‘Tis the season to be Merry, go to the office party, then hope that if you can’t remember what happened then that means no one else can either. If you’re worried about making a social faux pas, read on to see what you can do to try and avoid it (oh the irony of getting me to write this post)…
1. Thou shalt not get too hammered
Chances are you’re not in the military (if you are, ignore this point), and getting so hammered that you decide painting Stonehenge green is a great idea probably won’t go down well with your boss. This, of course, depends on your boss but best not chance it with other colleagues whose help (and respect) you may require at a later date.
Obviously not turning up is the best way not to do anything embarrassing. Unfortunately, this is also a sure fire way of looking like a grumpy so-and-so. They say you have to be in it to win it, while a party isn’t a competition, what does it say about what you think of your colleagues if you can’t be bothered to turn up? Go to the party.
3. Thou shalt turn up on time
We’ve all been there: lights on, music playing, food ready …and wait for half an hour. While it’s frustrating if you’re hosting a private party (I am so sorry to any of my friends reading this!!), it is so much worse for those organising an office one. Also, you will stick out like a saw thumb as most of your colleagues will be punctual.
Nobody wants to be ‘that guy’, turning up in a suit that looks like it should be used as wrapping paper rather than adorning a human. Equally, spray on dresses or deep neck-lines are a bit of a no-no; it’s not the night club. If there is a dress-code: stick to it; if there isn’t: err on the side of caution.
If there is a plus-one option, by all means bring your partner. However, this does not extend to Tinder dates – that is weird. While it is debatable as to whether you can bring a close friend, I wouldn’t ask unless they’ve travelled a long way to see you that weekend.
Internet – NO! You may think this old fashioned but you’re there to talk to your colleagues so put that phone away. Also (and this good advice generally) what seems hilarious after 15 pints, perhaps is not as funny the following morning. Do not post while drunk, you can easily jeopardise your and your colleagues’ home life / relationship status / job / company reputation. The last thing you want is for the party to get out of hand AND make national news.
7. Thoust needest hang on a bit for the apocalypse
Some people like to party like the world is going to end tomorrow – it’s not. Unless you already have another job lined up, chances are you want to keep working of the company after the party. Now is not the time to declare your undying love to the receptionist (in front of her husband) / to punch the guy that always uses your favourite mug / or indeed to tell your boss what you really think. Keep a lid on it, nobody wants to hear it anyway.
8. Honour thy brother
Everyone with a beating heart has messed up on 1 and gotten hammered at some point. If this is usually you, try to make sure that you’re around someone that will see the signs that Mr. Hyde is about to come out to play and will help you. Equally, if one of your colleagues is about to turn to the dark side, nurse them back to health with vitamin Bacon and help save their carrier.
Everyone likes a good yarn, but equally no one likes a bore. If you worry that you’re talking too much, you probably are. Remember that everyone is the star in their own story and try not to be too overbearing. It will surprise some to learn that they’re not the most important person at the party – the boss is. Holding court is all very well and good, but it’s hard to get right in a work environment, you certainly don’t want to be remembered for the wrong reasons (or discussing the wrong topic!).
10. Thou shalt be merry
If you’re reading this then you may be worried about making a faux pas. Equally, if someone else has a fall from grace then try to be understanding. If Brian from accounts turns out to have a penchant for swinging from the chandelier in nothing but his Birthday suit, and he keeps his job, then he probably wants to forget about it – let him. Have fun, survive, and get on with your lives.