There’s something about summertime that makes people want to tear off their clothes and frolic in the sun. Okay not so much, but people do want to get out and hang out, and this notion isn’t limited to just friends. The warm weather will have you going out with Cousin JJ, your Boonopolis, and even coworkers.
Now, there’s nothing wrong with hanging out with people from work, in fact, we encourage it. But, there are a few things you should be mindful of when you’re in the company of your colleagues, whether it’s a summer outing, coworker’s barbeque, or a good ol’ happy hour on a summer day.
First off, be yourself, but not your total uninhibited self. Yes, you are totally outside of the work environment, which may make you want to peel off the work façade like those ugly suits the factory workers in The Wiz had to wear, but you do still have to go back to work with these people tomorrow, so don’t get reckless.
Don’t go making out of pocket comments that will make your co-workers question your character. Even though you’re not at work, somethings can still get back to the workplace.
That whole “what happens here stays here” thing does not apply everywhere, especially not when colleagues are involved. Unless you work with the homies, which probably means not much work is actually getting done, you shouldn’t assume you can trust everyone you’re going out with.
That means you shouldn’t go for that fifth shot of Patron, or tenth bottle of Dos Equis if you think you’ll feel it’s appropriate to share how you’ve got that nasty fungus on your foot (see Buy You a Drank). Not only will you gross people out that night, but people will be sure to keep their distance from you in the office and at all other company functions. You may have to sometimes ask yourself “What would the most interesting man in the world do?”
Speaking of company functions, you know that the infamous “summer outing” is bound to come up this year. While it’s great that you get to leave the office and let your hair down, remember that this is not a time to forget all that good home training that your Mama taught you.
First, be sure to actually show up at the outing. It’s kind of like your company’s reward or thank you to all of the employees for all of the hard work you’ve been doing. How rude is it to not even show up for them to tell you “thank you?”
Now, if this is the sort of outing where you are allowed to bring a guest, choose very wisely who your company will be for the event. Your guest is a reflection of you, so you’d probably be better off leaving your homegirl, who gets the urge to strip down to her skimpys around water, at home for the company yacht party.
While we’d all like to believe that people aren’t judgmental, the reality is they are, and they’ll be looking at you extra sideways for bring Madame Exhibitionist on the boat with you.
Your co-workers will also look at you crazy if you show up to the company outing in an extra “smedium” shirt and some two sizes too small shorts.
You may not be in the office, but you are still with work people. Don’t make HR actually have to do some “dirty” work and ask you to go home on a day that’s supposed to be work-free.
All in all, we want you to have a good time with your co-workers outside of the office. Just keep these few things in mind and you’ll have a plan to make it work, outside of the office. Enjoy the summer, and as long as you follow these pointers, as the Dos Equis line goes “stay thirsty my friends”.