Recently, I received the news that my alma mater had structured a deal with a corporate partner, giving this corporation naming rights in exchange for some dough. Although such a deal is not anything new in academia, what was interesting was that the corporate partner is, in fact, one of the oldest breweries in North America.
This made me wonder whether universities needed any more booze connotation. But then again, this was not so strange since business schools are training grounds for the business world — a bastion of booze and partying.
To fully understand why business and pleasure are so intertwined, you need look no further than the recent TV show, The Street . By the way, as we went to print, the geniuses at Fox decided to cancel the show, even though every critic praised it. Even my business-hating pals seem to think that it was a great show. But oh well, leave a show on Wednesday to go up against NBC’s The West Wing and what do you expect?
Moreover, everyone knows that Wednesday nights are party nights — in fact, every night is party night in the world of business.
Different kind of candy
The same way that a sexual experience between strangers or friends opens up a new dimension within that relationship, one could argue that partying with colleagues is the kind of professional initiation that allows people to look at one another in a new, more interesting light (okay, perhaps after a couple of Sake Martinis).
A hard day’s night
The 9 to 5 routine is a thing of the past, at least for some of us. Several of the young warriors that step into the business world realize that of course you can come in at 9 and leave at 5, but this touristy approach leaves you behind as the minute-taker, rather than landing you the corner office.
What many of us have realized is that whether you work 9 to 5 or 5 to 9 doesn’t make a difference. What makes a difference is being able to get as much done perfectly, in a short time frame. Nobody has punch cards anymore, as time sheets are a thing for dinosaurs.
We work hard to get things done. But this is very unbalanced. We crave something else.
Colleagues, clients and a few tequila shots…
Wanna grab a drink?
How many times have you been getting ready to leave the office, but just could not bring yourself to go straight home? So you look around and ask colleagues whether they want to go for a post-work drink. Usually, you don’t even get a chance to finish your question when the shy female employee jumps on the invite.
As you head off, you ask others at the office whether they would like to join; too bad they have plenty more work to do. Shucks, looks like you will be taking the pretty girl out alone.
And a potential client?
People are people, and unless you are pitching to the Amish Society, then chances are that clients will be more than interested in partaking in some deadly sins before they head back to their home city.
Trust me (and here I speak from precise experience), if a contract is at stake, then don’t be shy to take out the wallet and show your guests a time they won’t soon forget.
Do you think that your clients’ decision will rest on a fraction of a dollar (okay, at some companies, this translates into a million dollars)? No, for the most part, the individual responsible for making the call on who gets the contract will let his liver , and not his calculator make the call.
Is clothing optional?
While I understand the logic of taking someone to a gentlemen’s club, I don’t personally recommend this. Here is my rationale. What is the point of taking someone out to a strip club? Don’t answer, “cold and hot buffet,” unless of course, your definition of buffet differs from that of the good ol’ Webster.
In any case, all you are begging for here (8 times out of 10) is for your potential client to ask you to land him an escort at the end of the night — something that you might not want to do for several reasons.
What then? Were you a bad host?
FTS (up to you to decipher what that acronym stands for). Just take the man to the best club in the city, get yourself a nice bottle of liquor and before you know it, you will have a harem surrounding you. Now you’re being a gracious host.
Ever since I was in high school, partying has been a staple. Whether you are a witness, participant or ringleader, you have become accustomed to partying until the wee hours of the morning. And if you come from North America and think you are a rebel because of your tantrums, you haven’t seen anything until you speak to some Europeans. Now these people have routines that would put us all in rehab.
Now everyone enjoys a good time, but remember that regardless of where you work, people will judge your conduct and infer some conclusions about your potential conduct in a business situation. So sure, you can live it up and be the office’s resident madman, but you will also end up being the office scapegoat.
Cheers; and just be careful party in moderation, when required.
Ash Karbasfrooshan is also the author of Course To Success, available at www.CourseToSuccess.com.