously know. Can you trust or depend upon the person that complained about his or her boss to you privately, but then sucked up to that boss at the party? Were they making those statements to you to see if they could get you to agree and say your own bad things about the boss? Are they a person who just says what they think others want to hear?

          Me, personally I like to know if there is a reason not to trust someone, or something they might tell me, and you learned that about at least one of your co-employees.

          As for them not sharing your interests, that might actually be a positive. Granted, it's a lot easier to hold a conversation with someone about something you both are interested in, but don't always look to take the easy way out. You might actually learn something interesting, or develop a new interest.
          That community is already in the process of dissolution where each man begins to eye his neighbor as a possible enemy, where non-conformity with the accepted creed, political as well as religious, is a mark of disaffection; where denunciation, without specification or backing, takes the place of evidence; where orthodoxy chokes freedom of dissent; where faith in the eventual supremacy of reason has become so timid that we dare not enter our convictions in the open lists, to win or lose.

          Comment


          • I'm not talking about company social events specifically. My company only does 1 or 2 of those each year (that are company sponsored), and I usually go to 1 of them if they do 2. I am talking about just regular co-workers who feel like they need to be friends with the people they work with. That they should be doing more together outside of work and who feel the need to share everything about their lives. Your Michael Scott types. I work with and have worked with some of those types and I hate it (but I do not let it affect they way I treat/work with them). As for the leadership training, it was optional and will have absolutely no bearing on any advancement I get through my company. I know this for a fact as my supervisor, our COO, has told me this directly and he is someone who is far more concerned with results (we are an aquaculture company raising fish, relationships are important yes, but results are way way more important). And I spend half my day at most in front of a screen. I interact with my crew (5 people I supervise) and the other department at my site (10+ people) everyday. I also interact with folks from other sites and departments in person, on video calls, and voice calls regularly. So, while introverted, it really doesn't have anything to do with it as I have had no problem being around people when I need to be.

            Comment


            • Originally posted by SJHovey View Post

              Neither one of the two things you identified are actually "flaws." You learned something at the event that you didn't previously know. Can you trust or depend upon the person that complained about his or her boss to you privately, but then sucked up to that boss at the party? Were they making those statements to you to see if they could get you to agree and say your own bad things about the boss? Are they a person who just says what they think others want to hear?

              Me, personally I like to know if there is a reason not to trust someone, or something they might tell me, and you learned that about at least one of your co-employees.

              As for them not sharing your interests, that might actually be a positive. Granted, it's a lot easier to hold a conversation with someone about something you both are interested in, but don't always look to take the easy way out. You might actually learn something interesting, or develop a new interest.
              Seems to me that you are trying hard to justify these events.

              Me, I'm glad I skipped them for about 25 years.

              Sorry, but there are people who you work with who find them to be a colossal waste of time. Work should be a meritocracy, not one of cliques based on how people get together outside of work. I can tell you one thing, when you have friend cliques, people WILL be left out, and that will have an impact on work place environment and productivity.

              For 5 years I tried. And even tried and shared things. In the end, all of that turned out to be a waste of time. I'd rather work during work hours and go home to spend time with friends and family outside.

              Comment


              • My brother is 5 years older. When I was 24 I was making my way up the ladder and was invited to an event where the company (Carlson Marketing) rented 2 large boats on Lake Minnetonka for what you could basically call a booze cruise.

                He basically told me that since this was my first social work function that under no circumstances should I get drunk. He said if I follow his advice I will thank him later.

                So I did just that mixing in water and slow-rolling any alcoholic beverages. A guy my age and in a similar spot let it all hang out and ended up hitting on just about every female executive he could corner.

                On Monday morning he handed in his resignation. Now these parties had a preceding reputation for debauchery (early 90s and the 3 martini lunch was not that long ago). I mean we would fly business class to freaking Peoria on a moments notide for a 2-hour meeting without blinking.

                At the owner's cabin there had been stories of execs crashing boats in the summer and snowmobiles in the winter so he probably assumed all things go.

                Having witnessed it up close I learned very quickly the balancing act of how to enjoy a company retreat without being an a-hole. Or even a criminal. Sexual harassment was practically in its infancy then.

                Ever since I've never shied away from said events even though I'm a complete introvert and loathe many of the attendees. But there's still some good that can be had including genuine bonding on occasion.

                Luckily my work now is mostly freelance and these events are few and far between

                Comment


                • Originally posted by SJHovey View Post
                  I think you guys are looking at this all wrong, and hurting yourselves in the process.

