Our new chief revenue officer is in town visiting from San Francisco, so he invited us all to happy hour at a nearby spot after work.
What is frustrating when members of our executive team come out to New York is that the same types of congregations tend to happen: people on the “leadership” team tend to all gather around each other, sharing inside jokes and discussions around matters that the rest of us not only are not aware of but are never looped into, so if we tried to insert ourselves, we’d have no idea what the heck we are listening to and whether we even should be standing there. Then, there’s pretty much everyone else. And everyone else tries to make small talk with the leaders who are visiting, but it really just remains that: temporary small talk until they get uncomfortable or bored or both, and then the conversation ends, resulting in their moving on to the more familiar (and lower level) people in the office who they can have comfortable, everyday conversation with. Sameness attracts sameness, and sameness breeds sameness… unless someone at the top actually makes a thoughtful effort to counter it. And, well, that is clearly not happening.
I dislike this. The whole point of having a leader host a happy hour is so that he can get to know the remote employees better, but this rarely is the case. It ends up just being another event where everyone spends time with who is familiar or of a similar level or position, and the company ends up paying for all our drinks because it’s a social work event. This really needs to change.