Behaving at the Christmas party

Our guide on how to avoid making a fool of yourself at the company Christmas party, and remaining employed.

By Christopher Poon [Media Editor]

Just because you don’t remember anything about the company Christmas party doesn’t mean your coworkers won’t have pictures.
Just because you don’t remember anything about the company Christmas party doesn’t mean your coworkers won’t have pictures.

Two weekends ago I attended my first Christmas party of the year, and needless to say, I made a fool of myself. Not only did I drink more than I should’ve, but I ended up stumbling around Vancouver with a fellow drinking buddy, and somehow or other, ended up with a partially destroyed street sign, a half-eaten piece of toast, and a magazine with a picture of a goat on it.
I was due to meet some friends for lunch the next day, and did so, still wearing my nice-ish clothes from the night before, though my attire’s sophistication had been replaced with the crumpled, unkempt look of someone named Boxcar Bob.
Looking back on my weekend’s exploits, I feel I have gained a wisdom of sorts that I will now share with you, so that you may avoid a similar fate.

First and foremost, and this is important kids, don’t get wasted:
I know, I know, what better opportunity to stick it to your company than by getting trashed on their dime? That’s great, I agree completely. What you have to keep in mind is that while you may think it’s good form to discuss how attractive the boss’ wife is, or how Amy in receiving was appropriately placed, come Monday morning these things will come back to haunt you. No matter how drunk you think your coworkers and bosses are, they’ll always be much less than you, and they’ll remember every thing you do or say.

Secondly, don’t try to take home a coworker:
If there’s anything that TV or movies have taught you, it’s that intra-office romances are guaranteed to happen at the company Christmas party. What they don’t show you is the awkward rejection, the awkward aftermath for weeks afterwards and the overall division it creates at work. You may think that just because Billy didn’t bring his girlfriend to the party that he’s fair game. Wrong. After he’s thwarted your advances by pretending to take a call from his girlfriend, he’s going to tell everyone else in the office, and they’ll all have a good laugh at your expense. Don’t be that person.

Third, avoid talking about work:
This isn’t nearly as bad as getting drunk and vomiting on your supervisor’s shoes, or trying to unsuccessfully hit on the intern, but don’t start talking to people about work. You spend god knows how many hours with these people, doing the same redundant tasks day-in-day-out, and you most likely talk about work with them.
You’re at a Christmas party one time a year, so take this is an opportunity to do something a little different (but seriously, don’t get smashed). You’d be amazed at what kind of stuff people at work are into, or what they get up to in the few minutes they don’t spend at work. Just don’t ask them about their sex life.

Fourth, do not double dip:
Believe it or not, some people still don’t get it. Don’t double dip. Nobody wants to dip their appy in the remnants of your saliva. I don’t care how much you brush your teeth, how clean and fresh your breath is, or how you’ve never had gingivitis. Once you take a bite, that food is tainted. Besides, you know that dirty guy in accounting who you suspect has oral herpes? Well he certainly does. And now you do too.

Fifth, dress somewhat appropriately:
Keep in mind that these are still the people that you work with, so it may not be the best idea to show up wearing a low-cut, backless dress. Sure you may attract the attention of that special someone in sales, but you’ll also draw the eye of everyone else. Come Monday morning, everyone at the office will be looking at you strangely, and smirking. Awkward.

Finally, just do whatever the hell you want:
You know what? Disregard everything I said previously. I actually had a damn good time at my first Christmas party of ’09 and I want you to as well. Get drunk, hit on everything in sight and talk smack about every little thing at work that bugs the shit out of you. Here’s a tip, discuss this exact article and how much of your hard-earned free time it just wasted.