Christmas season is here. And apart from everything else, it is the time for the annual office Christmas parties.
For the first time in many years, the company organized a company wide event. It was a concert played by some of the most well-known orchestras, and choirs in the country. It was hosted at a beautiful and grand theater in Barcelona. What makes it even more interesting, is this event was not just for employees; family and friends were also invited. The inside of the theater was breathtaking, constructed entirely of wood and with a seating capacity of close to 2,500. The performances themselves were marvelous and went off without a hitch.
What was even more interesting was everything else around it. There were employees from all office locations in the general area, giving you a chance to meet a lot of unknown coworkers. Some people were completely decked out in their best and dressed to impress. Others were more modestly dressed. There were even people dressed simply in jeans.
This is another thing I can add to the list of things that grind my gears: I personally believe people should dress based on the location. If the event is being held in a fancy theater, it is expected you be dressed up, and no matter who paid for the tickets, whether it was you, or your employer, or your great-aunt Edith, there is no excuse to not follow protocol. We’re starting to see the same problem in a lot of other places. For example, think about flying. There used to be a time when flying used to be a grand romantic affair, and people dressed up to board a flight. Shamefully, these days it not uncommon to see flyers dressed in shorts and t-shirts. Although a slight digression, it is also worth mentioning that the increasing prevalence of internet connections on flights is also taking away from the peacefulness of flying. I’d rather not have the lady next to me chatting away on her phone while I try to enjoy my in-flight meal or movie or take a nap. No, thank you!
Back to the topic at hand, I have blogged in the past about the importance of meeting coworkers outside of the workplace. It was great getting to know some of my coworkers outside of the office. In addition, it was a pleasant experience seeing them in the context of their families. Getting to know someone’s family gives you a lot of background about that person and helps you not only understand them better, but also how they think. It’s also nice to be able to put a face to names you hear in the office. This also stands true the other way around. The Honey Bee really enjoyed meeting some of my colleagues, especially after hearing me talk about them so often.
Additionally, making small talk and mingling while nibbling on delicious appetizers and sipping on cava (more or less the Spanish equivalent of champagne) made it all the more delightful. Heck, a little bit of cava can even make the most unbearable coworkers somewhat bearable. 😉
In any case, we had a good time. We decided to walk the beautiful streets of Barcelona at night, enjoying the lights and decorations. What stood out was the spectacular light show on the canvas that is the Torre Agbar, one of Barcelona’s many iconic landmarks.
Coming up soon, I have the Office Christmas lunch to look forward to. My forecast: a 4-6 hour event that involves stuffing yourself with rich, delicious food and drink in an out-of-the-way, bt beautiful location while putting up with mildly droll speeches and brain numbing games and activities.