Office party etiquette | QC After Dark

Tuesday, December 15, 2015

Office party etiquette

Posted By on Tue, Dec 15, 2015 at 1:08 PM

Last week, I shared with you my to-do list for the Christmas season in the Queen City. I talked about how excited I was about twinkling lights and ugly Christmas sweaters, but I didn’t talk about one important aspect of young professional life — the office holiday party. Last year, at my first office party with my current employer, I happened upon my boss with a beer in each of my hands and later was an innocent bystander as my chaperone broke her glass. Yikes!

Even though I promised this year would be different, as I walked into my office this Monday, I realized how smart it would have been to take the day off after, yet again, having a little too much fun at the office holiday party two days prior.

Still a little hungover and sore from yet another weekend of overindulgence, I had a mini-heart attack realizing I hadn’t quite reviewed the events from the night of the party.

What exactly had I said to the higher-ups? There were those jokes about polyamory, but who were they directed to?
But seeing as I was already running late, there wasn’t enough time to prepare myself for the conversations reminiscing about a night that was too close for comfort. As soon as I walked in, I was reminded of a convo involving my derriere with a coworker who’s not familiar with my sense of humor. Classic Aerin, always a little too loose-lipped when it comes to alcohol.

Needless to say, I would rather you not make an ass of yourself at your holiday party, so here are a few dos and don’ts I’ve gathered from my own actions and those of my coworkers.

Speak to your boss early. Whether it’s the person you directly report to, or in my case, the president of the company, it’s better to get your hello out of the way before you’re speaking gibberish. Even though they are likely to hear about your run-in with other coworkers, at least their firsthand account will be somewhat professional.

Don’t get too wasted. I’m sure you’ve heard many horror stories about getting way too drunk. Luckily, my coworkers love to have fun so having too many isn’t social suicide. But that isn’t always the case. And besides, you don’t want to be known as “that guy” or “that girl” around the office.

But relax and live a little. While getting completely wasted won’t benefit you, having a drink or two might help you relax. This is especially the case for people who get anxious about professional situations and socializing. A glass of bubbly will have you feeling like a social butterfly. You’ll be surprised how much more fun you’ll have when you just let go and enjoy the moment.

Don’t arrive too early. For some reason, I thought my office party was going to end at 8 p.m. so I ended up walking in 15 minutes after the start. Being “too cool for school,” I was mortified that I was one of maybe 20 people there. Not to mention, getting their early meant I was taking more advantage of the free alcohol. This led to me heading home to pass out by 10:30 p.m.

Take note of the dress code. Unless otherwise specified, most holiday parties are an occasion for cocktail attire. If you’re lucky as me and your work’s dress code is casual, enjoy being able to dress up around the people that see you bumming every single day. You’ll welcome the many compliments and won’t feel out of place.

Don’t miss out on the photo booth. I only had four measly snaps to commemorate what should have been a magical night. I even missed out on getting my picture taken with teammates and coworkers at the photo booth that had been set up. Even if you make a complete fool of yourself, life’s too short to miss out on a photo op, especially when you’re not going to remember most of the night anyways.

Eat the food, Anna Mae. Last but not least, if there’s food, eat the food. After attending the post-game for my P.I.C’s holiday party the night before, I wasn’t quite in the mood for food all day Saturday before my party. Once there, I snacked on a few finger foods, but nowhere enough to prepare for the alcohol consumption to follow.

Well, there’s another holiday office party in the books for me. I’ll try again next year to adult better.

Tell me, what’s your strategy for saving face at holiday functions? Happy holidays, ya filthy animals!

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