Friday, June 27, 2008

Nice To See You Again, Let's Complain About Work

A few weeks ago The Boss asked me to attend an after-work function with her. The event was going to involve cocktails and a lecture on event marketing during the time of recessions. I told her she had me at "free champagne". 

So at five thirty on a Wednesday afternoon, The Boss and I threw ourselves into a cab and attended this semi-fancy lecture with scrumptious hors d'oeuvres and a really boring lecture about how the economy sucks (talk about depressing). 

The interesting part of my evening wasn't the slight buzz I got from all the free booze or the stellar gift bag I scored as I scooted out the door, but it was running into three of my former co-workers that made my night. I have mentioned in passing before how the juiciest bit of gossip I have ever heard was when the magazine I worked for went interactive and my company fired many of its employees. What I failed to mention was that a lot of people at work were not happy with decision. A lot of us felt the people who were "let go" didn't deserve the treatment they received and that the decision had literally come out of left field. So when The Boss and I came face-to-face with these disgruntled employees the muggy air became almost suffocating. 

Obviously I didn't have anything to do with the Firing Squad (as we call it at work), but I still work for The Boss and for some reason that makes me an enemy by association. Once The Boss was liquored up and busy rubbing elbows, I started up a conversation with my former friends/co-workers. We did the small talk thing, how are the new jobs talk, and then the conversation quickly rolled around to how much The Boss sucks and why I should get a new job ASAP. 

At first, talking about all the reasons why I hated work felt awkward but a few glasses of champagne later and one of my former co-workers was handing me her card and offering me a interview at a new marketing firm she had just heard about. 

I left the party feeling great (goodie bags and free champagne made me elated) until I sobered up right after my meal of greasy fast food and I realized complaining about my current job with anyone professional probably isn't the most professional thing I could have done. 

Since then I've been fretting. Did I say too much? Did I reveal anything absolutely horrific about our company? And more importantly, do I look petty to my former co-workers for dishing out gossip? 

On one hand, these people could potentially turn on me and ruin me for this industry forever, but on the other hand maybe complaining could get me farther in my career and give me that boost I need. 

In short, I think this drunken gossip binge might have given me a little bit of a leg up (my co-worker swears that the director of a new magazine is going to call me for my resume) but my new vow is to keep my mouth shut - especially when the bubbly is flowing straight from the bottle into my half-full glass. 

9 comments:

K.Rae said...

I once read a study that gossiping strengthens relationships, so maybe you'll come out ahead. The "morning after" feeling is terrible though. Just try to let it go :)

JK said...

You do have to be careful in these situations but at this point, I think you'll be ok.

EP said...

It's tricky dealing with things like this. I think you'll be OK. If your ex-coworkers were drinking the same champagne especially.

There's something to be said for keeping your mouth closed (while drunk/tipsy) or not gossiping with things like that. And it's a lot harder than it looks! Good luck.

Delightfully Sassy said...

I can relate. I have accidentally sent my boss an email intended for coworkers. Thankfully, it didn't contain anything too incriminating. :-)

I love your blog!

Ad Girl said...

One time, when I got extremely drunk after a long photo shoot, I told one of my coworkers how I hate my boss and I want to quit my job and go back to school. In the months since the shoot, my boss and this coworker have gotten closer and closer. So far, nothing has happened, so I hope the same happens with you! I'm still waiting to turn the corner into the office one morning and have my bitch of a boss tell me she knows everything and I'm fired. But, then I'll just tell her she's a bitch and run away!

The Blonde Blogshell said...

Ooooh, tricky!! Never good to be classified as a gossip, but I really don't think you have anything to worry about!!

Dana said...

it is very hard dealing with situations like this, espcecially when you have been drinking! I'm sure everything will workk out ok!

Jen said...

Yikes! That must have really been horrible once you realized the true extent of what you might have done. Booooo alcohol and her/his evil ways with our tongues! And other portions of our bodies, to be frank.

I am a totally rhythm-less white chick....so when I drink, I wan to stop being so uptight, right...well I go WAY overboard. Past the point of recognizing myself at all. I totally disgrace myself, and what's worse my drinking buddies/sisters used to record my idiotness so I could be the butt of their jokes.

I hope things go really well for you, if it's better stuff from the current job if they are wanting you bad enough when you tell them you want to leave...or if it's starting at a new place.

Vianca Hidena said...

I did experience something like that but the funny thing is that while i was complaing about my work and responsabilities, i didnt know i was talking to a Senior VP, who in this case was a young guy. He was new in the company and come to talk to me one day and since then we started a frienship without knowing his title in the company. Luckely i didnt say horrible things but i was still feeling bad for complain in front of him =(