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I don't like socialising with my colleagues on business trips

I don't like socialising with my colleagues on business trips

Old Feb 15, 12, 5:38 pm
  #46  
 
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Originally Posted by mapleg View Post
Hmm. Did I work for you once? You sure sound like an old boss of mine!
Actually I was just trying to work out which of my old bosses posted this....
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Old Feb 15, 12, 5:42 pm
  #47  
 
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Originally Posted by Gigantor View Post
Worst experience ever... flying with my boss on overnight flight from ZRH -> SIN. Even on Singapore Airlines in Business Class, I do not want to be sleeping next to a drooling and snoring lump. Especially someone that I have to work with. There are boundaries that should be maintained in the workplace world.

I changed my return flight to another day. Made up an excuse that I needed to spend an extra day in the Singapore office, just so that I would not have to suffer the same experience.
the other way is to coordinate with the boss's secretary so that you get a seat allocation in a row further behind and pref. on the other side of the aircraft. Do this discreetly and you'll both be relieved.
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Old Feb 15, 12, 5:45 pm
  #48  
 
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Originally Posted by polar_b View Post
My company's alcohol policy is liberal so you can claim for drinks on business travels.
You guys hiring?
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Old Feb 15, 12, 5:46 pm
  #49  
 
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I thoroughly understand the OP- in addition to needing time to just veg out with a good book and get to bed early enough that I'm ready for the gym in the AM, I try to watch what I eat. A colleague said she gained 20 lbs. after she joined our department. I did not. And I've never seen her drink alcohol although she seems to have an addiction to Coke Zero.

When we're all out on the road they seem perfectly happy with me joining the group 2 or 3 nights out of 4, and I always make sure that I attend dinners scheduled with local management.
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Old Feb 15, 12, 6:36 pm
  #50  
 
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Originally Posted by polar_b View Post
I had to think about that one. According to the page on introversion on wikipedia I am probably 70% introvert, but I think I am more ambivert. It is a really good question because I can easily believe that a large proportion of the '4AM party-goers' are largely extroverted.

I am by no means not a loner and I do enjoy the company of good friends that I feel comfortable with. I do not have that many friends, but the ones I do have are very good friends.
I think this is a key question. As a rule of thumb, what recharges your batteries: spending time alone or spending time with other people? If it's spending time alone, you're an introvert. That does not mean that you're a loner, and it does not mean that you don't enjoy spending time with people with whom you feel comfortable. It just means that you need some time by yourself, probably every day, to recharge your batteries. If you don't get it, you're going to start feeling drained.

Not getting that time alone to recharge your batteries is what often happens when travelling for work. Your usual work day, 9 to 5 or whatever, gets extended: you have to eat breakfast and lunch, and spend your breaks, with the colleagues you're travelling with. As soon as the afternoon's work is over, they want to know what time you'll all be meeting in the lobby to go have drinks and dinner. Conferences can be much worse: evening sessions that don't end til 10 pm, and expectations about socializing for at least a few hours after that.

You can easily end up not getting any time alone until you get back to your room at or well after it's time to go to sleep. You may end up (as I often have) staying up later than usual as a result, to watch tv and surf the internet and read a newspaper or magazine or book - to recharge - and then you're three hours from when you have to be downstairs again for breakfast, and the next day you're even more drained from lack of sleep.

If this is you (I know it's me), you may have to strike a balance and set some boundaries. Spend some time outside the actual work hours with the travelling companions, but don't be afraid to say that you plan to spend some time alone. You can say you need to work, or you need to make some calls, or you need to call home, or you need to rest. Not that you have to be a prisoner in your room; you can also say you have errands to run, or a friend to visit, or ... well, just, some things that you are going to do. Just saying "I've got some stuff to do" can be enough to send the message that it's no one else's business.

Some of your colleagues are probably introverts too, and wouldn't mind some time to themselves. Some are probably extroverts, and they might act put out - they need to spend time with people to recharge, and you're not facilitating that. Don't worry and don't feel guilty. Left to their own devices, they will certainly find people to talk to.

And some of your colleagues may feel that it doesn't matter what human beings need - on the road, the work day is 5 am to 12 pm. Short of steering clear of working for and travelling with such people, my next best suggestion is setting some boundaries, such as, let's go eat dinner early, because by 8 pm I need to be back in my room, I've got to call home, I've got things I need to get done tonight, I need to get to sleep earlier than I did last night.

Good luck, and for the sake of your own health and well-being, to thine own self be true.
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Old Feb 15, 12, 9:01 pm
  #51  
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Its healthy and necessary to have some alone time even if you're an extrovert.

