With your office Christmas party fast approaching we offer this simple etiquette guide to help you navigate this perilous social minefield.
1) Be ‘on brand.’ Lean towards the conservative in all things but especially in your choice of fancy dress. Should the theme be things that begin with the letter P then consider a Pirate, Penguin or even a member of the Partridge family, but under no circumstances dress as a Penis. Take time to consider any unwanted interpretations ones ensemble might present. Should you dress as a Phantom or Poltergeist in a white sheet with cut out eyes then perhaps consider the similarity to a Southern, far-right, politically isolated, members only club as well.
2) Know ones limitations. Do not take the words ‘free bar’ as a personal challenge. Take a moment to consider any prior issues that may have been noted by yourself, your family or perhaps even a close friend such as a tendency to start fires or profound kleptomania. If after three drinks you are confident, five hilarious, and seven a demon spawned hellion who likes to wrestle naked, then set your bar securely between the three and six mark for the duration of your evening.
3) Realise the benefits of proper nutrition. It is always best to eat a hearty meal in advance of a notable social occasion as canapes are an impractical cushion, unless you plan to act like a cow and graze for six hours straight. Consider dining on pasta, pizza or even a simple burger, but do bear in mind you may be seeing it again later. As such it is best to avoid spaghetti. If you need this explained to you then you have never had to retrieve regurgitated spaghetti from your throat like a nesting sparrow.
4) There is a time and a place to be memorable. Strive never to be more than a foot higher than anyone else unless you are climbing or descending a set of stairs. If you can be seen from across the room then you are probably doing something you shouldn’t. While it is indeed possible you possess the dance moves of a young Travolta or know all the words to Gangnam Style in the original Korean, ask yourself, is this the correct moment to demonstrate said ability? This applies equally to handstands, juggling and doing the splits but is especially important if your party piece leans toward the exotic such as Thai Ping Pong or hiding a satsuma under ones foreskin.
5) Keep ones opinions to ones self. There is a time and a place for frank discussion of your companies failings, perhaps in a well contrived email or short Powerpoint presentation, but probably not as a hate filled diatribe in which you refer to your boss as a c**k s****r. In fact it is best not to speak to your boss at all. By this I don’t mean your day to day manager, but the one who descends once yearly from their ivory tower to walk amongst the people like they understand and could live off what they pay you.
6) The only items of clothing you should be removing are your hat and coat. Exposure of any kind should be avoided. You may consider your genitalia a holy relic of mankind and wish to share its classically appointed proportions with all present, but be prepared for it not to draw the result you’d hoped. Likewise your breasts may in fact be as ripe and full as honeydew melons but ask yourself, is this the time to share them? This is not the time to share them. Performing a sex act on, with or even near colleagues is also deeply frowned upon in a social setting. One would suggest that unless you have soberly and consciously admired a co-worker from afar for a minimum of three months then it is probably best not to sleep with them at all.
7) There is a time and a place for fisticuffs. Roughhousing of any kind should be avoided. Tackling Jenny from Travel or slapping your glove across Ricky from Accounts face and demanding satisfaction no matter how long he took to process your expenses claim is not advised.
8) There is such a thing as too much information. Your willingness to open up is admirable but choosing this particular moment to share intimate or previously unmentioned information about yourself with co-workers is best avoided. You may swear by the health benefits of drinking your own urine, collect small porcelain figurines of animals dressed as humans, or organise your holidays around Barbra Streisand’s touring schedule, but these are details best kept to oneself. Consider how you would feel to discover Tony who sits opposite you likes the rough stuff or collects assault rifles (note: this does not apply if you work for the N.R.A in which case the more assault rifles the merrier).
9) Above all, know when to bow out gracefully. As a simple equation to guide you – the last one left standing is the one least likely to be standing come January. Consider booking a cab.
Is there a rule we missed? If so let us know in the comments section below or via Twitter @bezerkskhaus.
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