Wednesday, December 21, 2011

What NOT to do at your Office Holiday Party

This post comes too late. Some of you have already cut a fool, spoken out of turn and shown your natural behinds at a "professional" function. S.No.B. (So Not Bougie) people. Anyway, just in case you need a refresher - here's a quick list of What Not To Do at your office holiday party. And let's just be clear, even if the event is not held on office property, if it's a party and people that you work with are there - it's an office party. Okay, let's begin:

1. Don't Drink Heavily - please learn the notion of "social drinking" and embrace it. There is absolutely nothing to be gained by getting blitzed at your company-sponsored event. No. Thing. Unless you are out for the rest of the year and plan on resigning via fax on January 3rd - you actually have to see these people again. Though she may not say anything, your human resources manager will never forget the image of you and that chick from accounting playing naked Twister in the conference room.

example - When I worked for a global telecom company, a woman (whose husband also worked for the company but did not attend the party with her) was making out with some random dude. She tripped and fell into the decorative fountain where upon we all realized that she wasn't wearing any undergarments under her sheer dress. Unfortunately, this happened in front of the children's choir that was caroling. When it was time to assign folks to attend the Ethics & Corporate Social Responsibility class, who do you think I picked first? #HRNeverForgets 

2. See number 1 and repeat - there is no good reason to do tequila shots (or any other kind of shots) where your boss can see you. I don't care if he's doing them too. There's regular socializing and there's work socializing. Draw the line, people. Trust me on this. 

example - Dude at David's boss' party was screaming about "eggnog shooters" - he put eggnog and extra whisky in a glass and set it aflame for a few seconds and then blew it out and drank it. When he almost caught the tablecloth on fire, he finally stopped. How's that going to look on the performance appraisal? Employee almost burned down my home creating elaborate drinks. :-/ Idiot.

3. If you gotta get freaky-sneaky, take it home. Liquor, sugar, mistletoe and chilled shrimp - throw in a jingle bell or two and apparently it's a natural aphrodisiac. Hold yourself back until you leave the premises. I mean it. Just like the separation of church and state, there should be delineation between work and cocoa. Ne'er the twain shall meet, people!

example - coat closets are for coats. I once gave away a lovely red wool joint because it was under a pile of coats that were used as cushion in an overtly jolly moment at the Christmas party. Just the thought of those pasty butt cheeks near my coat was enough to give it to Goodwill. Vaya con Dios. 

4. Just laugh at all the stupid jokes and keep it moving. There's a very good chance you hate some of your coworkers and they hate you back. There's a good chance that you don't agree on politics, religions, crime, the US dependence on foreign oil, Drake's "raps", whatever. Keep it to yourself. Learn the art of meaningless mindless social chitchat and add in a charming anecdote or two. Done. Safe topics - weather, parking spaces at the mall, the buffet options, sports (keep it bland) and the latest movies. Stay in that lane. Any deeper and there are sharks in the water.

example - Girlie starts amusing anecdote about some drama that went down at the sales conference last summer. Unbeknownst to her, three of the major players were within earshot and not only disputed her version but re-spun the stories so that she looked like the village idiot. "Oh, it got cold earlier this year, didn't it?" <~~Stay with that.

5. Remember your boss is still your boss, even if she's acting like your best friend. Yes it's a party and do enjoy yourself but keep some of your guard up. Again, this is a professional function.

example- I worked at a defense contractor in California and had to not only plan the damn Christmas/Kwanzaa/Hanukkah party but arrive early and stay late. I really didn't like those people. Particularly a VP who kept a side-eye on me 24/7. At the party he asked me to dance and chatted me up and spun me around the floor like we were buddies. At the the end of the dance everyone stood and applauded us. We took bows. He leaned in and said, "I want to review all the receipts for this party first thing Monday." Really? Did he think I padded the receipts with an extra box of candy canes for myself? 

