Monday, 29 June 2009

Thanks, but no thanks, Oprah

Oprah Winfrey is taking all her staff and their families on an all expenses paid Mediterranean cruise. Sounds wonderful, doesn’t it. Actually not. I am not privileged to work for you, but if I did, I would say thanks, but no thanks.

For a semi serious look at why this is not a good idea, click here to read Stuart Jeffries' take.

I am adding my own two penny bit.

Company socials, especially with spouses, are a massive bore. Ninety percent of the conversation is office gossip anyway. Now, I’ve had my fill of it at the office – do I really want more of it. And the spouses. Their lot is terrible. Have you noticed how the office organization structure is quickly evident amongst the spouses. I’m sure they hate it, but have to dutifully attend.

I’ve ranted before of how spouses should have nothing to do with the company. Click here to read this misanthropic rant.

Of course, all of us have some very good friends amongst our office colleagues. Hanging out with them is extremely enjoyable. But privately. Nothing to do with the company. Certainly not at a company do where there are five friends but equally five guys you can’t stand the sight of.

Nobody says at his leaving do, “the thing I enjoyed most about this company is the socials we had every week”.

Grumpy mood today !!


Preeti Shenoy said...

heh heh heh--Ramesh, you're SO SO RIGHT!!
Stuart Jeffries hit the nail right on the head!
And for me, personally, even more awful than the company parties used to be the events that one had to attend organised by the 'wives clubs' (I think you'll know what I am talking of--I don't want to mention it publicly) :) Finally , finally I learnt to say no.
Why so grumpy?
BTW had called you on skype on Saturday. You might have got a missed call.
And please check your inbox for a perky tweet :) It helps cure grumpiness :)

Aashish said...

Grumpy Ramesh makes us laugh :-)

kiwibloke said...

Bang on! The 'socials' and the wives club (which has it own (hen)pecking order) are irritants that I have managed to keep away from. I remember you days in the early mid ninetys in Bangalore when the three people that I used to hang out together every friday evening were an architect about 2 years younger than me, an upcoming software pro(who was also a chef and hotel food reviewer- software pros were a rarity then) about 5 years older than me and a member of the famous Indian spin quartet about 20 years older than the rest of the folks (who was an occassional participant). Not much of company from inside the company on these friday evening bashes. Helped me retain my sanity! Having said that I have a few real friends for life from the 'inside' as well and we seldom talk about the 'inside' when we meet.

le embrouille blogueur said...

Ramesh ... so rightly said ... I hate work Christmas parties or any other social gathering where you gotta watch out for every word that "comes out of your mouth"...also for Oprah...the publicity factor is discreet the one time when she gave away 40 Ford Focus(es) to members of the audience ...great post Ramesh .. your humorous side is equally brilliant as the "bizness" one...!!

Ajay said...

Tips duly noted for future reference :)

Adesh Sidhu said...

Ramesh you are in form even when you are grumpy:-) Go on vacation and it will cure your grumpiness...

rads said...

I'd rather give up and stay at home...can't imagine myself in such a party...

Ramesh said...

@ Preeti - Know exactly what you mean. That was a horror which still continues I believe. Thanks for the tweet - much chirpy !

@Aashish :)

@kiwi - Those were the days indeed. Btw - am reading a recently released biography of Gavaskar called SMG. Strongly recommend.

@blogueuer - Many thanks for the kindness as always. Yeah - the Christmas party is one more such "event" - although they are mostly spouse free thankfully !

@Ajay :)

@Adesh - Welcome back. We missed you while you were having fun. I'm on permamnent vacation now !

@rads - Ouch. May you get invited to your husband's office party complete with 500 spouses where you have to grin and nod for 4 hours flat. Take some pics and blog about it !! :)

Anonymous said...

What a relief Ramesh! I thought Sachin and I were the only namunas who disliked company parties. Glad to know that we are not insane ;-) I feel so grossed out by the chmachagiri happening on the boat. Oprah could have given her staff travel cards which they can use to go to a destination of their choice and even go with the colleagues of their choice. That would have probably gotten her somewhere in the leagues of worlds greatest boss (as if there is something like that in the world *scoffs* )
On another note, your take on things is impressive. I do hope to see you in a Business Magazine soon(as long as they allow your creativity)!!
PS: I know you like long comments, but this is truly getting embarassing how I yap on and on. :-)

Ramesh said...

@thoughtful train - Join the gang. Judging from the comments, everyone seems to hate office parties !

Hey thanks for such encouraging and kind words. What a lift you give. Thanks very much.

ajcl said...

ramesh and thatz a new side im seeing to ur zen like presence.i have always always ALWAYS hated these parties.. they are so plastic if u know what i mean

Reflections said...

LOL...loved this post;-D!!!!

Most of the above comments pretty much said wht I want to say but do want to stress tht when Grumpy Ramesh writes it has a flavour of its own;-D

Ramesh said...

@ AJCL - Oh, how kind. And you too don't like them ? I wonder who does ??!!

@Reflections - I hope an agreeable flavour !! Can't do a chicken roast like the scintillating Nancy, but can try something less ambitious :)

Anonymous said...


One of the things I would look forward to at a top B school is to listen to and learn from top Profs...can this be replicated?..well may be record an actual lecture and post it online may be..

Ramesh said...

At Exkalibur666 - Thanks for visiting. I presume your comment was related to my post on the online MBA. Yes you could very well listen to a full interactive lecture with a Prof online - many web conferencing tools today are pretty good.

Viji said...

I think you have missed out one part of it - If the spouse happens to be the male species, the ordeal is even worse - They can neither join the spouse (read wives!!) club nor the spouse ka spouse group who are talking shop - eeeks ... There still is not much acceptance of the spouse belonging to male species. Any counters to this?

Ramesh said...

@Viji - Oh yes, the male spouse's position is particularly bad. If he is a stay at home spouse, he's looked at as if there's something wrong about his manhood. If he's also working, then he can neither fit into the wives group nor the shop talking men's group. Many male spouses I know simply avoid their wife's socials.

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