Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Social Committee

So in an effort to combat my initial shyness at work (I guess I shouldn't be shy, having been here five months) I decided to join the social committee.  They were rotating members, and I have participated as a member at previous employers, so I thought why not?  It will allow me to get to know the team members better and it will force me to go to these events I tend to shy away from in my first year of employment.

Well our first meeting was last week and I learned we are mandated to have four events every year.  A spring event, summer event, a staff Christmas party and children's Chirstmas party.  Can I start by saying that it's great that we call the latter two events Christmas parties?  Not that I am intolerant of other beliefs, but if there's a Christmas tree in the room then why can't people call it a Christmas party? 

There are five of us on the committee, one of which is the overweight man I mentioned in an earlier post, and he nominated himself as the Chair.  I think I underestimated his weight in that earlier post; now that I have watched a few episodes of the Biggest Loser, I now think he's at least in the 470 lb range.  And as if his size wasn't big enough, now I find that his point of view is just as big.  He definitely likes to take the lead, but unfortunately in doing so he goes in multiple directions and nothing gets accomplished.  Thankfully he was receptive to my interjections that would get us to commit to making action items.  I'm only two meetings in, and already I fear this is going to be a long year of planning.

So while discussing possible things to do for our spring event he starts talking about how much he enjoys poker and every Wednesday night he plays at Dooley's and that should be our event.  A couple of other members suggest things like Kartbahn, which is an indoor go-cart track, or a movie, or a pubcrawl, but the chair pretty much has it settled in his head that we are doing the poker and pool afternoon and is going to call to see what kind of deal he can get... and maybe they will throw in chicken wings and friend pepperoni.  Needless to say, when I am up against someone like that I tend to not allow anyone to get pushed around, and I will come up with a couple ideas, research pricing and will present it at our next meeting. 

Part of the reason I joined was because with my past employers, the social committee was really key in developing friendships within the office and allowed us to interact with management on a relaxed level, which I think facilitated a better work environment.  I know strong opinions are a natural occuring thing, but I am going to work hard, and will be the asshole if need be, to have events that everyone would enjoy and not just a small group of people. 

I'm not saying that people won't enjoy poker.  In fact strip-poker has been a lot of fun in the past.  But I think a certain amount of concensus is required or people won't show up to the events.  If in our small group of five there are three other people providing options than each of those options need equal consideration.  At least until budget comes into play, than I might have to put my foot down... cause I'm the treasurer and we all know that money is the deciding factor.

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