Fantastic guest article from Andrew at Quidco. Amusing, informative and pretty much spot on!
If you sometimes find yourself groaning at inopportune moments having just had a hazy flashback to your behaviour at the last office party you’re not alone.
It’s rare that a work social passes without someone, somewhere having a little too much to drink and getting a carried away on the dancefloor…or err, elsewhere.
Naturally we can’t be there to stop you getting your groove on to a Wham medley, but with all the best will in the world we suggest you read our hints and tips on how to keep your dignity intact:
- Some people absolutely love work parties, while others despise the idea of having to spend any more time than necessary with their colleagues. Naturally if you don’t want to be typecast as the office spoilsport you should at least make some effort to attend…assuming you’ve no viable excuse.
- If you’re determined to make your stay a short one, try not to look too much like the experience is akin to having your teeth pulled out and do your utmost to avoid being the first to leave. Lighten up; a couple of drinks and a little idle discourse won’t do any harm and you can always set Sky + to record Masterchef.
- It doesn’t matter where, when or what you’re doing the chances are your work party will begin with small talk predominantly based around work matters. That’s fine for a while, but don’t be the person moaning for hours about lazy colleagues, insubordinate minions and the awfulness of the canteen menu.
- When the boss turns up don’t see it as your cue to deliver a lecture on all the things they’re doing wrong. They won’t appreciate it and unlike you they probably won’t forget it either.
- If you’ve had the office shindig circled in your calendar for months it’s fine to be the first to arrive, just don’t be the last one still throwing shapes on the dance floor.
- While there’s nothing wrong with having a bit of a jive, try and battle the temptation to take off your clothes. There are few sights more depressing than a room full of 40-something men slyly slipping off their dinner jackets with competitiveness burning in their eyes.
- Keep guitars, air or otherwise, at home and while we’re on the subject of music, unless clubbers in Ibiza know who you are, don’t ever offer to be the DJ.
- If karaoke is on offer under no circumstances should you dedicate a song to a married colleague and then blubber your way through the chorus of a heartbreaking ballad. Unrequited love made public is just unseemly.
- If you’re in a situation where alcoholic beverages are on offer (let’s be honest if you work for a British company this is a given) then it goes without saying that you should drink responsibly. As the old saying goes, “Beer after wine and you’ll feel fine, beer after tequila shots, a tray of Jaegar-bombs, and wine and you’ll feel like you want to die the following morning.”
- If you’ve been handed the credit card to buy a round of drinks don’t go overboard on the order. The accounts team have a canny knack of piecing together the evidence and finding the culprit.
- If you’re out for a sit down meal, the usual rules of dining etiquette apply. If finger food and hors d’oeuvres are on offer the waiting staff are well within their rights to look at you in disgust if you treat their platters as an excuse for an eating competition. Before you make the usual mistake, those little pastry parcels do indeed contain cheese that is hotter than molten lava. Try not to be taken by surprise.
- It’s perfectly acceptable to put a little extra effort into what you’re wearing. Gents, if you’re required to sport a tie don’t allow it to form an integral part of a Rambo impression later in the evening. Ladies, you don’t need to be lectured on the dangers of too much cleavage; one too many undone blouse buttons can turn a classy outfit into a trashy one in the blink of a pervy eye.
- Letching after interns, ogling the hot guy in finance and publicly re-enacting that scene from Ghost with Jane in accounts are all no-go areas. In fact if you want to save yourself from grovelling apologies (and keep your job) you’d be well advised to keep untoward physical contact to an absolute minimum!
- By all means pose for pictures at the beginning of the evening, however, if you see someone pointing a camera in your direction after a few drinks duck for cover; it’s not a signal for you to pretend you’re on America’s Next Top Model. The last thing you want is your behaviour being dissected on social media for weeks on end or some smart arse including a snap of you doing an Abba impression in the company newsletter.
- Always check that taxis can be claimed on expenses before taking a cab on a 50-mile journey home via the kebab shop. If you can recover the costs, make sure you keep the receipt and give up trying to fiddle the amount. We stress again, the accounts team are crafty and they won’t be fooled by your forgery attempts, The Talented Mr Ripley you are not!
This article is by Andrew Allen, the editor of Quidco.com – the UK’s number one cashback website.