Surviving the Office Xmas Party

December 4, 2001

Don’t take the invitation to ‘Drink Up’ Literally

Try your hardest not to act like a parched camel and guzzle down as much liquid in the fastest possible time. Sure, we all know that the whole point of the office Christmas party is to get drunk on the boss’s tab, but do try to do it in style. Drink slowly, particularly if your choice of poison for the night is champagne. Make sure you nibble on Hors d’Oeurves and drink a glass of water in between flutes of bubbly. Don’t worry, you’ll still get tipsy, but not embarrassingly so: i.e.- no falling asleep on the toilet, slurring or vomiting.Do not use the festive mood of the party as an excuse to make a move on the cute boy from accounts who lives with his girlfriend.

You’d never dream of ‘cutting some one else’s grass’ in a sober state so don’t think that a few champagnes gives you permission to morph into a home wrecker (or that it absolves you of any responsibility), particularly when it involves someone you have to see at work everyday. You know what will happen. He’ll be so flattered by the attention that he won’t refuse your advances, but he’ll never leave his girlfriend for you. Not only will you feel awkward when you bump into him in the tea room, but you’ll be consumed by a combination of tear-welling guilt and envy when you see his girlfriend come to the office to meet him for lunch.

Do not succumb to your boss’s advances

If you have one of the ‘randy old’ male boss’s beware of any ill-fated champagne fuelled advances. Chances are he’s blind drunk and doesn’t know any better at the time, so don’t embarrass yourself and him by letting a little drunken perve at your cleavage escalate into a pash. Not only will you both be shockingly embarrassed, but your co-workers will pay you out for it for the next year, and his wife will be so upset he’ll have to fire you to keep her from leaving him.

Do not divulge your life’s story to the office manager

Remember that this is still a professional situation, so it’s not the time to share a ‘deep and meaningful’ with the office manager/account coordinator type person you’ve never said more than a polite hello to. Remember that while he/she is likely to be as drunk as you, they will probably remember a large proportion of the conversation. That means that next time you ask for help with the photocopier, there’s a pretty good chance that they’ll be having flash backs about your chronic thrush problem and how your last boyfriend left you for your mum.Do not gossip about other co-workers

Remember that there are ‘Survivor’ style alliances operating in any work place, so be careful what you say to whom. The account manager might actually be the godfather of the marketing coordinator’s 3-year-old, the technical support manager may be an old friend of the PA, and the sales assistant could be the general manager’s niece. Don’t let loose with the goss until you are sure that your conversation partner is not your subject/victim’s ally.

Do not, under any circumstances go home with one of your male co-workers

Under no circumstances are you to go home with the nice account manager/ customer service coordinator type person, even if a) he’s single b) you’re single c) you really like each other d) you’ve been flirting for the last month. It’s okay to have a relationship with some one you work with, but don’t make your first date a drunken encounter in the office toilets at the Christmas party, or a hazing romp on the floor back at his flat. If anyone sees you pash/ or leave together, you will be the talk of the office for at least the next 6 months.

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