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Easy Does it at This Year’s Christmas Party

IT is that time of the year when the corporate world feels a bit like treating staff to office parties.

But the thought of these annual functions evoke images of drunken colleagues fondling the boss’s wife or something equally disastrous.
Little wonder so many people start looking for a job in the New Year.
Remember the annual office party can boost your career but it can also break it.  Here are some dos and don’ts of office Christmas parties decorum with one sole aim –– helping you keep your job, reputation and dignity in one piece.
Do Attend. You don’t have a lot of say in this respect unless you are one of those people serving notice already.
Make a brief appearance but it should not be too brief even when you cannot stand your colleagues. Make a show that you are part of the team.
Don’t dress inappropriately. Dress professionally. Although the venue will determine the dress code, it is still safer to avoid slinky dresses, low-plunging necklines, short-short skirts or tight-fitting trousers for the fairer sex.
And guys do not unbutton more than two buttons on your shirts and wearing tight shirts that show off those muscles. Please resist the temptation –– it is not a summer stroll on the beach.
Do Some PR. This is perhaps a good time to talk to people you wouldn’t normally chit-chat with and, of course, the boss.
This could help in the long term in terms of forging alliances and could help get things done or just raising your profile.
Don’t talk too much. Don’t let the alcohol do the talking. The office party gives you the chance to get to know people as people, not just as “that guy/girl from accounts.”
Do drink moderately. Excessive drinking, according to research is the number one cause of office party “incidents” ––  those regrettable chapters we don’t want to remember the next day and sometimes for the rest of our lives!
Basically, it is a marathon really so do not sprint, especially given that chances are you will have a long evening ahead of you.
By the time you realise this, you may have already swallowed enough alcohol to sink the Titanic.
Stick to your limit and this is a cardinal rule after all no one is going to drink all that beer and finish it. You can always finish this on your own anyhow. So, drink slowly or interchange between alcohol and water and, if it’s too late for that, then switch to soft drinks and mince pies.
And resist the temptation to indulge in tequila, Jack Daniels or some of those whisky shots or you may end up losing more than your inhibitions!
Don’t make a move on a colleague. After a few Castles and one too many Black Labels, even that girl from IT will start looking like Gabrielle Union or one of those hot Hollywood babes.
So, supposing that the urge to make a move is very strong, do some soul searching and do a cost-benefit analysis quickly.
Whichever is the result, then it might be a prudent idea to ask yourself whether getting laid that particular day is more important than your career.
Do a little background check on whether your would-be “date” has no history of filing sex-related charges later. That could prove very damaging in the aftermath. If his/her record is clean, then maybe it’s a green light.
Do watch your language. Remember the reason why you are at the Christmas party in the first place is because you have a job. Avoid saying things you wouldn’t say on a normal office day. “Crap” is not the best way to describe the boss’ speech.
And, for ****’s sake, don’t swear!
Don’t leave too soon. Tequila shots with the girls may appear a bit more appealing than with your buddies but unless you have made a holy show of yourself, stay for at least a couple of hours even if it is the most boring party ever. After all, you need to impress the boss alone and maybe it will bring a promotion.
Above all, enjoy the party. Strive to be remembered for the right reasons and not for your horny shenanigans and strip dances.
And ask yourself how you want to be remembered.
Don’t talk about remuneration. Remember this is not the platform to discuss salary raises and performance bonuses.
Don’t give the boss’s wife the eye. That speeds up your chances of being jobless the next day.
Hope this saves your job and if you are one of those individuals who are already hunting for one may these be your commandments.


Chris Muronzi

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