(Creating social boundaries at official functions)
“Because am happy……”The lyrics of Pharell Williams blast off in the background. The sounds that follow next are shrieks of “Oh my goodness…..that’s my favorite sooong”…..and you scream your way to the dance floor as you drag one or two people with you. You give it your best move and because you have had one-too-many, you have amazing energy and agility. The DJ plays the next song and you jump up again with joy, you may even hug some people on the floor as you repeat, “….my ….” Oh yes, you got it, another of your favorite song. What you might have not noticed in the course of the evening is that you have actually had many favorite songs and that the people you may have been tagging along to the dance floor are either your senior managers or members of staff that report to you. Of course you forgot about ranks since this was the end of year party and the boss asked that people loosen up a bit and enjoy themselves. Or it is one of the company’s cocktails and once again the boss ordered that we leave matters of the office at the office and feel free.
Mmmmhhhh…..only problem is, we took the directive a step further. We not only shook off the official ranks and attitude but we embraced our social personalities beyond the comfort of those we interact with on official basis. We took down the refreshment and drinks in such haste (after all, the company is paying for it) and forgot that we need to guard our social boundaries from the official family.
We must remember, both as the boss and employee that the official functions are not your stage to show your prowess in dance and drink. It doesn’t matter what the directive was, we must always remember to carry ourselves with the highest standard of etiquette. It is okay to jig and get down with your boss but remember that they are not your family and neither are they your friends. They are taking mental notes on how much drinking capacity you have and how loose your tongue gets after a certain hour. They will recount your shrieks in secret in the next boardroom meeting. As much as they cheer you on on the dance floor, it is not a competition on the best dancing employee of the year; you do not need to outdo yourself. The order was to let loose and enjoy yourselves, however, you must endeavor to do everything in moderation.
So next time you have the end of year party, a staff cocktail or retreat, remember to keep you alcohol intake down, remember to watch what you say and how you behave. This could be used secretly in you next interview for a promotion or could loose you respect from your juniors. No matter how free you are with each other in the office, take it easy and moderately at the party. These are not your social pals.
As always, looking forward to hearing from you. Nkatha Ogutu.