I love parties! I love to party! I love loud party music! I love party decorations! I love party food and drinks! I grew up in a family who celebrated every occasion, usually with a party or special dinner. We decorated the house with all kinds of fun things, often involving a theme, to mark a birthday, holiday, or achievement of an important goal. I believe in working hard, but I also endorse a playing hard philosophy, including having and attending parties. David and I have had many parties in our years together, including going away parties for beloved employees who are moving or leaving our employ to attend graduate school, open houses at our home and the office, holiday parties, dinner parties with a few dear friends, tea parties, and parties for just the two of us on special occasions. I believe there are many reasons to host a party and many reasons to attend a party. As long as there will be fun people who attend (and an absence of any people I refer to as “groove killers”), count me in. I am party ready at almost any time!
I’m there too – at the parties, I mean. I had a particularly fun loving grandmother that made any event more fun that normal – birthdays, Christmas, etc. And I have many fond memories of particular details from parties – like the time our gruff neighbor Ron showed up for a tea party wearing a hat and gloves. It was a baseball cap and yard gloves, but he was in the spirit! In the workplace, parties take on a different dimension. And overall, our work parties have gone well. There was the time when the police department did not get a copy of the noise permit which someone diligently obtained and so we had to shut down early, but that was funny in hindsight. We’ve shared good food, music and refreshments with clients, employees, contractors, vendors, and friends. But, as we’ve experienced in our trial consulting work, sometimes behaviors at work parties results in negative outcomes. We worked on a case in which a work party resulted in a sexual harassment case, and fortunately, our experiences have never gone that far. But, drinking and being in a party mood cost us a vendor recently who forgot that, despite the fact it was a party, he needed to remember that he worked for us and his actions at the party should have been moderated as such. We move on, but it is critical to remember that work parties are work first and when attending client parties or interacting with them socially, one must behave with appropriate decorum. Employees must be mindful that both their bosses and potential clients, co workers, and others are watching. “Letting it all hang out” is, often, not the best policy.