December 12, 2012

What Not To Do At Your Company’s Christmas Party

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Konstantin Chagin
Konstantin Chagin

It’s a dangerous game mixing personal and professional. And yet despite being so careful year-round, there’s one time where it’d be impolite not to participate in after-hours schmoozing with co-workers: the dreaded company Christmas party.

Unless you work at MTV (where I’ve heard tales of cocaine in the bathrooms and live penguins serving as waiters), your company Christmas party may seem like an event where you can let loose JUST a little. NOT SO. Not even a little! Do not be fooled! (If you work at MTV, I guess, do whatever you want.) This is a false sense of security built up by ping-pong tables and cocktail weenies. These are still your co-workers, whom you have to see every day. That is still your boss, in charge of hiring and firing. This is not a safe space. It just looks like a party, but don’t treat a company holiday gathering like a regular party. Be on high alert and watch those other suckers dig their own graves.

DO NOT:

1. Dance

We’ve all seen the Seinfeld where Elaine gets drunk and dances INSANELY at her company’s holiday party. I don’t know if you’re an excellent dancer but shy of being a contestant on So You Think You Can Dance, don’t try boogying down at your company’s party. You never know if the moves that seem sweet in your bedroom or at the club are appropriate for the boardroom. There’s the dilemma of getting too sexual (booty-dropping is never good in front of your boss) or of looking goofy (how’s that next presentation gonna go over if everyone saw you looking like an extra from Soul Train?) I get it. Dancing is SUPER fun, but it’s an unnecessary risk in this forum. Learn from Elaine: Stay on the sidelines. Yes, even if they play “Call Me Maybe.”

2. Hook up

(Disregard if you are these two:)

RED ALERT. MAY DAY MAY DAY. While this might seem like a GREAT way to get that hot co-worker into a more casual environment for optimum boning, do not hook up at your company’s Christmas party. Do that shit on your own time. Preferably away from the prying eyes of other co-workers. Do you wanna be the people caught doing it in the supply closet? (Maybe you do! Kinky!)

From personal experience, hooking up with co-workers is a delicate tightrope walk. One that should be walked outside the walls of the company itself. And one that should not be started during a company Christmas party. Sorry! I’m a buzzkill, I know!

3. Make a Toast

Leave the toasts to your boss. Unless you’re Barack Obama or some other skilled orator, you’re not going to say anything brilliant enough to convince everyone you should be running the place.

4. Drink too much

This one can lead to all the others. DO NOT get too drunk at a company Christmas party. This is one fatal flaw that can definitely be avoided. Start the night drinking water or seltzer. Maybe have one or two drinks, if you do drink, but cut yourself off. This is where it gets tricky: since this looks like a party, it seems like a proper venue for getting smashed. Maybe there’s an open bar:

But it is not! It is not like other parties, it’s a party in disguise like a Transformer. The company Christmas party is not the place to get rowdy. There are tons of parties in the world. Hold it together for just this one.

5. Talk any shit

Once again, this feels like a safe, cozy party atmosphere where everyone can just finally say what they’re thinking. GET YOUR GUARD UP, WEASEL. This is not the place to divulge any secret hatreds of the receptionist or to talk about how your boss never washes her hands after she pees. Do not talk any shit at the company holiday party. I guarantee that stuff is not going into the ears of a trusted friend. More likely, this person wants your job and will spill their guts to see you ousted for good.

Anything you say can and will be used against you in a court of law. So say nothing!

6. Ask for a raise

A Christmas party is not the place to finally gather the courage to ask your boss for that raise. Serious office talk should be left for office hours. It’ll only seem annoying and desperate to try to get anything out of a slightly inebriated or relaxed superior. Look, they work hard and this holiday party is their reward, their chance to relax. Don’t blow it by cornering them and demanding more pay. This is neither the time, nor the place. In fact, you’re better off just dancing if you feel this urge. Less risk involved.

7. Quit in a dramatic fashion

This seems like a great idea. That flight attendant got mad attention after he dispatched the inflatable slide and jumped to freedom. But I don’t think the company Christmas party is the ideal place to elaborately and publicly quit your job.

Unless it’s gonna be hilarious and you’re filming it for Youtube. Then, by all means. Quit away! TC Mark

Gaby Dunn

Gaby Dunn is a writer, comedian, journalist and Jesse Eisenberg enthusiast living in Los Angeles. Email her at: …

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