日期:2019-12-13 16:08



In Bartleby’s experience, office parties come in three types. The first is the sitdown lunch, in which you are inevitably seated next to someone whose name you do not know, even though you have spent five years politely nodding at them when you pass in the corridor. Two hours of social awkwardness ensue. The second type of do is the evening event with excruciatingly loud music. On the plus side, no one can hear you speak so it does not matter if you have forgotten their names; on the down side, after half an hour everyone over 30 is so deafened that they wish they were at home with a nice book or a box set of “The West Wing”.




The third sort of event is the stand-up do with drinks and nibbles, when the food is never enough to absorb the alcohol and you are permanently caught in a state of angst over whether you are boring the person you are talking to more than they are boring you.
Naturally, there is an economic answer and it is specialisation. Think of Adam Smith’s pin factory where everyone plays their different part; let everyone have the party they want. Some may want to down the prosecco but others may be happier only to gorge on cake.
Seasonal events at The Economist are highly segregated. The leader writers sit quietly in a corner, sipping sherry and discussing structural reform; the Keynesians borrow money off the rest of the staff to pay for their drinks; believers in central-bank independence down pints of beer in feats of “quantitative drinking”; neoclassical economists sip water, arguing that no rational person would consume alcohol, given the risks of hangovers and liver damage; while those who favour modern monetary theory guzzle vodka shots on the ground that it is impossible to get drunk if you control your own alcohol supply.
In short, it is easier to enjoy yourself if you can do so in your own fashion. And that may include not partying at all. If managers think staff would rather spend time at home than attend, let them; the company will save money. Last, but not least, if managers must make a speech, keep it short. Something along the lines of “You’ve all done very well this year, good luck next.” Save the Churchillian rhetoric for the annual general meeting.



  • impossibleadj. 不可能的,做不到的 adj. 无法忍受的
  • quantitativeadj. 数量的,定量的
  • boringadj. 令人厌烦的
  • absorbvt. 吸纳,吸引 ... 的注意,吞并
  • guzzlev. 牛饮,暴食,喝酒失控
  • reformv. 改革,改造,革新 n. 改革,改良
  • socialadj. 社会的,社交的 n. 社交聚会
  • sipn. 啜饮 v. 啜饮,啜
  • inevitablyadv. 不可避免地
  • permanentlyadv. 永久地