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5 Tips for Surviving your Office Christmas Party

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It’s the last Friday before Christmas, and there may be some of you who are having a meal or drinks with colleauges this evening. Office get-togethers can be social minefields, so in the spirit of sharing, here’s some advice for those of you who are about to indulge.

1. Eat
Whether before or during the evening’s main event, if you are going to be partaking of alcoholic beverages, it’s best to have some ballast to make sure that you can pace yourself. Be sure to include lots of starch; meat alone will not be very helpful.

2. Your Boss is Still Not your Friend
Even if you discover that you are both married to worriers and support the same football team, in the cold light of your hangover, your boss will still be your boss. Whether they make a fool of themselves doing the electric slide while wearing a bad Santa hat is immaterial. Do not under any circumstances invite them back to your place for a nightcap or offer to babysit their kids. You will eventually regret it.

3. Think Strategically: Use your Cameraphone
As you have already decided to conduct yourself with impeccable manners and elegance for the evening, you are now free to collect evidence of your workmates failing to do the same. Photographic evidence of your colleagues in various states of “refreshment” will probably be far more useful in your next salary negotiation than any PowerPoint presentation. Especially if the pictures are of your boss.

4. Mistletoe: Just Say No
Whether it be the real thing or a plastic approximation, do you really want to kiss somebody you work with? Leaving aside that other people may also have had the cameraphone idea, you don’t want to be sabotaged and end up inadvertently fuelling an unrequited crush (yours or theirs). I once worked at a place where the receptionist was besotted with one of the guys from sales. She got extremely drunk, waylaid him and got a kiss at the office party. Pictures were taken. She never lived it down and quit in the new year.

5. Circulate, It’s What You’re there For
Your bosses are holding an office party because they want all of the staff together. If they expected all of the admins to stick together and the marketing team to act as a herd, they’d have held separate parties for each department. Use the office party as an opportunity for networking within the company. You never know, the beancounters in accounts might actually be able to tell you how much money you’ve been allocated for the next quarter once they’ve loosened up.

Nevertheless, if you do have an office party to attend, enjoy yourselves. You’re soon going to have at least a couple of days off and all that lies between you and opening presents with your loved ones is an evening of forced merriment. Be careful out there, and if you can’t, don’t get caught.

[Image by RcktManIL]

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