Advice to geeks.

There’s a growing list of “bits of advice” I find myself writing down to what I wish I could have handed to my former self. Most of them seem to resolve around employment and work and how it meshes with the geek/creative psyche.

Today’s bit of advice:

Always drink with the CEO.
AKA: Always go to the Christmas party.

And I mean it. I see so many geeks bag on company social events it’s stupid. I realize that to the geek mindset a forced social event with co-workers is about as appealing as a salad bar is to a cheetah, but for a brief moment put yourself in your bosses shoes.

Work sucks. That’s why they pay you and your boss to be there. He or she doesn’t enjoy the stupid and frustrating parts of their job any more than you do.

There are shitty parts to being the boss. You have to make people meet deadlines they shouldn’t be forced to. You have to fire people. You have to take responsibility for things you didn’t deserve. Every employee will armchair question your actions. You have to sit though day-long meetings on “process.”

Company events are a chance where the boss gets a perk out of being the boss. He or she gets to hand out bonuses. He or she gets to be gregarious. He or she gets to talk to you and your SO if you brought them. He or she gets to drink and get the employees drinking on the company’s dime.

Be there and do that. Drink and try to be merry. Don’t be a wet blanket.

The geek may silently wish that everything was a meritocracy and that he or she could be in a world without social overtones and politics. But it takes people to get things done. That’s reality. Embrace that. Be a part of giving your boss a good time and a fun moment of being in charge.

It’ll pay back in ways you can’t imagine. Hell, you might enjoy it.

6 Responses to “Advice to geeks.”

  1. smack_jackal says:

    See, that’s something I get annoyed when I see too. People shouldn’t avoid the company social thing. If your group is doing an optional morale event, go! Even if you think it’s a campy waste of time you should go.

    There is value to spending time away from the office with your coworkers, skipping on it is cheating your professional career.

  2. I agree with your premise here…

    but one of these days I’ll tell you why, in my situation, I must demur, but not because of lack of social overtones, distaste of politics, or meritocracy.

    As a manager and mentor, I HIGHLY ENCOURAGE if not throw employees’ tushies out of the office and tell them to EVERY function and social event.

    also have an inside track on how it is to be el presidente. It’s a tough world at the top!


  3. the_gneech says:

    Besides, it’s free food!


  4. susandeer says:

    Just let me know if someone is needed to come do more tequila shots with the boss again. Happy to take a few for the team!

  5. tailen says:

    What’s wrong with salad bars?

  6. mongologue says:

    Tsk. I always hit up the Christmas party, or other events. The boss wants to go get a beer after work, I do that.

    Mind, my CEO is CEO of 13,000 people. I’ve spoken to him personally all of *once*. But I’m on good terms with folks in my department (The more manageable 500ish Food&Beverage), and it utterly has helped me in dealings a few times. They know me, they like me, I can expect certain treatments and favors beyond people who will grouse unreasonably at various decisions.

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