It’s that time of year when miserable people jam together in a cold, sterile room and pretend to like each other because of Jesus or Santa or Patrick Swayze or whoever you imagine breaks into your home and leaves shit under a tree. Yes, it’s time for the office Christmas party. But while everyone else is giving you helpful hints on how to liven up the proceedings and turn just another dull office party into the biggest blowout of the year, we’re here to help you in a more realistic manner. We just want you to survive. And to that end, here are nine things not to do at your office Christmas party.
Yes, it’s the only way to get through the whole thing without hating everyone and running amok like the Grinch during a psychotic break, but as with everything else in life, balance is key. You do not want to be the dude who gets sloppy and starts telling all your coworkers how much you love them. This will just lead to awkwardness at work, and let’s face it, it’s already awkward enough trying to deal with these idiots day after day. You don’t need anything else complicating matters. And no matter how funny it might seem at the time, you will regret popping a squat on your boss’s desk because your good friends James Beam and Captain Morgan egged you on. Don’t listen to them, even if the good Captain is a respected military veteran.
Again, the key is balance. As much as you don’t want to be that dude at the office Christmas party – you know, the one who can’t hold his liquor – you also don’t want to try to be the dude who valiantly attempts to white-knuckle it, sober as a puritan preacher, while everyone around you descends into jackassery. One of two things will happen, and probably both. One, you will end up hating everyone even more than you already do, and two, they will end up hating you for being a stick in the mud. Just pace yourself, dude, and slow down the moment you start thinking Big Janice from accounting is looking pretty good.
This is a terrible mistake. Sure, it’s awesome now. You’re bonding with the boss, he keeps promising you things and telling you how much you’re appreciated, and hell yeah, let’s take that fishing trip in May, but none of it is real. This is all a cruel illusion being perpetrated by that trickster sorcerer known as alcohol. You’ll come into work on Monday and everything will be different. Your coworkers will think you’re an ass-kisser, and your boss won’t be able to look you in the eye because he’s either too ashamed of his own behavior, or has lost respect for you for getting too loose. There is no winning play here. Just be appropriately respectful, and keep it cool. You are never, ever going to be best friends, and trying to force it is the action of a great fool.
Jesus Christ, don’t be this guy. Nobody wants to hear that shit, especially during a Christmas party. I shouldn’t even have to write this, but people are dumb and think that others want to hear what they think. Hint: they don’t. Adding alcohol to the mix only makes the temptation to start blathering about your horrible opinions that much more dangerous. I know, you have nothing to talk about with these people, but you should have thought of that before you embarked on that exciting career selling pet insurance. Yeah, we all get it, you blame Obama/Bush/Clinton/Woodrow Wilson, but nobody cares. Even talking about the weather is preferable to this.
The only thing worse than the guy who won’t shut up about politics is the guy who won’t stop talking about work. Shut up, dude. They all work there too. They know. They get it. Office Christmas parties themselves feel like just an extension of work, an obligation that you have to deal with and don’t get paid extra for, so it’s bad enough that you have to all be there, stuck together. The last thing anybody needs is some jackass making it feel even more like work. That account will still be there on Monday, but if you don’t shut up, you might not be after your drunken coworkers hang you out of that upstairs window like Suge Knight.
Look, the party is probably going to suck. But if it does, so what? At least you can leave early. Don’t get wrapped up in caring about things out of your control. Nobody cares that the Secret Santa swap got all messed up this year, or that Bernie got cheap and bought the shitty vodka. Okay, fine, the vodka thing might be a problem, but for the most part, you just need to let the rest go. Do not end up being the dude who just whines and complains that the party isn’t better. It will just make you look lame as hell, like you need that party to be the best because it’s the only one of the year that you get invited to. Take everything as it comes, access your inner Zen and try to get out without doing something embarrassing.
Even if the party is inexplicably good, don’t get carried away and act like it’s the best time of your whole life. This is how you end up playing Santa at next year’s party – and every single one that follows. Similarly, don’t be that dude who loves Christmas so much that you let everyone know about it, because they’ll only be too glad to let you plan the whole thing, which is a gateway straight to Hell, and will end up causing you to hate Christmas forever. Again, balance is everything.
You’re all adults, okay? Don’t be the hall monitor. You know the type. This is the dude who spends the whole party passive-aggressively chiding people for drinking too much, or demanding that everyone hand over their car keys so they don’t go all Nick Nolte on the way home. Just relax and try to have a good time. Nobody needs a nanny. Not even Fred from sales who pissed himself and then passed out in a baby carriage.
No matter what you’ve learned from sitcoms, do not do this. This is a horrible idea, and will result in a bunch of messy bullshit that will only end when one or both of you ends up looking for a new job. Plus, you run the risk of getting mixed up in sexual harassment seminars and interviews with human resources and that is not a very merry Christmas at all. This is not just a bad idea, this is the worst idea. Sure, boning that slutty elf might be the true meaning of Christmas, but the whole thing will just end up with your chestnuts roasting over an open fire and a homeless man named Jack Frost biting your nose while you stand in the unemployment line after getting fired for creating an “uncomfortable” work environment. So just drink some eggnog and then go home and jingle your bells, and think about the fact that your behavior has made me resort to lame puns.