Sociability among co-workers. The temptation to invite a few people from the office to your home can be a strong one. Perhaps a group of you have a good time together during the lunch hour, or possibly one of the girls is so humorous—making everyone in the office laugh—that you think she’d be lots of fun at a party.
When you gather them all together away from the office, how ever, the result can be deadly—no fun, no laughs, just a dull evening. Also, there’s the possibility of discovering that one or two of your fellow workers are less attractive after they’ve had a drink or two, and incidents can occur that result in strained feelings.
Even if none of these things happen, a small social group within a large office inevitably isolates itself from the rest of the staff. Its members become cliquish, with their own jokes and topics of conversation. The effect on the general office morale is anything but good.
Sociability between senior and junior executives. An invitation to lunch, an occasional drink together after hours, a game of golf once in a while, usually constitute the somewhat impersonal social relations between senior and junior executives. However, a senior executive will from time to time invite a few of the younger or newer men in the firm to his home so he can get to know them better and meet their wives if he hasn’t already done so.
Extending strictly social invitations is the prerogative of the senior officer, and under no circumstances should a junior executive be first to do the inviting.
Should a high-ranking executive entertain you and your wife, it is a polite gesture for you to reciprocate but it is not necessary that you do so. When a junior executive does entertain his superiors, he does so as naturally as possible. Whether he plans a formal or informal dinner party doesn’t matter. What does matter, though, is that he does not try something his household cannot handle. For instance, when Mr. and Mrs. Junior Executive have no household help, it would be foolish for them to try to entertain in the same formal manner as someone with a chef or a cook and a waitress. A simple meal, well prepared, and served either buffet style or at the dining room table, is in much better taste than a pretentious one that doesn’t turn out right because it’s too much for one person to handle.
Plan a company dinner you can manage with ease. Do things as nicely as you can. The really important thing is that a host and hostess be gracious and, without appearing anxious, do everything possible to make sure everyone enjoys himself.
Sociability between executives and employees. Employees should be theft most pleasant selves when invited to visit executives of the company. But no matter how friendly a party gets, remember next thy at the office not to act in an over-familiar way. You might be on strictly formal terms with your superior at the office but the party may have been so gay and chummy that he was calling you by your first name and urging you to call him by his (something you wouldn’t normally do). Don’t keep it up the next day at work; go back to addressing him as you always have.
If you are a secretary visiting your executive’s home, be particularly careful not to adopt an intimate tone when speaking about him to his wife. Equally unacceptable is talking about him as though he were a naughty little boy whose every action at the office has to have your approval.