It has been my ambition to never go to an office soiree, dinner, coffee house, charade tournament or anything that falls into the purvey of the Workplace Forced Socialization Event. Mostly because I have hermetic tendencies. And also because my work never involves me saying anything to anyone. In my early years, I could go days without ever saying an actual word to anyone. It was bliss. It just seemed to me that with work that is primarily analysis and thinking and stuff, to go to some function every seasonal period to chat it up, as it were, with coworkers I don't even know, is just farcical.
But, over my many years at employment, and perhaps, in some way, due to my affinity for the sitcom "The Office", I've started attending. My work pals tell me it's all about the free meal. I don't call sitting through what seems like literally geologic eons of speeches from the higher ups we never ever interact with 'free'. The funny thing about these meals is that it kinda reveals the double life of the office. On one hand you have the higher ups, the sort of folks who go to seminars on "Vision", or "White Papers on Leadership". On the other hand, you have the folks who do the nitty gritty work. I think for the most part these two groups never meet.
Unfortunately, the higher ups -- who think these great big expansive Feyneman-esque thoughts on groups and departments and potential in the human spirit -- often feel a need to share these kernels of truth; as well as there overarching mission, which sadly includes us. For those on the ground, we are primarily concerned with the work. Well, work, and not being included in the overarching vision.
Perhaps I shouldn't include everyone in that. Perhaps there are other paper-pushers who care. Care deeply on how they can have transformative spirit work whilst doing their duties. That have daily mantras on how their contributions can further the mission statement and bring us all to some envisioned ideal. Some envisioned ideal that features fields of untapped human potential and probably a very progressive sitar soundtrack in the background. I am not those people. And I'm fairly certain the (few) people I talk to on a daily basis are not one of those people. (Maybe this is just a lie I tell myself. I'm sure one of these day's I'll stand, horrified, looking at the computer of a coworker I thought previously impervious to New Age Overarching Thought, with a bright flashing screensaver iteration through the Five Steps to Oneness and Customer Repeat Business. Or something.)
In anycase, the speeches. The endless speeches from folks who are frankly, hardwired for this sort of thing. They line up. Each one continuing their spiel with the "and just one more thing" line that many of us have swallowed hook line and sink 'er. It really is this endless parade of comments and addendums, looking back on the years and looking forward to the future. It's interminable. Like this post. Hence I'll just end it here and let you have your 'dinner' that was no doubt made a la assembly line style in what could only be very generously be called a 'kitchen'.