From what I’ve been told, it is traditional in Spain to go out for after work for drinks once a week-typically on Thursdays. It’s a great way for people to get to know each other outside the office environment. I remember learning in a career session during the MBA that in order to reach a certain level of comfort and to convert an acquaintanceship into a relationship, you need to meet people in at least 3 different places. My interpretation is that it’s okay if apart from the office, you meet them in bars, as long as they are 2 different bars. On a serious note, it really is a great way to know what your colleagues are like outside of the office-for better or for worse. 😉
Unfortunately, this Spanish tradition doesn’t apply where I work. In thinking about it, I’ve come up with a few possible explanations. One is that everyone is straight-out anti-social, but that seems too extreme. Another is that very few people actually live where they work, and hence prefer not to be drunk before undertaking their journey home, which seems plausible. The last, and most likely, is that no one ever took the initiative.
Last week, a new employee joined our team, and he was equally surprised at the lack of this weekly opportunity to imbibe this concoction of yeast fermented grain water. Like me, he has also been struggling to draw up enough inspiration to go running in this cold weather. To push each other, we decided to become running buddies. Last Thursday, we came to the office ready to go running right after. However, as luck would have it, it was cold…and we weren’t really feeling up to it. Determined to get some exercise, I came up with the ideal solution. “Porque no tomamos una cerveza?” I said hopefully. “Sure” came his response. And off we went to the bar across the street.
Ever since, we’ve been trying to make this an office tradition. Getting more and more people involved. And I’m glad to report that a lot of people have shown interest. With even the slightest bit of luck, I know we are going to succeed in bringing this Spanish tradition to our not-so-Spanish company. Cheers!