Office holiday parties: A cautionary tale
For 364 days each year, cubicle warriors (like myself) sit in front of their computers, silently wasting away while their hopes and dreams slowly dissolve under high-powered fluorescent lighting.
(Author's note: Hey kids! Stay in school and this could be your future too! *Huffs rubber cement, continues crying on the inside*)
But for one fantastic day each year, all of the stress, ill will, negativity and hatred that we accumulate from our normal lives as office drones melts away as we partake in the most sacred of all workplace traditions - the company holiday party.
The company holiday party is the one occasion where co-workers are allowed - no, expected - to get piss drunk, run their mouths and pretend to enjoy each other's company. Typically, there is always at least one awkward moment that everyone remembers (like the year when I ALLEGEDLY wet myself at T.G.I.Friday's. For the record, I stand by my story that I spilled a drink in my lap moments before passing out in a booth), and that's to be expected. But there is a fine line between hilarious bladder control issues, and potentially career-ending holiday party F-ups. That's why this week, to help prepare you for your corporate yuletide bonanza, I'm sharing a few of the most deadly corporate fo-pas. You're welcome.
The co-worker hook-up
Look, I get it. You're drunk; they're drunk. So what's the big deal if you hook-up with that cute chick in accounting, or that gross skinny guy who no one really knows what his job is (hint: it involves magic)?
This is the worst decision you can possible make.
The second you start sloppily tonguing down a co-worker, or trying to find a way to score some "alone time" in a bathroom stall, you immediately become the main attraction of the party. Come Monday morning, you will have to answer to the office gross guy (me), who will want all the gory details of what happened. But that's not even the worst part.
The worst part is that you are now forever tied to that person in the eyes of all your co-workers. That means you've likely ruined a lot of possible friendships, and completely ruined your chances for any other potential office hook-ups moving forward. That's why I recommend getting as drunk as you can, as fast as you can, urinating on yourself and passing out in a booth at T.G.I.Friday's to repel any possible romantic connections. Trust me, it works.
Don't out your co-workers
I swear this is a true story.
A few years ago I worked with a woman who I thought might be a lesbian. I'm not sure why I thought that, but she just gave off a vibe like she might be. Still, I never really thought about seriously because she was married and had two kids, and so I never bothered sharing my suspicions with my co-workers.
Until the company holiday party, that is.
After about seven Coors Lights (the official beer of ruining marriages), I decided to share my theory with a couple of people sitting at the bar. What I didn't know, however, was that one of those people had been having an affair with this chick for almost four months. And she was a woman.
Needless to say, she didn't find my theory funny and informed the other woman about what I was spreading around the party. At the end of the night, I found myself cornered by both of them, asking me how I figured it out and making we swear I would stop talking about it. Six months later I had moved on to a new job when I found out that she had left her husband for the other woman, and they were now living in an apartment together.
(Author's note: OK, confession time. I can't really remember what the moral of this story was supposed to be. Actually, I don't think I ever had one. I just wanted to relive that night, because I totally called it. God I'm awesome.)
Don't show up wearing an ironic "ugly Christmas sweater"
This one really isn't going to ruin your career, but it's totally a played-out fad and you look like an asshole. That's pretty much all I got.
Look, this is a great time of year to spread holiday joy amongst your office co-workers. But remember, just because there's an open bar and you're out of the office doesn't mean it's time to pop your shirt off and let your freak flag fly.
Be cool, be cautious and control your bladder.
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