A Woman’s Guide to Office Parties

if you have a job or a friend with a job, you will probably end up at a holiday office party.  if you are relying on your parent’s job, i don’t think i can help you.

office parties can be fun like in Mad Men.  right up until someone pulls out a riding lawn mower and takes off someone’s foot.  or they can go totally Die Hard on you.  again, bloody feet.  what’s up with that?

i once got kicked out of my own going-away party at work.  true story.  my boss hated my guts.  the feeling was mutual.

so you need to go prepared.  do you need to duct tape a Beretta to your back?  probably not.  but if you have a Carry Concealed, it might not hurt.

1.  be careful, little lush, what you drink – i know my first inclination when i’m forced to go going to an office party is to find the bar.  that’s fortification, not alcoholism.  i’m pretty sure.  set a limit that falls well below removing the brain to mouth filter.  eat something before you take that first shot and keep your head.  avoid being “that guy”.

2.  be careful, little flirt, who you see – don’t hit on multiple women.  they all know and will talk about it in the bathroom.  just talk.  be a conversationalist.  if you find a girl you have a connection with, keep it casual.  don’t ask her out until the end of the night.  don’t give her the rest of the party to have second thoughts.

3.  be careful, little ego, what you say – do. not. forget. you. are. still. at. work.  that is 8 periods serious.  it can be real easy to get too relaxed and say or do things you would never dream of doing while you’re on the clock.  people will still judge you for all of it.

4.  always have something better to do – what?  i couldn’t keep up that silly children’s song thing forever.  it’s always handy to have alternate plans.  even if those plans are imaginary.  it’s never a bad thing to leave people thinking you have a life outside of work.  even if you don’t.

i have more things i could add, but you guys always nail it in the comments.  so go do that.  nail it, that is.

how do you survive office parties?

any horror stories?


8 comments on “A Woman’s Guide to Office Parties

  1. G Fresh says:

    We don’t have an office party. We have a luncheon at the Marriott and usually have people from the General Jackson performing as “entertainment” after we eat. After that we have to go back to work so there’s no booze involved.

    My only horror-ish story is from a couple years ago when I was seated at a table with a beautiful young woman and we were having a good conversation discovering lots of commonalities including a couple of my big ones (religious and political beliefs) when all of a sudden the husband bomb drops. Yeah, she wasn’t wearing her ring that day for some reason. Since then her husband got a job with my company and whenever I see them together I feel soooo awkward.

    She was one of the examples I used for my guest post from awhile back. 🙂

  2. Jenn says:

    Beware of the booze – I have many an unfortunate story regarding Christmas parties – but I think I will leave it at – sure a little fortification is a good thing, but always stay as close to the sober side of things. Sure I’ve been known to not be so sober at say my birthday party – but that’s mine – that’s not a company’s “gift” to it’s staff. As for the flirting and all that – just leave it alone. There are plenty of other places to look for women or men and your office party should never be one of them.

    And to the women – dress appropriate – this is not the place to get your skank on – there is a time and place for that and your office party is not one of them.

  3. I can only think of one office party I ever attended, and that was the big Christmas get-together with the whole company in which the parent company’s owner’s sons came down. The one where they announced the buyout by another company and proudly declared that it would give us another (insert number of years here) years. I probably don’t have to tell you that we were shut down totally by the following fall. :>

    Had a nice Christmas dinner and nobody did anything stupid. Fairly conservative area and lots of senior brass present, after all. I have no girl-hunting stories to offer as most of the ladies there were various levels of older than me and also boyfriended, engaged, or married. I was’t looking for a lady anyway, but even if I had been there wouldn’t have been a lot of prospects in that group.

  4. Regan says:

    Most office parties I have been to have been modest potlucks during work hours. No alcohol was involved and flirting was kept to normal levels. This year I am trying to decide if I will attend the office party since it is in the evening and i live 45 minutes away – too far to drive home after work and back for the beginning of the party.

  5. jennw2ns says:

    I tend to work at jobs that do not have office Christmas parties (unless you count working at a church and call the Christmas Eve service an “office Christmas party,” to which all the staff AND the “clients” are invited).

    The one time I DID have an office party to go to was during the six months I worked part time as a paralegal’s assistant at a real estate law firm. I probably had one drink, but one of the appraisers had . . . more than that. She and I rode in the back seat of the car on the way home and she spent the entire hour+ ride back berating me for my faith and telling me all my problems would be solved if I would just go out and get laid.

    The non-Christian, gay appraiser driving the vehicle was offended for me . . . but I just chalked it up to an office party.

  6. asoulwalker says:

    I have only been to office parties as someone’s date. This limited the potential for disaster quite a lot for both her and myself. I think the few times I have worked in an office I skipped the parties. Turns out I really do have something better to do.

  7. You’ve got lots of good tips there! I would also add, for women, to be mindful of what you wear, i.e. don’t get too “clubby.” Just as men don’t want to be “that guy,” women don’t want to be wearing “that dress.” I was at a holiday party about 3 years ago where a woman wore a dress that was cute but got judged kinda harshly by a LOT of people. And it still, unfortunately, gets discussed to this day. So, be festive, but careful!

  8. JBen says:

    Well done linking Die Hard with Mad Men. I am impressed!

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