Workplace expert Choires Sicha answers workplace questions.
Question: I work for an NGO that relies heavily on private sponsors. Our new boss loves to celebrate with wine or Champagne when any amount is donated and we constantly receive donations.
Even for the end of the week, the boss decided to bring in drinks. As a person who is not a heavy drinker, it makes me feel a bit uncomfortable. How do I rectify this culture change of constantly drinking in the workplace?
Answer: Really though, aren’t we all drinking in the workplace? Drinking the rancid Kool-Aid of corporate eco-terrorism and capitalist larceny, that is.
But alcohol-drinking, honestly, isn’t that fun in the office. I do find it cute when people parade a bar cart around on Friday at 6 pm.
Yet I find it way less cute at 5.45pm and reprehensible before 5.15pm. I just pack up and go home when people start drinking. But as you can tell, I’m the most fun person in the room.
I wish I was a chilled someone who believed that everyone should crack open a cold one after lunch. But there’s no world in which it’s appropriate for an NGO to have regular drinking in the office, unless it is an NGO devoted to housing for aging winegrowers.
Do you know who finds excuses to introduce alcohol into all life events? Yes. That’s right. Your boss is an alcoholic.
Question: I’m about a year in at a new job that I’m proud to have. I love the work I do, I’m happy enough with the pay and I feel respected. One big problem, though, I do not relate socially to anyone in my office.
I’ve definitely tried. I send the occasional joke over group chat, I ask how people’s weekends were when I run into them in the kitchen, all that, but I get nothing back. It permeates the office culture.
It seems that no one here really socially interacts with each other. I work long hours and I’m a fairly extroverted person, so I’m thinking that the company culture just might not be right for me. I don’t need much, but I do know the occasional banter would help me feel a lot happier.
A lot of it has to do with a pretty significant age gap. However, the lack of social interaction makes me pine to leave the office, thus I feel burnt out often and the burnout has led to me tending towards laziness sometimes. Is this enough for me to consider leaving an otherwise great job?
Answer: I think you’re having too many cascading experiences about this workplace when you should be having cascading experiences of trauma over the fact that you are scouring the ocean bare of life with your daily existence.
Sorry. Somewhere a plastic bag you once touched is choking the life from a dolphin. I don’t think you’re burnt out. I think you have a job, a life and perhaps they are meeting different needs in some kind of “balance”. A balance of work and life, if you will, to coin a phrase.
You should probably check to see if your co-workers are just socialising behind your back because they don’t like you.