Has #MeToo spoilt our Christmas Party?

Now please do not read tooo much into this post, I’m a little annoyed disappointed that’s all, and it’s not a rant because my WordPress is a drama free zone where I’ll hopefully share something anything entertaining, enjoy myself and share thoughts that are on my mind………… as with this post!! For obvious reasons I rarely speak about my place of work for one because they’ll bore you to tears and two because it’s well unsafe and possibly illegal to share detail, but hey I’m going to break my self imposed rule and share an email we’ve all received below………… just keep in mind ‘#MeToo fallout’ and read on.

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A screenshot of an email sent to all Staff

Let me expand my tale with some sketchy detail, my place of work every Christmas organises an ‘office Party’ to which only support staff are invited, if last year is any indication half of guests will be women of all ages, office workers who work in HR administration PA secretaries and a (lovely brunette) receptionist.

The other half consist of males of all ages who are employed as mechanical maintenance support staff, and generally throughout the 2018 working year both sexes got on just fine, with the odd minor incident as always happens when human beings rub along together.

Last year’s Christmas meal was incident free, groups of 8 sat around tables, conversation was slightly forced but ‘it was what it was’, a sociable meal……….. then after the free glass of bubbly had been consumed and the meal finished, the male support staff tended to congregate in groups close to the bar……….. and as I’d expect females sat in groups around tables I’d guess chatting about what women like to chat about, not forgetting a handful of younger women danced whilst a young DJ played music.

Now you’re probably thinking some calamity befell the occasion, someone drank too much and there was an incident laced with sexual impropriety, an event so grave the fallout has been discussed infinitum for the rest of 2018. But I’m sorry to disappoint, nothing happened except as the evening wore on conversation noise levels increased as the chatting groups became more animated as the alcoholic beverages took affect.

However alas there wasn’t to be any kissing under the mistletoe, no male drunken fumbling within a receptionist’s blouse (incidentally my wet dream) behind a Christmas Tree, nope as I said nothing untoward happened whatsoever, as I’d guess everyone had expected when they bought the ticket, a drama free evening perhaps because the type of institution I work in everyone is responsible and extremely intelligent, and probably exactly the same as thousands of office Parties up and down the UK, Events you have to be seen attending if a little boring but with an absence of loutish inappropriate embarrassing behaviour!

So as of today Christmas Party 2018 is all booked and paid for then on Monday we receive the email above, and if you’ve read the text you’ll have guessed we basically received behavioural instructions, rules and guidelines, with threats, also informed that any inappropriate behaviour will be dealt with through HR and the usual disciplinary procedures, as it says our Party is an extension of the workplace

…….. as for the ‘drinking should’s?’ Those points are enshrined in UK Law ANYWAY!!!!

WTF!!! As you’d expect this email has not gone down tooo well, that’s an understatement! It’s of course driven by #MeToo fallout, my employer is covering itself against possible legal action, but come on, do responsible adults really need to be reminded how to behave, do they really need to be reminded of disciplinary protocol, guidelines on how to enjoy yourselves responsibly? 

Ok after the dust has settled we’re all intelligent adults, lovely people, we understand this is just another consequence of the #MeToo fallout but it hasn’t half put a damper on this supposedly fun annual event, I’d go far as to say if this email had been forwarded before booking and payment was made, going by general consensus several people say they wouldn’t have gone……………. then again that’s possibly the worst thing you could do, it surely infers to the Department’s Head that you drink tooo much and as a consequence start laying your grubby little paws on secretaries plump shapely asses……………. however on reflection, back in the real world, predatory behaviour probably blights one or two office Parties.

That’s got me thinking, what if there’s a Secretary who secretly doesn’t like me, a closet nutcase, perhaps she had plans to accuse innocent old me of groping her then get me arrested by the police, what a fabulous opportunity to take me and the Employer for millions!……………  Or am I dreaming up a world of fantasy?

Like I said at the beginning. this isn’t a rant, I understand the need for such an email but come on do we really need reminding how to conduct ourselves in a civilised society? The Head graduated from University, a very intelligent individual, yes on the whole is liked but perhaps ‘he or she’ just got over officious with language or perhaps this is a sign of legislation to come? The possibility of being sued in a Court of Law could mean ‘rest and relaxation’ events will become a thing of the past, however lol boring they may be.

And my final word to this little rant, here’s the email I would have sent? 

Dear all, I hope you enjoy the Department's various Christmas 
Events, please remember they are an extension of our/your 
workplace. 
Happy Christmas and a peaceful 2019 to you all.

©A. Shepherdson 2018