Christmas


We love local government and we also love Christmas!

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!

We love Christmas!

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4 Comments on “Christmas”

  1. jrofficer Says:

    So timely to see this today, the day of our staff Christmas party. There are team lunches this week and next, often with mixed teams as you’ve mentioned and an all-Council invitation to a pub crawl tonight (weather permitting), but today is the Christmas party for all staff together. Budgets are tight, but the Chairman has personally bought (not using the civic budget) mince pies and mulled wine for all and, as you’ve written, the piles of food we’ve all brought to share haven’t diminished in the least. The Chief Exec will take us through a light-hearted look at the good stories of the year…but I think we’ll just skip the look ahead to all we’re going to do in 2011. Morale is low, people are worried about the future, but it’s one chance to try to put that aside if even for an hour and come together as a council (councillors too). And we have to keep the whole thing private or else a certain segment of the public, whipped into a frenzy by the media about non-jobs, golden pensions and political correctness, will feast for months on the story that the staff dared to have a Christmas — make that Winterval — party. Which is a real shame because, like every council, there are excellent people truly committed to public service who deserve a chance to celebrate many successes of the past year and take a break from the stress and the challenges facing them.


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  3. citizenr Says:

    Lucky you! we’ve got no decorations, no parties, no party food and as I write this I’m sitting in the office all alone as the only person who braved the ice and snow to get here. Can I come and work with you?


  4. citizenr; that really sucks. Am sorry that the Christmas spirit seems to have passed your office by… Hope you’ve got some good non-work Christmas fun coming up and don’t forget; it’s scrooge who never enjoys Christmas!


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