Archive for the 'The world of work' Category

It’s that time of year again!

As it is October, it is obviously time to start thinking about Christmas.

At least that’s what the shops are trying to make us do.

I have an issue with the shops and the way they try to control the seasons, but that’s for another blog.

The reason why I know it is October and October equals Christmas, is that preparations have begun for the Work Christmas Party!

Unfortunately, this is my task every year and I have to begin now to try and accommodate the whole list of do’s/don’ts/needs/wants/random and strange requests into one night. And it takes a hell of a lot of research. Luckily this year I do have some help.

You really wouldn’t have thought it would be that complicated to arrange one night out (let me repeat that; ONE night out) for 10 people.

But it is.

So far, the only consensus is that it should be a meal.

However, in that, I have to try and find somewhere that can accommodate the following requests (or instructions, depending on your point of view!):

* Not a chain.
* Not too noisy or busy, but not deathly quiet either.
* Doesn’t serve a traditional Christmas Dinner, but does serve traditional English food (Bloody fussy eaters!).
* Not too expensive, but not cheap either (Damn, I was aiming for MacDonald’s, but wait, then what would the vegetarians do?!).
* Plays music but not “Stupid Christmas Carols”, “Modern stuff” or “Lift Music”.
* Has a decent range of cocktails (That’s my request – I’m definitely going to need the aid of alcohol by the time the night actually arrives!).
* Only serves food on blue plates, preferably square with a gold trim, and drinks in glasses hand etched by fairies wearing dresses made from flowers (Ok, I made that bit up, but it would probably be easier to try and find that, than satisfy everyone else!).

I am seriously considering setting everyone up with the internet and a webcam. That way, we can all sit at home, listen to what music we want and eat what we like, still say we’ve had a party and there won’t be the risk of me being convicted for GBH!

Any ideas anyone?

Not so bonded after all.

How many of you have been on those team bonding days that involve maps, games and ‘building trust in each other’. Hell, aren’t they? I’ve never liked them and have usually been the one that has been desperately trying to find a way out of it all. However, there was one that was fantastic. I can’t say that it bonded the team, but I had a brilliant time.

This was back when Best Friend and I used to work together and our boss was Mr Playmate. The bigger boss, The Wee Bald Man, had decided that we should have a staff day out to ‘regroup’. There was much debate between the active (Mr Playmate was all for something to do with boats – I heard exercise and stopped listening) and the cultural (The Posh Chav was after the theatre or an art gallery – they have their place and I do enjoy them, but this wasn’t a school trip). All Best Friend and I wanted to do was to go to Cadbury World (for those that don’t know look here, all I can say is you won’t believe the amount of free chocolate involved!). Somehow, and I’m still not sure how, we got The Wee Bald Man on our side and it was decided; we were off to Cadbury World!

A great day was not had by all. Whilst Best Friend, The Wee Bald Man and I ran around, completely hyped up on a sugar overdose, Mr Playmate traipsed around permanently attached to his mobile and The Posh Chav alternated between trying to control our manic attacks on the chocolate samples and engage our interest in the ‘very educational’ side of the history of chocolate. Near the end is a small train that takes you through a story land of chocolate heaven, there are even dancing cocoa beans. Halfway round a picture is taken automatically. We had to laugh when we saw it; in the front carriage was The Wee Bald Man, Best Friend and I, looking like we’d taken a serious amount of speed. In the carriage behind us were Mr Playmate and The Posh Chav, looking like they’d entered a new circle of Dante’s Hell (all of this was just before the train broke down and us sugar-hyped people started getting freaked out as the cocoa beans seemed to turn from happy, friendly things to something out of a horror film, but that’s another story).

The journey home was interesting, The Posh Chav was sulking as those of us full from chocolate had not been able to eat our lunch and were now crashed out from a sugar-rush comedown. The Wee Bald Man was driving, whilst fighting his and so was not in the best of moods. When we finally got back, there only seemed to be one solution – we hit the pub! Chocolate and alcohol, what a great day…

A workplace tradition.

Hands up. Who’s done it? And did you feel guilty about it? Yep, throwing a sickie. We’ve all had days when we’ve woken up and just really not wanted to go into work. So then we have two choices – we either go into work, do very little productive stuff and mope about all day, or we call in sick! Now, we know it’s wrong and we know our bosses generally don’t believe us, but we also know that they can’t prove it!

However, there are some general rules and guidelines to pulling a successful sickie. Make it realistic, it’s got to be something that you can realistically ‘recover’ from in 24 hours – so you’re looking at the old faithfuls of food poisoning, migraine or the good old, (very) general stomach upset. Also, think before you phone. Most people automatically put on a ‘throaty voice’ when they call in sick, does it go with what you’re saying you’ve got? The next one is important. Very rarely call in sick on a Friday or Monday, these are the days bosses are looking for. Do not even consider on the Friday before, or Tuesday after, a Bank Holiday. If you do, you might as well call in and just tell them you’re throwing a sickie and you’ll expect your P45 on the desk on your return.

If you choose to deviate away from the illness call and use family emergencies, then remember what you’ve said before. Don’t be the person whose grandmother died four times (in fact, thinking about it, do not kill off family members, it’s just not nice). If you’re female with a male boss, gynaecological problems can be very useful (they can also provide further sick days, in the form of ‘appointments’).

Whilst you’re off, remember you’re meant to be sick. Do not go to the pub or shopping, you will run into someone from work! Also, do not sunbathe. How will you explain a nice shade of lobster when you were supposed to be on the toilet?? Sickies are days for lying on the sofa, watching daytime TV and eating chocolate biscuits!

Follow these guidelines and you should be able to relax and enjoy your day off. Long live the sickie!!

Disclaimer: the author can not take responsibility for anyone following these guidelines, getting found out and losing their job! All sickie throwers do so at their own risk.