Christmas is a funny time in all workplaces; and none less so than in Local Government. Here are five things to look out for:
1) Christmas decorations from the last century. Strangely this was happening even before the age of austerity taught us all that recycling was better than aimlessly spending money on such cheerfulness. Often, this is because the decorations have been bought by one or two members of staff and to throw them away would basically be an insult to them. I love this sort of kitsch-ness so would happily use the decorations for the next century: maybe I’ve been in local government too long!
2) Christmas parties will be organised with teams that you probably don’t know and with people you’ve never met. The key determinant here is who the manager (or party organiser) gets along with. Thus parties involving IT, legal and adults social care are not uncommon. Again, I find this strangely refreshing; am I getting old?
3) Because all people are paying for their own way in these parties there will be disagreements about the type of event should be organised. This will vary from those who want a few drinks and some peanuts in the local boozer all the way through to those who want to do cocktails, dinner, drinks, a show and then some trendy nightclub which we’re all too old for. Inevitably we end up meeting in the middle either through negotiation or because one person simply takes control and decides for us. I prefer it that way!
4) Every member of our team will bring in sweets, crisps, cakes, biscuits, oranges, mince pies, breakfast and any other food with over 100 calories per bite and then share them. Equally, every member will say constantly that they are over-eating but somehow each day the pile of food will be gone ready to be replaced the next morning.
5) There will be a general feeling of goodwill amongst staff. Even this year when nearly everyone I know is under the threat of redundancy Christmas decorations, food and parties have helped lift the spirit of us all. And long may it continue!
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