The Drunken Board Dinner

Here’s a peek into what I have been dealing with recently.  As you know, I landed a new job a few months ago that brought me back to the States.  I’ve been enjoying the new challenges it has brought with it, including planning my first Board meeting.  As the Executive Director of my organization, I really want my Board of Directors to enjoy their experience being on the Board. If they don’t, why would they want to volunteer their time and energy? And it’s my job to be the Executive Director and the Event Planner in Charge, so to speak.  Among other things, I had planned a nice dinner out at a reasonably impressive, trendy restaurant, what ensued at the Board Dinner was a little more than I bargained for.  It begged this question:  How do you know when the fine line between having a good time and having too much of a good time has passed?

We have all been out to dinner with persons who have, shall we say, imbibed a little too much. However, when this happens we are typically with our friends, family, or a even bad date and a little honesty is not a problem. But what do you do when the perpetrators of the drunken merriment are members of an organizational body that governs you/your job???

I considered protesting but that would probably not have helped my yearly bonus prospects or any job references I may need in the future. So instead I watched as the dinner got rowdier and the conversation louder. And after awhile of considering my options and subsequently dismissing each one, I just gave in completely and called the waiter over to the table and apologetically said, “I’ll have another.”  He knew.  Apparently, I am not the first or the last to have a work-related dinner go off the rails.

This is the price that I must pay for being a team player! Bear in mind that I’m not complaining, I remember when I was in the corporate world, during one staff retreat we were required to stand on a chair and fall backwards and trust that our colleagues would catch us. This… was very unnerving. So, as I enjoyed my second, or maybe by that time, third glass of Merlot, I consoled myself with the thought that “proving my team spirit” could be much worse – and more dangerous.

Of course, the next day arrived and my splitting headache reminded me all too clearly that I didn’t get away unscathed! And, to make matters worse, I still had to conduct the Board meeting – the Emcee in charge and the one in the hot seat.  Always a great combination when you can function through a throbbing headache.  And believe you me, at that moment, I promised myself that the next Board of Directors Dinner will be at a vegetarian Indian restaurant that gives you ONLY your choice of tea or soda with your meal!

“Tales from the Boardroom” as they say…

Love, Leigh