6. Last but not least - this is a PROFESSIONAL function. But it could easily end up on YouTube, as blog fodder, someone's status of the day on Facebook. Dress accordingly. Act accordingly. Drink accordingly. Eat accordingly. Leave accordingly. 

example - Do you really want to be remembered as the girl in the too tight dress who did the booty dance in front of the CFO? Or as the guy who brought Tupperware and took home "snacks" from the buffet? Or as the chick whose husband left with somebody else? Dude whose girlfriend found out about his affair from the holiday party pics posted on the company website? The girl who drank too much and told her CEO the truth about how they all felt about him? #awkward... All of these things have happened, my friends. Don't let them happen to you.

Happy Holidays! We're on hiatus until next week some time when I'll share the BnB State of the Union results. Be safe, be happy and hey... let's keep it bougie out there!

Thoughts, insights, comments?


Jubi The Great said...

I'm still blown that grown people need to be told this stuff....but as they say, common sense aint common.

The first company/site I worked for out of school didn't have an off-site Christmas party, but the company I'm with now does. I've been there 2 years but I have yet to make it to the Christmas party...mostly because I hate my job & I try to limit the amount of time I spend with these people.  I heard through the coworker grapevine that last year a higher up at the site got drunk & sucker punched someone...curiously he's no longer with the company.

Rhenewal said...

At least one person got fired from my company as a direct result of Christmas party enjoyment gone wrong. Dude apparently left the party at midnight (when it ended) and felt he was too drunk to drive home. His solution was to drive to the hospital (where we work) and take a nap on an OR table. He was found facedown on said OR table in the morning by one of the nurses who nearly called a Code Blue as she thought he was dead. Then he proceeded to flash his employee ID and stated that because he works there, it's all good. So not true. He was escorted out by security with instructions not to come back, ever.

Mykeia said...

Sadly we are not having a holiday party this year, okay actually not sad about it.  
My hubby's holiday party was great and I believe that we left before some of the above happened--thank goodness.
I wish everyone a great holiday weekend, enjoy.

bashowell said...

Our holiday parties are only allowed to take place during office hours. Which of course means no alcohol.  Reading these - perhaps that's a good thing.

Lady4Real said...

Maybe it's just inherent for me but these rules feel natural. No one should have to be told these things but then again I've learned from my husband that the things my father taught me are not things that everyone else learns. I've always known to keep work and personal as seperate as possible. My co-workers are not my homegirls and what I do with my homies I don't do with my employees, it's just a 'no-no'. Our Christmas dinner was last night, held at the Green Turtle, I ate, I drank and I kept to chitchat. I got tipsy but kept it under wraps and made sure to be brighteyed and bushytailed this morning when arriving to work. Keepin' it bougie.

taut_7 said...

my lab party "lunch" is today. luckily i don't have to worry about any of these things. there will be alcohol (read: wine and beer) there but i'm the only black person in my department and i personally feel like almost everyone i work with is either frigid or corny. i'll be playing the background and chilling as usual.

Monica said...

As far as I was concerned, when I was at the company holiday party, I was still at work. I didn't even think this needed to be said but apparently some folks didn't get the memo.

No loading up on Jello Shots in front of the boss. I don't  care that they are employer sponsored Jello shots. Just don't do it!

Leo the Yardie Chick said...

*sigh* Some folks have no home-training. All of this should have been learned at their Mama and/or Daddy's knee.

It's a work function, not a club night in Vegas. Dang, people!

MsJamie14 said...

Lawd, the stories. I used to work in sports marketing, where the crazier you got at these parties would actually work in your favor (most times). I pity the person who didn't drink and actually stood by their convictions. They never seemed to be at next year's party. LOL

I read another blog and this guy punched his co-worker at his office Christmas party and got fired for it. He didn't understand as it was not on work property at the time and he had been a model employee up until that point. Uh, sir....

Zee said...

I needed that chuckle this morning!  Fortunately, the last 4 years all my holiday parties have been at lunch time with zero alcohol.  The 6 years before that was a smaller company where many things went down and I had to rethink the pedalstool that I placed all adults/professionals.  One thing to add to the list is stealing a trinket from the restaurant and placing it in your workstation...WDDDA

Hope all have a very merry holiday season :)

TrulyPC said...

LOL.  The reasons that I have adhered to great advice to never attend office parties.  I have said it before but I don't suffer fools well (because everything I am thinking shows on my face) and fools with too much alcohol in them are the worst.

