If I f2f with you now...will you still respect me in the morning?

by tosca on Thursday, November 5, 2009

When is it ok to socialise with your colleagues? When is it not ok? Maybe when you've both had a snootful and you wake up in Hamilton with your pyjamas on and can't remember how you got there (surely I cannot be the only one with a story like this?) it's a good time to say, 'Whoa, horsie.' Is it even an issue? What kind of socialising is ok? We tweet and FB and Bebo and Google Wave at each other outside of work hours in a very familiar and social way - is this considered socialising? And if we do get rip snorting, falling down drunk at our weekly quiz night...will we still respect each other in the morning? I think it is ok because I'm a big girl with my pull ups (WOW). And so are my colleagues.

Every Wednesday a few of us play geek after hours (come on, who doesn't?) and go kick butt at Finn McCool's weekly quiz night. We grab a meal, kick back and relax before the quiz. It even involves alcohol *gasps* How daring! It's something we've done for a few months now while I've been out of the branches and, even though I'm officially no longer a part of 'them' (branch staff serving customers) neither is it an insurmountable issue. But it is something I've been considering lately. Enough to discuss it with the group I hang out with and, after much waving of forks and jabbing of spoons (no eyes were lost in this discussion...this time), we came to the following conclusion: they don't have an issue - I don't have an issue. HEY there's no issue.

So maybe...just maybe...others don't either? Note the use of the question mark.

And if it is an issue do we knock it all on the head? Does that mean no Christmas dinners? No birthday get togethers to sing 'For he's a (sometimes but not always and usually the best time to catch him is after he's had his morning coffee) jolly good fellow'? Do we avoid each other if we meet after hours in the supermarket, shopping mall, lingerie shop, stripjoint? At 5pm each day do I forever after avert my eyes lest I be tempted to give in to the sin of encouraging you to f2f with me? If it is a mountain then who decides which situation is a mountain and which a molehill? Me? The other person? Management? Who draws the line and do they draw it with something other than a neon pink crayon? I was never good at colouring in the lines as a child. I imagine much hasn't changed now. Meh.

I would imagine that it's all decided on an ad hoc basis in most organisations and, to be honest, I'm not even sure if we have a clearcut policy about the fraternisation of colleagues outside of office hours - perhaps it's not an issue. I'd like to think it's not - I'm gonna be Pollyanna-ish about it (I know SHOCKING that's twice in two days - hold on now).

So I have learnt this week that I can socialise with colleagues after hours and still remain professional. I think I am now officially a grown up.

Note: f2f = face to face, FB = FaceBook (this is for my quiz colleagues - and you all know who you are - who refuse to meet me in these places) *rolls eyes*
Please note: that while we met amicably and discussed over dinner whether or not we are able to maintain a professional manner during the weekdays, when the quiz is on - LOOK OUT - it's no holds barred and any sense of decorum goes out the window. Although I will still respect you in the morning :)

2 comments

I think it all depends.
You need to have fun with your workmates and get on with them (or, at least, appear to) 'cos you spend a helluva lot more time with them than anybody else.
However - I do think there needs to be a line (neon pink or otherwise - maybe flashing red?). How many post-conferences stories have you heard about some one acting up? And some acts definitely impacts on how you view the person - or how you are viewed. And it's a small world we work in.
But a drink after work, a coffee... I say go for it!

by Annie on November 6, 2009 at 10:47 AM. #

Maybe then it's not a case of do we f2f and still respect each other but HOW do we f2f and remain professional during the daylight hours. I gotta admit, we don't party that hard in Manukau or, if we do, I ain't hearin' about it and, ordinarily, my big ears hear everything :)

by catatonia on November 12, 2009 at 6:56 PM. #

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