The Secret Diary of a Practice Manager Part 10

Why I Would Rather Book a Referral than the Christmas Party! Following on from Elspeth Bucks article on the Christmas Party I wonder why we all do it, year after year. Obviously the partners want to thank their staff, and the staff then feel duty bound to go.

Does this scenario sound familiar to anyone?

This is one of my jobs that I loathe, it starts early  September when the staff ask what are we doing this year.   The partners then say, what do the girls want to do?  So we then get details of possible venues, and have to work round everyone’s culinary likes and dislikes, certainly not easy.

It goes quiet for a couple of weeks, until someone chirps up “ have you booked anything yet?” I then say well what do you all want, and again look  at the choices  and narrow it down to a couple of places.

Next thing is, what night do we want it on?  We usually have it on a Friday night says one so we can get over the hangover.  That’s not fair says the Friday night receptionist it is always a rush for me. Hold on I say, it is me that covers your shift so you can go home and make yourself beautiful, so that should not be a problem. That’s not fair on you another one interferes , hold on I say,  I do not mind.

Let’s have it on a Saturday this year says another.  This argument goes on for a further few days until I say that’s it I am making the decision it is Saturday this year.  Not so simple,  which Saturday can I get that suits everyone?  Again a  debate takes days and eventually a date and place is agreed by everyone only then we find our first choice is full.  Back to the drawing board more arguments and then eventually we find a place that suits all, and a booking is made.

Leading up to the big night you hear, I hope it is better than last years, the food was awful, and the music was rubbish. You then get the person that says I wish I wasn’t going it’s always rubbish and we know exactly what is going to happen.

The night comes and we all meet in the bar all eying how well we have all scrubbed up, and then the snide comments on the quiet come out,  is she wearing that dress for a bet? Or doesn’t she look ridiculous, or look at her she has made no effort. The wine starts flowing, and we move to the table, everyone jockeys for position and you know exactly who is going to end up sat next to whom, and the little cliques form.

More wine, and the food comes, the comments accompany, that was tough, too cold, and too hot, you name it, and it is said.  More drink, and then the Cig breaks off they go in pairs, meanwhile more and more drink is consumed and you see the affect it has, there is always one that cannot take it and every year ends up either flat out on the floor, or being sick and that is more than likely when the arguments start.

It wouldn’t be a Christmas party if people didn’t fall out and harsh words exchanged.   Yet more drink is consumed and the tensions rise further, at the earliest respectable time some try and make an early exit, but others wait and continue the drinking, why not they are not paying for it!!

I have never stayed to the end, but back at work the following week you hear the tales of what happened, so and so was so drunk they couldn’t get down the stairs to go to the taxi, someone else proudly says they had no idea how they got home, and the common theme is oh what a hangover. Then comes the autopsy when the staff dissect the evening criticising everything and claims that the restaurant ripped us off, poor food small helpings, overpriced and general consensus that we will do something completely different next year.

A sigh of relief, after I have tried to patch up some of the arguments from the night between others, and the firm belief we will not have a party the next year.  By September all is forgotten and the cycle starts again.

Where is the bottle, the thought is sending me over the edge?

Merry Christmas to all!


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