GUEST COMMENT: Six people you will always meet at an off-site

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Following our previous article on off-sites , and given that they seem to be on the return and that you are practically certain to be attending one sometime soon, here are six people to look out for:

1. The One Who Doesn't Want To Be There

Usually a relatively senior manager and the one most people want to schmooze. They genuinely believe that off-sites are a total waste of time (and usually apply that same feeling to any out of office activity) and have to be forced to attend by their management.

How to recognise them: they will drive themselves so they can arrive late and leave early

Least likely to say: What fun, shall we do another one soon?

2. HR

Always, always at off-sites and no one knows why. No one wants them there in case they try and enforce normal human behaviour on the 'Masters of the Universe'. Always have a presentation on something pointless.

How to recognise them: automatically drawn to the most senior person in the room and will be carrying hard copy, ring bound presentations (which they have had to collect after they are all left behind in the conference room)

Least likely to say: 'Oh don't mind me, I think we should all skinny dip in the goldfish pond'

3. The Randoms

They have implausible job titles, are seldom if ever seen in the office and you are absolutely certain they earn more than you despite having no discernible purpose. They will be presenting, it will be buzz word central and they will then disappear only to re emerge for the next offsite.

How to recognise them: A laser pointer and an air of smugness

Least likely to say: 'You know what, I don't think I have anything to add here'

4. The Marketing Team

They booked the hotel and chose the salads for the buffet so they are going to invite themselves along to 'check it out'.

How to recognise them: they always travel in pairs and often in threes. They won't come to the presentations but can be found in a small room near the main hall that they use as their 'office' (it will have a laptop).

Least likely to say: 'Yup, my job is just a string of jollies. You're absolutely right'

5. The One Who Is Always There

Often a Business Manager or COO, loves an off-site and is under the delusion that he/she has a lot to contribute. Generally ends up re-booking flights or arranging late check outs (marketing are too busy in their 'office'). Wants to be one of the late drinkers (see 6) but can't hack it as they actually take this stuff seriously.

How to recognise them: they know everyone, no one knows them

Least likely to say: 'Sort it out yourself, that's not my job'

6. The Late Drinkers

This group will always be the last to bed. They pride themselves on being last up, on switching to the contents of various mini bars when the main bar tips them out and on getting involved in some sort of (usually water-based) high jinx. If there is to be any snogging, they will be involved.

How to recognise them: they will be the pale ones in the corner sweating neat alcohol and able to feel their livers.

Least likely to say: 'That's my limit, I'm off to bed so I'll be fresh for tomorrow's strategy session'

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