Many, many years ago (even before I was in HR) I worked for a bank.
It was great fun at this time of the year… the gifts from customers where always welcome, especially the one from one of our largest customers that had three bottles of champagne and a KitKat delivered in a Tesco’s bag.
I must admit, I thought the KitKat was a bit strange considering the extravagance of the champagne but I duly shared the chocolate around the office – I think we got half a finger each.
It wasn’t until after lunch that I got a ‘phone call from the MD who had dropped off the champagne asking if he’d left his KitKat in the bag and could he come round and collect it because he needed it to finish off his lunch!
But the best thing about Christmas in the bank was the office party… a tradition spanning many years that is now, sadly (or maybe not so sadly) defunct.
Why is it defunct in the bank?
Well, it just caused so many HR issues.
To this day I can remember opening the door to the cleaner’s cupboard (why I needed to get into the cleaners cupboard at the office party, I can’t remember) only to find one of our managers firmly entwined with the cleaner in what can only be described as a romantic embrace…
Or the time when the ladies in the office, who were usually respectable women, mostly in their mid thirties and happily married, turned into a baying pack of she-devils, praying on the poor unsuspecting 18 year old office junior whom I found wandering around the branch some time later, still in shock, and minus his trousers!
If you think about it, these little cameos were inevitable (and provided enough gossip to last until at least Valentine’s Day). A group of people who worked closely together (and, therefore, were already in some kind of relationship), a closed environment (the branch was locked up and the keys thrown in the middle (that last bit isn’t true)) and a whole load of drink supplied together with three packets of crisps and some peanuts…
What could possibly go wrong?
Many years later and with the office party in serious decline, this is still a busy time of year for HR professionals and I know we shouldn’t really smile at some of the antics that go on but I for one, just can’t seem to help myself.
Happy Christmas everyone and see you in 2011; thanks for reading and your comments – they keep me writing!