Friday, 4 December 2009

Luka's Christmas Party Survival Guide

Reading Ms R's latest post on the pitfalls of the office party I thought I would do the decent thing and give you all the benefit of my extensive experience in such matters.

So here are my top tips for maximising the pleasure potential of the party season:

Before the Event
  • Do not eat. If you fill up on a proper lunch you are not going to get the benefit of all the free food on offer later and it'll take you far longer to get smashed. Partying on an empty stomach is the value for money choice!
  • Tart yourself up. This is the only time of year when it is acceptable to wear glitter, tinsel, baubles, antlers, novelty ties or even fur in public. If you turn up in an understated little black dress or suit no one will notice you and you'll look like you just couldn't make the effort. Presentation matters!

The Event Itself

  • Consume as much of the buffet as possible and put some in your handbag or pockets for later. Free food must always be fully appreciated. It means a lot to your host.
  • Ditto drink, if free. If you have to buy your own then slightly different rules apply - if you have to buy drinks from a bar then always put them on the company tab. If there isn't one claim there is and try to put them on it anyway. If it's a bring a bottle affair you can always try to upgrade your bargain bin purchase by cunningly switching your humble offering with a more expensive wine. The true pro will manage to blag several bottles of quality grog and stash them in their tights/the toilet cistern/the mop bucket thereby ensuring hours of drinking pleasure to come when everyone else is reduced to drinking the Liebfraumilch.
  • Dance like a maniac. No one likes a wallflower.
  • Sing too.
  • Take the opportunity to tell your colleagues how you really feel. Many experts will insist this is bad etiquette and will lead to awkwardness in the office come Monday morning, but much depends on how much Liebfraumilch your co-workers have also managed to put away.
  • Keep conversation lively. Avoid dull topics like work, families, hobbies etc and stick to subjects which everyone can join in with like religion, politics, sex toys, animal testing and medical problems.
  • Indulge your romantic side. If you've spent months flirting over the photocopier or bending over to retrieve paperclips you've "accidentally" dropped near the desk of that special co-worker you'd love to get to know better then now is your opportunity to fan the spark to a flame. The combination of mistletoe and alcohol is one which has swept aside inhibitions and undergarments since the days of the Druids, so don't be afraid to follow in the footsteps of this fine festive tradition. Grab a sprig and get smooching. Again, many experts will insist this is bad etiquette and will lead to awkwardness in the office come Monday morning, but many experts are terribly dull and spend their parties sipping mineral water, talking earnestly about current affairs and never get molested in a swivel chair.

After the Event

  • Post apologies on Twitter/Facebook/MySpace. Social networking saves a great deal of phonecalls or notecards.
  • Drink plenty of water.


nursemyra said...

excellent guide

Anonymous said...

Sage advice indeed.

Luka said...

Nursemyra - thank you!

Anonymous - it would be churlish of me not to pass on such wisdom.

Helga Hansen said...

Dear Auntie Luka,

I will be attending the office party this year, and have a small dilemma, as my son also works for the same company, albeit part-time.

Do I admit defeat, drop him off to enjoy himself, and go home to hug my cup of cocoa while I wait for that "come and get me" phone call, or do I say "what the hell!" and get totally shit-faced in front of said son, and then we can make that "come and get us" phone call together?

I await your advice. xx

Luka said...

Helga - I would always advise getting drunk with your offspring. It is an essential part of the bonding process. You may have to forgo any potential misuse of mistletoe or the photocopier so as not to traumatise your son too badly, but I say go for it. You deserve some fun and I'm sure your son would agree. Make the "come and get me call" together and share a kebab.

Truly said...

This made me cackle unbecomingly, which is a good way to start a rainy Saturday. Cheers.

Carnalis said...

I shall be printing out your guide for prosperity. In fact, it sounds like so much fun i might have to gate crash an office party or two, in lieu of having my own (on my own .. such is the life of the freelancer).

Glasjay said...

As a contractor I don't get an invite to the office Christmas party.
I think I'll just have my own party, though I don't have a photocopier at home to photocopy my arse once I'm pissed.
I've got a scanner, that's pretty much the same, right?

Jackie Adshead said...

What's your advice about offering the boss sexual favours at the office party, only in the understanding of furthering your career, of course?

EmmaK said...

Brilliant advice...I also find it is a good idea to drink Pernod and black all evening thus making sure you splatter some reallly colorful purple vomit over the photocopier.

Clare said...

Brilliant! I'll be printing this off and sticking this on the notice board so all my colleagues know how to behave appropriately too.

Luka said...

Truly - you are very welcome.

Carnalis - it is surprisingly easy to gatecrash works parties and a very economical way to celebrate. They nearly always have a tab behind the bar too - just say you're the new girl from accounts.

Glasjay - the scanner will do at a push or you could even paint your bottom and sit on sheets of paper for a low tech alternative.

Jackie - I would only offer sexual favours to the boss at the office party if I found the boss sexually appealing anyway. Sexual favours are best bestowed soberly for career progression purposes.

Emma - Pernod and Black is an excellent choice, as is Blue Curacao or Creme de Menthe.

Clare - it's good to share the knowledge.

Walker said...

HA HA HA!!!!!!!!
I love it.
I miss the 80s and the parties back then

Some Chilean Woman said...

My boss is a very Mormon dentist so our Christmas party was pretty dull since there was no alcohol. However he did give us a nice cash bonus and I am going out with the girls tonight to spend it, I've been craving some Tequila Rose.

ceeej said...

Surely dentists have gas and air? Far more fun than any booze with zero hangover, ask any nervous first time father...

Luka said...

Walker - ah, those were the days, getting smashed on warm white wine and dancing around the tape deck.

Some Chilean Woman - hope you had a good time! A boss who gives bonuses - that's a rarity these days.

Ceej - good point, well made.