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?