For myself, I constantly am in touch with employees, customers, tenants, suppliers.. and at my child's school, always communicating with parents, teachers and staff on a daily basis.. On trips, there is hotel, airline, and tourism staff constantly in service. Some peace and quiet even for the most outgoing of people would do a world of good..
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Old Feb 15, 12, 10:27 pm
  #52  
 
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Originally Posted by gungadin View Post
I believe that nothing about a business trip is non business. No , I don't think you get private time unless you are asleep. Just like the idea of being relaxed at an office party, it seems to me that you are always onstage. And if that means you go and drink a tonic with the guys or girls , so be it. Not fair? Well, no, but I really don't know if fair applies here.
However at the same time when your're in your own home city, You're able to go home after work. Sit back, have wine watch a movie or do whatever and unwind. Not that going out for a few drinks is a huge problem but I guess it's the all out I'm away from home and the kids so I'll stay out till all hours which really has nothing to do with work. After a day of meetings,presentations,etc it's nice to be able to unwind and do what you would do after you finish work in your own home city.
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Old Sep 3, 19, 1:05 am
  #53  
 
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I like socializing sometimes, but I prefer not to most of the time for several reasons:

1. I'm very introverted. I need a lot of alone time to function. I've tried running really large social groups and running other highly-social events to shake this off, but I guess it's part of who I am. Travel during the week helps me build up enough me time to be super sociable with my wife and our friends back at home. Also, dinners alone are VERY relaxing for me, and I look forward to them after hard days at work.

2. I prefer to have tight control over how much I drink and eat (I log everything into MyFitnessPal), and that's really hard to do when I'm out with co-workers that are less strict about their dietary choices.

3. It cuts hard into gym time. (This was easier to manage when I stayed at hotels with fully-serviced 24-hour gyms or in towns that had an easily-accessible 24-hour gym, but they are hard to come by.)

4. I have several side projects that mean a lot to me, and I have no time to get them done during the weekend (see [1]). I try getting them done on the plane, but that's hard to do when Wi-Fi bandwidth is spotty.

That said, never socializing is not a good look in consulting, so I compromise by going out one night (or multiple for special occasions).
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Old Sep 4, 19, 6:33 am
  #54  
 
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I can say the following. Most colleagues are introverts.
When it comes to a business trip (e.g. Barcelona), you see that the colleagues want to party/drink each night.
Hence, business trips are very popular when them, because on such a trip they get a break from loneliness or their terrible wifes.
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Old Sep 4, 19, 8:51 am
  #55  
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It's definitely about balance for me. I always try to find an "off" night or two where I can go alcohol-free, get in a long-ish run, and either eat at a solo-friendly restaurant like a sushi bar or do a small-group meal with others who want to do something reasonably healthy. Or at least healthy-ish.

There's always the one huge 3-hour meal with tons of food, wine, and liquor. As much as I enjoy ONE of those meals, I need like a full day of detox before and after!

Going for the run, or whatever you like to do workout-wise, is huge.
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Old Sep 5, 19, 11:38 am
  #56  
 
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Originally Posted by carlosnunez.dfw View Post
I like socializing sometimes, but I prefer not to most of the time for several reasons:

1. I'm very introverted. I need a lot of alone time to function. I've tried running really large social groups and running other highly-social events to shake this off, but I guess it's part of who I am. Travel during the week helps me build up enough me time to be super sociable with my wife and our friends back at home. Also, dinners alone are VERY relaxing for me, and I look forward to them after hard days at work.

2. I prefer to have tight control over how much I drink and eat (I log everything into MyFitnessPal), and that's really hard to do when I'm out with co-workers that are less strict about their dietary choices.

3. It cuts hard into gym time. (This was easier to manage when I stayed at hotels with fully-serviced 24-hour gyms or in towns that had an easily-accessible 24-hour gym, but they are hard to come by.)

4. I have several side projects that mean a lot to me, and I have no time to get them done during the weekend (see [1]). I try getting them done on the plane, but that's hard to do when Wi-Fi bandwidth is spotty.

That said, never socializing is not a good look in consulting, so I compromise by going out one night (or multiple for special occasions).
On points 2 and 3, you'll find that it's much less awkward than you think to assert yourself if you just give it a shot. Speaking from experience, it's really self-discipline.
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Old Sep 8, 19, 7:52 pm
  #57  
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Originally Posted by carlosnunez.dfw View Post
...never socializing is not a good look in consulting...
It is said (and I agree) that the eight most painful words a consultant can hear are: "So what are you guys doing for dinner?"

I always want to take Subway back to my hotel room, alone. But that is often impossible. Socializing with the client is strategic relationship management, aka selling the next phase.
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Old Sep 12, 19, 2:04 pm
  #58  
 
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No I completely agree with you OP. I feel the same. Some things I don't want to talk about with my colleagues.

Nothing wrong with your feelings. I can relate.
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Old Sep 30, 19, 4:32 am
  #59  
 
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I am happy enough to socialise but in general I tend to ensure I have 1 night in 3 alone doing whatever works for me without involving them. Other nights I sometimes turn down invites in the interest of something else or just relaxing but the solo night is always genuinely solo.
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Old Sep 30, 19, 6:34 am
  #60  
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Thwe is a significant difference between socializing with colleagues as a recreational matter and socializing with clients because it is part of your business development obligation.

Nobody should be remotely concerned about accepting or declining the former. The latter is something which is part of your job and if it is the business practice in your space to spend a lot of time and money, that is just the way it is. Sometimes it pays to sound out the client. There are a lot of people who would rather go home to their kid and maybe talk business over a quick hamburger.

The good news is that more and more businesses are prohibiting their people from accepting "entertainment" and, for those doing this overseas, there may be local anti-bribery statutes as well as foreign statutes such as the US FCPA.
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