Happy Holidays BnB people and safe travels to those who will be going away to celebrate!

GammasWorld said...

Can't stress enough that how important #1 and #3 are.  No matter how discreet you think you ar being, the extra drinks, the slightly too expressive giggle at dude's lame azz jokes and the way he's looking at you with that glazed "why haven't I noticed you before" look are noticed.   Everybody sees the "I'll meet you in 5 minutes at the car" setup.  ____ and _____ will always be the married couple that got busy at the.  Problem was they were married to other people and not each other.  

maureen said...

My company stopped giving us christmas parties because couple years ago they made  reservation at this expensive restaurant and only a few people showed  up.
Happy & safe holidays BnB folks.

GrownAzzMan said...

In my time in the corporate world I have seen many a career ending injury take place at the office Christmas party. This is a good list of what not to do.

SpkTruth2Pwr said...

Seems simple enough...but I get the feeling that this might be easier said than done for some folks.  No matter how "fun" you think your coworkers are...they won't hesitate to make you the latest victim of office gossip should you go hard in the paint at the party haha.

michaeldavis said...

One tip: If you reallllly feel pressed and want to cut the fool, then go somewhere after the official party with your tight roadies from work. That way you can be chill and slightly boring at the company flow.

invectiva said...

#HRNeverForgets <--  *snicker*

Grace said...

Oh the stories I could share. Instead, I'll just say - cosign and Merry Christmas BougieLand!

ishtar_79 said...

I skipped the holiday party this year, but they are usually over the top ridiculous and held in some fancy iconic NYC space AND we are allowed to bring guests.  I always try and bring as many friends as I can, making sure only one or two are black (there aren't many blacks in my office).  Lately random people have been crashing our parties.  Every year someone drinks way too much.  These are the three most memorable for me:

1) Coworker's lesbian sister makes out with another coworker in the middle of the dance floor
2) Coworker passes out in the middle of the sidewalk as soon as she walked out of 30 roc
3) Two associates start dry humping while dancing (or maybe they thought they were dirty dancing, either way they looked totally gross)

The only way you will get fired is if you bring physical harm to yourself or engage in some type of activity that embarrases the company.  They don't care about you embarrassing yourself.  You'll just have to deal with being office gossip until the next party comes around.

Speaking of party crashers, last year some random dude with cornrows in a hoodie, jeans and timbs crashed the party.  This dude was walking around getting food and all up at the bar getting drinks.  We (me and a black coworker) gave him the side eye and decided to move all the way to the opposite side of the party because we didn't want anyone thinking he came with us.  It wasn't until the Monday after the party that we found out he wasn't "invited".

rozb said...

In the
military, command Christmas parties get real *interesting*. Usually, senior
people act a fool, proclaim how much they love you, hump your leg, and the next
day, they can't even look you in the eye.

Yes - I have
had my leg hunched on, while he called it dancing. Had the nerve to ask me the
next day that even though he apologized (he did), did I feel harassed, then he
claimed he couldn't remember everything.


But see - RozB
does not get drunk at these soirees. Rather, I keep track of everything I see,
and discreetly tuck all that ish up under my hair, stored for later when someone
tries to foist some shiggity on me.


All that
tee-heeing at the party? Well Tee-Hee Hell, ninja...


Have an awesome
Holiday everybody!

La said...

Oh, I see you went to my company Christmas party. lol
I work in a fairly liberal, relaxed field, which I think only adds MORE to the shenanigans. ALL of these things, usually to far worse degrees, have happened at the Christmas party all the years I have been at the company. Personally? I nurse the same drink all night, make an early exit, and remind myself that *EYE* could not get away with this, only my fairer complected comrades could. lol

C Nelson said...

Ahahahaha.  I do not date people I'd be embarrassed to bring to an office party, and I do not embarrass myself at them, either. In fact, during the party, I will be the one working my way around the room till I find a good vantage point and a few people who aren't acting the fool, and we'll be the ones who remember and tell the stories next year. Office politics are bad enough without slipping the leash on your tongue -- or your morals -- at a company-wide event!


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