Not too long ago the company I work for was trying to get everyone together under the pretense that management wants to get to know the front-line supervision on a personal basis. These things really tick me off! They start off with the best intentions but in an effort to get to know us they create a political event that everyone feels they need to attend to maintain favoritism with management. In other words, you feel obliged to go or risk management labeling you as non team member.
If you decide not to go you invariably make up a little white lie so management doesn’t label you an outsider to the team. Then you have the stress of maintaining that lie paying special attention not to mention what you were actually doing at the time.
If you do attend the event the only topic discussed is work. This transforms the event into an informal meeting. These are usually stressful because they have no agenda, you never know which topic will arise and you need to be prepared for whatever subject management brings up.
There is also the stress of knowing when to leave. Sometimes this is decided if the event being attended is a sporting event or other timed event. If it isn’t one of those you wait it out so you’re not the first one to leave because for some reason that is often viewed as a social error. Normally you wait until the most senior member of management leaves as that is often the indicator that the event is over.
Now I’m not antisocial and I have made friends that I met at work. I have also spent time with those friends outside of work at times of our choosing. Some of those friends I have stayed in touch with for many years while others I have lost contact with. But, I have made these friends through the gradual process of getting to know each other and realizing we have common interests. I am uncomfortable with someone dictating my social life to promote there own unnecessary agenda. Oh well, I guess that’s why it’s called work.