                  Company social events are not designed to force you to become friends with your co-workers. They are designed to give you the opportunity to become friends with co-workers, to communicate differently with co-workers than by text or email, to develop relationships. And relationships are really important if you want to advance your career.

                  I'll use Cafe as an example. We've all probably drawn mental pictures of what posters look like, sound like, act like, or how they communicate. In some instances you might be dead on, but I guaranty that in others you'd be very surprised.

                  That is what company social events are about. They get you out from behind the screens and let you talk to people face to face. Human beings need that personal, direct socialization. You will benefit by it. Candidly, humans are getting worse at, mostly due to technology.

                  The other thing that it does is that it gives you a chance to show what kind of decisions you are capable of making. When people are encouraged to relax and have a good time, to you relax and have a good time or do you get drunk and make a pass at your boss?

                  The reason you all think it's stupid is not because it is stupid. It's because you're introverts, and it's hard.
                  I agree with this
                  Code:
                  As of 9/21/10:         As of 9/13/10:
                  College Hockey 6       College Football 0
                  BTHC 4                 WCHA FC:  1
                  Originally posted by SanTropez
                  May your paint thinner run dry and the fleas of a thousand camels infest your dead deer.
                  Originally posted by bigblue_dl
                  I don't even know how to classify magic vagina smoke babies..
                  Originally posted by Kepler
                  When the giraffes start building radio telescopes they can join too.
                  He's probably going to be a superstar but that man has more baggage than North West

                  Comment


                  • Originally posted by dxmnkd316 View Post

                    I agree with this
                    Yup.

                    Comment


                    • Person might be an alcoholic if s/he is getting so drunk at such an event that s/he takes a pass at the boss, so maybe avoiding such an event with (I’m assuming free) alcohol would be a good decision in the first place.

                      Comment


                      • Company social events are another way for the company to induce you to work hard for your coworkers, out of loyalty. This gives the company an advantage since they feel no ethical or moral responsibility for their employees, which are simply materiel.

                        The company wants you to follow your heart, while they are following cold equations.

                        Like the taboo against employees sharing salary information, it is another way to weaken your position relative to management and thus ownership.

                        Make friends with co-workers outside a work context. Base your friendship in part on mutual solidarity against the exploitation by the inhuman system you both find yourselves in.
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                        • I haven’t had a work event with alcohol in a long time but when I attended anything I just viewed it as a way to get a free drink or a meal.

                          it’s been a long time since I’ve seen someone get too drunk at an event

                          Comment


                          • Exactly. It's a free meal. Maybe you find some new friends. It's only a nefarious scheme if let it be. Or hate people. Whichever.
                            Code:
                            As of 9/21/10:         As of 9/13/10:
                            College Hockey 6       College Football 0
                            BTHC 4                 WCHA FC:  1
                            Originally posted by SanTropez
                            May your paint thinner run dry and the fleas of a thousand camels infest your dead deer.
                            Originally posted by bigblue_dl
                            I don't even know how to classify magic vagina smoke babies..
                            Originally posted by Kepler
                            When the giraffes start building radio telescopes they can join too.
                            He's probably going to be a superstar but that man has more baggage than North West

                            Comment


                            • Originally posted by MichVandal View Post

                              Sorry to let you know that there's a non zero amount of people who really hate those events. It's not your work that's the issue.
                              Huh? I’m sure there are people who hate these events. My point is I wish I was given the chance to love or hate them. I’m usually on the team planning them and having to work at them so I don’t get the chance to make that distinction.

                              Comment


                              • Originally posted by dxmnkd316 View Post

                                I agree with this
                                I disagree with the premise that introvert = anti social. My wife and I attend plenty of work related social events even though we're introverts, because, well, attorneys have to do those things. It just means we need the next 2 (or more) evenings to ourselves to recharge the batteries. It also means we'd rather have a small group outing than a 100- person blowout, all else being equal, and the amount of recharging necessary afterwards will increase accordingly as the amount of handshaking increases.

                                Also, understanding that work social events are necessary and helpful for one's career doesn't mean they're somehow glorious opportunities with dear leaders. They still suck overall in comparison to non-work activities. To paraphrase Red Foreman, there is a reason is called a work event and not super happy fun time, because ultimately it's still something done as part of your job and not because you genuinely want to go. The people who try to overly sell them as FUN!!! are just as bad as the curmudgeons who never go.

                                But then I'm a work to live person, not a live to work one. I'm retiring the second I think I can comfortably do so, which will hopefully be roughly at 60 depending on health care access prior to being Medicare eligible and my daughter's post graduate educational aspirations. No farking way am I working a day longer than I have to.
                                Last edited by unofan; 05-30-2023, 08:59 PM.

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