This holiday season, be wise, my friends, and do not underestimate the power of a yuletide office party to make or break your career. It can happen, oh yeah. Drink too much and flirt with your boss’ husband and come Monday you might be looking for a new job. Be ye not so stupid. Keep reading for 20 tips for surviving your office holiday party.
1. Ask whether spouses/significant others are invited before you show up with your husband in tow (actually, just leave the significant other at home since an office party is even more boring for outsiders than a high school reunion).
2. Dress fancier than you think you should, whatever that means for you and your office culture. Underdressing is a far bigger offense than overdressing, so err on the side of caution. And keep the girls under wraps. And for those of you who need ideas for appropriate holiday office attire, I suggest this, this and this.
3. One boozey drink per hour that you’re there, maximum, with a three drink limit. Remember to chase each drink with a glass of water.
4. Line your belly with lots of bread and Hors d’oeuvres.
5. Don’t bore people with iPhone pictures of your kids, nieces, nephews, or pets. If people ask to see photos, fine, but limit yourself to one or two. No one wants to sit — or stand — through a slideshow of Junior.
6. Ask people to show you pictures of their kids, nieces, nephews, or pets. Tell them how freakin’ adorable they are.
7. Don’t ask personal questions like, “When are you going to get married?” or “Why don’t you have kids yet?” or “What color are your panties?”
8. Appropriate small talk questions: “What are your holiday plans?” “How are your significant other/kids/parents?” “Have you seen any good movies lately?” And if you know you share a mutual hobby or interest, like a favorite sports team or TV show, talk about that.
9. Don’t talk about work. Or politics. Or religion, or your IBS.
10. Appropriate touching: Handshakes; air kisses; shoulder squeezes.
11. Inappropriate touching: everything else.
12. Introduce yourself to the boss’ spouse and ask her about her holiday plans.
13. Thank the host.
14. Show up early to work the next morning.
15. Don’t post pics on Facebook.