No more parties, get back to business
Always remember that you can get fired for the weird and wonderful things you do at the company Christmas party.
If you know that you’re the kind of person who loses the battle against the bottle, it’s best to just show up for the food, smile at the good and the great, and then head home, especially if you’re new to the world of work.
It is criminal what we are doing to our young people. We’ve removed religious education at schools, yet we expect them to behave morally in their adult life. No one teaches them ethics any more, and then we act surprised when they behave like dogs on heat.
The world has changed, and what some people once considered to be sexual perks are now offences that can lead to jail time.
When I began my first job in advertising, the secretaries were young, the parties were big and the alcohol was free.
I arrived early one morning, as all interns must do, to make photocopies in preparation for a meeting. The copy machine was out of paper, so I dutifully loaded it.
Before I even had a chance to push the “copy” button, the machine started spitting out a backlog of material.
I realised that someone hadn’t finished their photocopying.
I looked at the pages and, to my shock, I saw something that was supposed to be kept far way from my pimpled face.
Some people had climbed onto the photocopy machine and copied parts of their bodies that should never be seen by the public.
There had been a party the previous night, and apparently the afterparty was hotter.
A pair of animalprint stockings had been left behind in the financial director’s office and, needless to say, there was no need to guess who they belonged to.
No one was fired. In fact, no one understood why I was shocked.
A few weeks later, the head of department went into the women’s toilets with the wife of the big boss. When they came out, they had swapped clothes.
Even in my greenest naivety, I couldn’t believe the head of department’s short-sightedness.
He was fired spectacularly.
By the time I got to management level, I had become immune to shock and I was deaf to the Friday morning gossip. I knew that our clients were usually wilder than the people I worked with and I had also realised that they came to the agency to let off steam – among other things.
They always hung around with their colleagues and, when the lights were dimmed, they disappeared into the darkness.
What I was not ready for, however, was a colleague coming over to warn me in case a client complained.
The warning was precipitated by an incident concerning one of our staff members drunkenly thanking a client for holding his hand when he was new to the industry.
The client appreciated the comment, and they laughed about all that had happened while our staff member was learning.
They then went to the bathroom. As they both stood at the urinals, the staff member started crying and said this: “Fank yu, man, fank yu ... fank for de luv, fank yu for holding my hand … I’ll do any fing for yu. You held my hand ... and hold on … I’ll hold yor fing while you pee.”
And he did.
We must remember that we need to behave in a professional manner at work at all times.
Just remember that you’re not there to find love, but to fulfil the vision and mission of the organisation.
The days of unbridled entertainment and organisational binge-drinking are history. We need to get back to the good old days of manners and decorum.
What some people once considered to be sexual perks are now offences that can lead to jail time