{27/07/2012}   Going to a work do

On Wednesday evening, I went to the first work do, leaving drinks for a colleague and friend, I’ve been to in years, probably five plus years.  It was good to chat to people I usually barely see, let alone have a chance to catch up with, and it was also bizarre to see so many people I didn’t know.  I enjoyed talking to everyone I did talk to, which for me was a lot of people, but I have no plans to go to another work event.

My work environment is an unconventional one as we are split between self-employed and permanent staff.  Those of us who are self-employed work unpredictable hours, days and locations.  It’s very unusual to finish work at the same time as someone else to enable you to go out after work.  We don’t chat that much in the office as every minute socialising is an extra minute later home.  I believe there has always been a bit of a divide between self-employed and permanent workers, which is a shame, but that has felt like the case to me for the ten and a half years I’ve been there.  That’s the way it is and I’m not particularly complaining about that.

I used to go to the Christmas work parties.  They were free and usually interesting locations and lots of food and booze.  They then downgraded to drinks and canapes in a bar and are now drinks in the office and I haven’t been to one for about seven years.  There are summer drinks and the odd leaving party, but I don’t go.

I do have friends from work and I see them outside of work.  I just don’t particularly enjoy socialising with everyone at a work event.  That said, I really enjoyed speaking to everyone I spoke to the other night, all of them people I usually only get to say a brief hello to.  I am going round in circles.  All I know is that I don’t like big work events, but it is nice chatting to lots of people I would always enjoy chatting to but never otherwise get the opportunity to talk to.

Some friends work in very sociable environments.  In some ways I feel envious of their work life being an extension of their social lives to an extent, but I don’t know how comfortable I would feel working with all grades of colleague and all of you knowing about each other’s private life.  What if you then fell out with someone?  I suppose I should just be relieved that I like most people I work with and I’m happy to see them on the rare occasions when I do overlap work time with free time.  I guess maybe if you like the company you work for and are employed permanently by them, you are more likely to go to work socials.  Maybe I’m just not a particularly sociable person.  Or maybe I should make more effort to see the people I barely see but always have loads to chat to them about on the rare occasions I do go out with them.  And at least by not going to Christmas dos, I don’t have the stress of what to wear to impress colleagues/potential snog in the stationery cupboard man/the boss who is the key to your promotion.  I see there are lessons to be learned from today’s post!


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