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The dreaded Christmas ‘do’ – PM Polly

by in Christmas, Staff

The dreaded Christmas ‘do’.When applying to become practice manager, instead of asking the future employee to do a presentation on coping with the strains of a changing population or how to manage a practice with limited resources, along with a stampede at the door… there’s a much better question that could be asked and one that will be far more useful to said employee….

How would you manage the Christmas works do?

There are some pointers here that I’d like to share with you from my many disastorous Christmas parties.

If the party game host asks for a volunteer – NEVER put your hand up thinking… won’t it be fun for the staff to see you letting your hair down.  Those pictures of you circulating wearing a green mankini and antlers on your head will never ever go away.

Don’t be stupid enough to think that YOU know what the staff might like to do for their ‘Christmas do’ because you don’t.  You never will.  You must find a Christmas do that suits sullen Sarah, timid Teresa, crazy Cath and man-eater Mel.

Around alcohol you have two decisions.  You don’t drink at all or you drink everything, because you either have to be sober enough to deal with the tears and the back stabbing or you have to be so ****** you don’t care and you won’t remember!

Don’t be silly enough to think that Secret Santa could be something fun. IT ISN’T.  This is a classic way for staff to use their passive aggressive skills to the maximum.  When the receptionist opens up her man strength 48hr deodorant that someone kindly bought for her, the spirit of Christmas will have made a run for it through the exit door.

When buying staff gifts – fully accept the fact that at least half the staff will moan that they’d rather the cash than a voucher, or rather a voucher than a present, or rather wine than chocolates, or rather chocolates than wine…… you WILL not buy a present for staff that they will like. OK?  Got it?

Never EVER give a choice of dates for the Christmas party, because when it comes to choosing and you’ve left out grumpy Gertrude and loud Lauren they will proceed to make your life a misery for at least the next three Christmas’s.  ALWAYS let the staff choose the date, this way they can just hate each other.

Finally, accept that during the night there WILL be tears, moaning, blushes, regurgitated Christmas pudding and wild GP dance moves. But hopefully, there will be LAUGHS too.  Just hopefully not at your expense!

Merry Christmas!


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PM Polly

PM Polly

Experienced Practice Manager doing my best to stay sane.

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6 Responses to “The dreaded Christmas ‘do’ – PM Polly”
  1. Marianne Says:

    Brilliant! This just made my day 😉


  2. Clair Says:

    Love it! This is so very true. My first Christmas do at my practice was met with “can we havedancing next year rather than just a meal”. So, the following year I booked a place with a sit down buffet meal and a disco….most people hated it; complained about the food and disco.
    Thankfully I don’t book the parties and I am not responsible for Secret Santa…..I just stand back and watch, knowing that at some point something will bite me on the @ss…..


  3. Anita Green Says:

    Oh I so wish I had this last year. I got put in post in October and was not aware of what ‘normal’ plans were for Christmas. I ended up in the middle of an argument of where and when and a huff puff of ‘i’m not doing it again!!! Thankfully this, with much coaxing has settled and we have our meal and in house party planned this year… phew…. very strong lessons learned here


  4. Janice Says:

    Agree with it all – think I’ve been through every possible scenario over complaints and fall outs over Christmas parties, staff gifts, Secret Santas, party food, etc throughout the years. I have staff who even complain about gifts that patients hand in, ‘I don’t like those chocolates’ even though they were getting enough to fill a consulting room to choose from! I was so exhausted with trying to please everyone (but pleasing no-one at all) that last year I said I wasn’t doing any of it. Funny how the thought of no-one getting anything organised for them makes minds change – suddenly everything I’ve ever done was wonderful really. This year has been much better so far – keeping the fingers crossed it last longer than one Christmas!


  5. Kerry Walker Says:

    This is brilliant. I laughed out loud reading it! Needed to see something like this on a bad Monday morning.


  6. Steffi Says:

    This is hilarious and oh so true!! I’ve dared to draw up a table plan this year which went down like a lead balloon – 3 versions later we’ll see if they all sit where they are supposed to on Friday!!


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