Wednesday, June 25, 2014

BBQ Report

My workplace hosts two staff events per year for team-building purposes: the Christmas party and the summer barbeque.  I am in charge of planning for both, because no one else can be bothered to do it.  Fortunately, the planning is fairly simple, especially for the BBQ.  This year it consisted of telling the venue how many guests to expect.  Every other instruction was covered by "Do everything exactly the same as last year". 

The Christmas party is a little more complicated, only because I also have to hire a DJ.  (LL Cool Joe, the job is yours if you want it; just say the word.)

I'm not super-keen on either event, although I do enjoy the Christmas party a bit more because of the dancing.  I'm not much of a party animal, never have been, and frankly I see more than enough of my colleagues at work.  I can't relax at either party, in part because I'm in charge of anything that might go wrong, and in part because I have to basically maintain in my work persona all evening.  Given my druthers I'd probably stay home and watch an insightful documentary on TV instead.

Obviously I'm not the only one who feels that way, because last week's event attendance was poor.  Maybe around one third of the people I work with showed up.  I'm told that a lot of people don't appreciate the location, which is not easily accessible by public transit, however, interestingly, no one has taken up the challenge to find an alternate venue.  When I tell them that I'm open to suggestions, their silence replies that they're exercising their right to complain without contributing to the solution.  My boss likes the inconvenient venue.  It's easy for me to issue the "same as last year" instruction to them.  So until someone scouts an alternative, we'll be there.

It all went off without a hitch.  The weather cooperated.  The buffet-style dinner seemed to pass muster.  In the final analysis, I'd call the evening a success.

At one point I clambered over a concrete barrier rather than ask three people to push their chairs in so that I could pass them.  I landed so hard on my right foot that I bruised my heel.  I've been limping ever since, so in addition to my tender foot, my leg and back are hurting because I've been walking funny all week.  I have a massage booked soon, and I am counting down the hours.  I guess I am now an old lady and I should comport myself accordingly, without clambering.  Where's my senior's discount?

If you'd like to keep track of how long you'll be waiting until you get my report on the 2014 Christmas party, here ya go.


DarcKnyt said...

I'm sorry about your heel, Spark. I know who stinky it is to have injuries which lead to bad backs which lead to other problems. :( Migraines are my nemeses; I can't deal with them OR the medications to treat them. No way to win. But hurt because you're trying to be helpful? That's just insulting and wrong.

And I agree with your philosophy. Pick what works best with your caterers and venues, because unless someone else wants to step up, you need to make it easy for yourself.

Now, for me, there's absolutely no one I can think of I'd rather have plan an event than you. You're awesome at that stuff.

Warped Mind of Ron said...

Sounds like a good time, other than the injuries. Next time try to get a good run at it before doing a back flip over the thing, it's probably safer than the climbing. I'm also assuming that my care package of BBQ is on it's way to me.... right???

Sparkling Red said...

DarcKnyt: Thanks! I'll never be that person who stays up all night baking and icing thematic cupcakes for any occasion, but I can approve a menu and chase down RSVPs like a pro.

Ron: Yeah, I wrapped up some teriyaki salmon and sent it by parcel post. If you don't have it by now, it's probably delayed at the border. It's gonna smell real yummy by the time it hits your mailbox.

Jenny Woolf said...

Oh man it sounds as if your workplace needs to have a rethink about spending the money on this as a "team builder" ... one of the main things about teams is that people need to show up! Maybe you could suggest that they ask colleagues what they would like to do, perhaps give them some options to choose from.

Lynn said...

I'm sorry you didn't get better attendance - I didn't go to the picnic at the condos last Saturday because it was in blazing 90 degree heat - directly in the sun. It wore me out just thinking about it. :)

G. B. Miller said...

"Team building" is a scary phrase at my job, since everyone has a very jaundiced view of their employer to begin with, and something like that only adds fuel to the fire.

Father Nature's Corner

Granny Annie said...

I thought clicking "here you go" would take us to a shot of Hell freezing over. lol

Do people really enjoy company parties? I hated them and avoided all that I could but it wasn't well thought of by my employers. What is that all about anyway? People would rather spend their spare time AWAY from work, right?

Sparkling Red said...

Jenny: If my boss asks me to do that, I will, but honestly the last thing I want to do is start soliciting opinions. If I ask 20 people I'll get 20 different answers.

Lynn: Good call. I also hide from the sun whenever possible.

G.B.: I believe that there can be value to team-building exercises, but that they are best presented at mandatory staff meetings. Things like improv theatre games work well. After-work voluntary stuff will usually only draw out the people who are already good team players.

Sparkling Red said...

Granny Annie: Here's your link:

From what I've seen, the company parties are for the benefit of the owners who don't spend much time in the office and find it fun to chat with all their employees who they only see once or twice a year.

Warped Mind of Ron said...

Thanks, I got your package today. Amazingly it was still warm and I ate it all for lunch.... strangely I have started to feel a tad ill... I hope it's not one of those summer colds coming on...

Jenski said...

You are quite the successful party planner recently! I hope the third that showed up enjoyed themselves.