Wisdom: Dear Office Santa

This is your busy season, so I’ll try to be brief with these seasonal wishes for the workplaces you will be visiting this month.

It’s that time when folks are gathering for their annual holiday office party – one of the predictable rituals of organizational life. Over the years, I’ve attended my fair share of such gatherings, but very few struck me as community celebrations. Too often, they were mandatory superficial events featuring polite conversations and the exchange of seasonal sentiments – in short, empty rituals. The gap between the actual workplace culture and the mini-world of the office party was evident to everyone, leading to some cynical grumbling among the staff attending. In some cases, too much Christmas “cheer” brought the comments out into the public arena, to everyone’s embarrassment. That kind of situation is equivalent to a family squabble on December 25th, the day when we all trying so hard to be nice to each other and put on a happy face.

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