Wednesday, October 20, 2010

WorkPlace 101: Dinner With Colleagues.

It's happened to us all, especially those of us who travel for a living. You pull a crazy 10-12 hours on The Day Job, and inevitably the boss/random co-workers comes around and asks "So, what are you doing for dinner?"

And you're presented with a quandary: do you tell these folks to kick rocks, or do you play the good corporate minion and go out to eat with folks whom you're already tired of? If you're missing the connection here, substitute lunch for dinner.

Everyone knows that succeeding in the corporate world is about 75% talent and 25% interpersonal. We all know that guy who's kick-ass at the actual work itself, but has no social skills whatsoever and finds himself continually treading water. We also know that incompetent suck-up who routinely takes credit for other people's work, but is the boss' weedcarrier right-hand man, and thus he stays winning when it comes time for bonuses and promotions to be handed out. I'm sure many of us have found ourselves trying to toe the line between the two extremes.

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No need to lie, I hate schmoozing, and find the "obligation" to spend 3 more hours after work with folks whom I'd rather not see off-the-clock a constant struggle. Why do I want to listen to another 3+ hours of whining about the customer and dry-snitching on Bob in accounting? After 5 is supposed to be my time, not my employer's. But you don't go and you run the risk of being branded as "not-a-team player" or "anti-social". While it's sometimes interesting to watch your co-workers down a few too many Heinekens and try to hit on Becky from The Sales Department, quite honestly I'd rather chunk the deuce, go my own way and see these folks again in the morning. You know, when they're actually paying for my time.

But of course, it's a balancing act. What ya'll think?

Question: Do you ever find yourself begrudgingly going along with co-workers to lunch/dinner when you really would rather go back to your hotel room chill? What risk do you run of continually doing your own thing in the workplace? Any notable personal stories you wanna share?

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