As the holidays get underway, it means it’s time to celebrate with your coworkers at the office Christmas party. While the intentions may be to just show up for a couple of hours, have some eggnog, socialize and head home to curl up on the couch with a movie and your cat, things don’t always turn out that way. We’ve all heard the horror stories of the drunk secretary dancing on a desk or the seemingly shy nerdy guy grabbing some woman’s derriere after he’s had a few shots. The last thing you want to do is start off the new year with your ridiculous party antics fresh in the minds of all your coworkers. To save yourself the embarrassment, there are several tips to keep in mind that can help you get through your office Christmas party without getting in trouble.
Watch your alcohol intake
Drinking too much alcohol is the number one reason office Christmas parties are the sources for so much trouble and scandal. Sure that one extra tequila shot or martini seems like a really good idea at the time, but it won’t be so wonderful the next morning when you wake up with a giant hangover and you’re trying to piece together the events from the night before. Go slow with the alcohol, even if that means nursing one drink for the majority of the night.
Eat some food
If you’re going to drink, one of the worst things you can do is not eat. Have a small carb-laden meal before you go and munch on some hors d’oeuvres while you’re at the party even if you don’t want to.
Bring your significant other
If you’re dating someone or you’re married, bring him with you to the office party. It’s often that people are much more behaved when they have their partner standing next to them. However, just make sure the two of you aren’t the type of couple who bicker often, and especially not when one or both of you drinks. The last thing you want is to get into an alcohol-fueled argument in front of your coworkers.
Keep your outfit classy
I went to an office party a few years ago with a date and a couple of the women looked like they were “Jersey Shore” rejects. They were wearing super-tiny skin tight dresses that looked like a sneeze would have caused the dresses to pop off. Yes you’re going to a party, but it’s still a work function, which means you have to dress in a respectable manner.
Don’t go off alone with a coworker
Unless it’s one of your good friends at the office, refrain from going off alone with a coworker, especially if one or both of you are in a relationship or married. Not only can this cause a lot of rumors to fly around, but if you’re not careful, it could also be the setting for something to happen between the two of you, especially if there’s a lot of alcohol involved. It’s certainly not the first time it’s happened nor will it be the last. You’re better off sticking with a group or a few people.
Stay off the furniture
If you’re wondering why this even needs to be on here, refer back to the first paragraph and the mention of drunkenly dancing on furniture. It’s surprisingly not a strange thing. I’ve seen it several times at bars and thankfully only once while at an office Christmas party. Don’t be that girl who has to explain to doctors in the emergency room how she fell off a desk and broke her arm or who has to explain to her boss how she fell on a computer and broke it.
Keep a positive attitude
No one likes the sad sack in the corner or the one who’s constantly complaining about everything. Keep a positive attitude throughout the party, and make sure to compliment the coordinators of the party for doing a good job.
Watch your words
Just because you say something at an office party doesn’t mean it won’t have an effect on your job. It’s still a work event, which means what you say could be held against you and could put your job in danger, especially if you throw particular insults at someone. Be careful of what you say and who you say it to, especially if it’s the office gossip.
Have a safe way home
If you’re drinking at the office Christmas party, don’t make the assumption that you’ll get home safe. Either take a cab or make sure someone (sober) can bring you home afterward.
Leave the phone alone
There’s been several times when, after drinking, I thought it was a great idea to pick up my phone and start texting. A couple of times, I accidentally posted a Facebook status as well. If you’re going to be drinking, leave the phone in your purse and don’t touch it. If you know it’s going to be a temptation, have someone you trust lock your phone and set the password until the next morning. It’s especially important if you have any coworkers on your Facebook or have their numbers stored in your phone.
If you want to get a little wild, do so during your off hours when you’re not around your coworkers and you’re not on company time. Getting out of hand at your office Christmas party isn’t worth potentially destroying your job and reputation.
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