Book of Etiquette – Office Christmas Parties

by Michael on December 3, 2012 · 0 comments

Don't drink too much champagne at christmas parties!

The office Christmas party is almost upon us once again, despite the grass only just growing over the embarrassment of the last. Follow our little book of etiquette and you won’t be office topic number one after this Christmas.

Alcohol, at the Company’s Expense.

Typical of an office Christmas party is the free flowing alcohol. Don’t drink just to suffice your thirst, rather remain somewhat levelheaded and revel in how your colleagues make fools of themselves. As the photos of naked rear ends are being passed around the office the next day, ensure you emerge from photocopier-gate with your head held high, saying “It was not I.”

Flirting with Colleagues

Alcohol loosens tongues and inhibitions. The friendly, but rather shy colleague from accounting has drunk enough courage to speak with you. There are no objections against a little flirtation if both sides agree to it. Go about it quietly though and move the wild snogging away from the corner on subsequent occasions, preferably where there’s not so much of an audience. Also remember the inevitability of the day after the Christmas party; it becomes the office once again. So ensure that you don’t have to endure the walk of shame by holding back… just a little.

Small Talk without Boundaries

The situation is alluring: you are sitting comfortably around managers and colleagues. Don’t think this is an opportunity to negotiate a pay rise with your boss or relieve pent-up frustration. Avoid topics that will drive your counterpart up the wall, instead, learn a bit more about the hobbies or discuss current. There are a few absolute taboo topics though:

• religious debates
• rumors
• blasphemy about colleagues
• nagging about the location and organization of the Christmas party
• selling yourself
• illness

The Boss is Taboo!

The alcohol is flowing and the environment is relaxed, but your boss is your boss and not your drinking companion! Any attempts to approach your manager “physically” should be strictly restrained. It can only end badly for you if the boss rejects your offer, or, if you are successful, the daggers in your back from your colleagues may hurt.

Lurking like a Vulture

You especially ate nothing at lunch, and now you’ve got two plates stacked full of roast meats, finger food and desserts – don’t let anything escape you! Actually, just pull your chair up to the buffet table. The food could all be gone any minute… but rather not. Eat with some sense of moderation, as people are usually watching at Christmas parties.

Office Whispers

Pull yourself together more than usual at a Christmas party. Everything embarrassing that you do on this one evening will be rubbed under your nose for eternity: “do you remember how Steve vomited on the boss’ suit?” … Maybe that could be funny. “Did you hear? They caught the boss with his secretary in the act under the buffet table!” … Be careful who you tell such things as this one to. The whole company could know by the next morning.

Don’t leave behind the impression that your managers and colleagues mean nothing to you. You should at least show your face at the party for a while. On which note, we wish you a gaffe and faux pas free Christmas party!

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