Friday, December 21, 2007

Advent #16 - 21st December: Christmas party

This is a made up story. Any similarity with persons living or dead is entirely co-incidental.

You can learn a lot about good management just by observing the people you work with . You can learn how to be a good manager and you can learn how not to be a good manager.

Today I observed our team leaders breaking the first rule of good management.

Last night was the team "Christmas do". I couldn't make it but by all accounts they "had a good time".

As today was our last day at work before Christmas and the college was closing at 13:00, we were looking forward to an easy day and an early finish. Just a departmental meeting at 11:00 to go to.

But at 9:45 I received a rather sheepish call from J who'd stayed over at S's house. They'd just woken up and realised they should be at work. Having only gone to bed at 5:30 they were both a bit worse for wear and certainly not up to driving.

Of course I went to pick them up.

Now they weren't just a bit tipsy - they were both still drunk and I had trouble keeping the pair of them in the car.

I did worry for their careers.

Back at work we thought the meeting would be a quick do, wishing us a happy Christmas and off we go. So we weren't expecting the guest speaker or the full-on PowerPoint presentation.

We knew we were in for a good time when she started by telling us she was going to talk about a subject that we didn't need to know about and possibly would never need to do anything about. Things really got going when she told us that she hadn't designed the PowerPoint presentation herself and and it was a bit dull - but she did promise to be as quick as possible.

As the meeting wore on I looked round at the people who didn't look too well after a long night, who were badly hung-over or still quite drunk, and wondered why we where there.

Thankfully after an hour they let us go. But not before at least two people had serious giggling fits and were asked if they needed to leave the room.

Inspired be the team meeting (or was it the team party) one of my colleagues decided the best way to impress a young lady he rather admired, was to lower Santa from our first floor window past her window on the floor below.

Sadly, in his excitement he made a serious error and lowered it instead past the window of the Health and Safety manager. She was not too chuffed.

If you look carefully you can see her arm as she opens the window to shout "take him away".

Meanwhile, back to the first rule of management.

Never plan a boring meeting the morning after a staff party.

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