No, neither did I.
However, I have learnt these rules over the last few years, at a cost to myself obviously.
The rules go something like this.
- You can never ever say NO to an event. It doesn’t matter if your gran is sick or you’ve already booked a week in Greece. No is a definite no no. You will be ignored for weeks and secretly whispered about in corners for quite possibly months, should you say no. Don’t do it.
- Do not under any circumstances ever act like a practice manager at a work do. Even though everyone expects you to remember what they ordered for starter, main and dessert, along with ensuring they have the postcode to get to the venue, and of course you’ve arranged their transport and quite probably helped them pick out an outfit. You must not at all show yourself as a manager. Even if you say something like, ‘hey let’s all get up and dance’, this will immediately be looked upon as ‘telling us what to do’, and again, you will be disregarded for weeks on end. Mass passive aggressive behavior will descend on you and the surgery for months. It’s not worth it.
- This one is probably the most important rule – TALK TO EVERYONE IN EQUAL AMOUNTS. Should you talk to the doctors more than the admin team, or the health care assistant more than the secretary, or the wife more than the girlfriend, you will not only be faced with much eye rolling and stares, you will also never ever be considered part of the team again. You will always be offered the cheapest bottle of donated wine at Christmas and you will face sarcastic comments about ‘favouritisim’ for life.
- This one is difficult because you definitely will need to drink, but don’t drink too much. There’s a fine line. You’ll need a drink to deal with having to do numbers 1,2 & 3, but if you drink too much you will be ridiculed for your remaining term as practice manager. Dancing on chairs is definitely frowned upon. Do not be seen to be having too much fun! However, accept that it is ok for everyone else to drink as much as they like and if they throw up on your shoes, don’t mention it. Thank them for being so funny and ‘mad’.
- Be very careful of who you take along with you to your do, because they probably won’t adhere to 1,2,3 and definitely not 4. In my experience, having a friend who asks the nurse why her husband’s nickname is ‘leery Lee’, and then spends the rest of the evening telling your colleagues about that time you stole a hat stand from a party, isn’t really going to do you any good.
I hope this list helps you practice managers to go forth and party! Follow this easy mode of etiquette and you can go to work on the following Monday with your dignity in place, and your reputation intact. You’ll just be thoroughly exhausted. Well, you didn’t think you were supposed to enjoy yourself, did you?!