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Top Ten Rules for the Office Holiday Party
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My intern keeps winking at me, rubbing her stomach and whispering "nine months" as she walks past. Lou, from accounting, dropped off a pamphlet on alcoholism on my desk, and there's a pentagram burned into the carpet in my office. The day after an office holiday party is one full of regrets. Too much drunk. Too much flirtation. Too much truth. The excesses are revealed the day after, and no matter how much you promise not to repeat the same mistakes next year, you always do. Always.

This year, I've written up a guide to keep you safe and prepared for next year. We'll forgo the standard, don't tell the boss to fuck off, don't drink too much, advice. We're going deeper this year.

10. Don't offer to play piano with the office band if the extent of your musical learning is Michael Row the Boat Ashore.
Everyone wants to be a rock star, and the prospect of doing this while the ladies in Creative are watching is even more enticing. Having them stare as you practically impregnate your bass will leave them wide-eyed and horny. The truth is, you will look like an asshole. Even if you think you have the virility of Gene Simmons and the charisma of Mick Jagger, you don't. No, seriously, you don't. Your co-workers don't want to suffer through while you bang out "Don't Stop Believin'". They'll hate it almost as much as they hated having to donate to your kid's Boy Scout Troop popcorn drive last year.

9. Don't discuss business. You're three glasses into some 'nog and all of a sudden Sathish, the vaguely ethnic guy from Accounting, saddles up to the bar and asks you, intently, if increasing frequency caps through out Q1 will increase margin and delivery. Suddenly, you've gone from thinking about what color underwear the new CMO is wearing to being smacked in the face with algebra equations. So, if you feel like asking a co-worker about something even remotely business related that doesn't have to do with "do you think the boss's desk will hold both our weights?" just don't bother. Walk away and grab a beer.

8. Don't copy your ass.
This should be taken out of the holiday party umbrella and put into the all-around umbrella. Back in 1986, when copiers were new and that one guy decided it would be funny to have an 8 1/2 x 11 black and white of his ass, it was an original idea. Clever. Stupid. Funny. But we're almost a quarter of a century away from that. Plus, the glass has been known to break. Trust me on this one.

7. Avoid telling the boss what you really think.
I'm not talking about telling your boss off. I'm talking about giving honest answers. When your boss walks up to you, most likely intoxicated, and wants to have a heart-to-heart about sales figures, don't tell him numbers are down. Sidestep the issue. Make something up. They probably won't remember in the morning. Telling them their company is in the shitter will not only make your night more horrible, but it'll make the rest of the company's' as well. "Why is our boss crying in the corner?"

6. Try not to shit yourself.
Seriously, don't do it.

5. Avoid flirting with incredibly hot and married co-workers.
He or she may be telling you how bad their marriage is. Hell, they may make mention that, had they met you first, they never would have gotten hitched. But don't take this as an open door to Wonderland. This will, more than likely, result in you getting a black-eye and receiving late-night phone calls questioning why you've ruined the sanctity of marriage.

4. Karaoke: Songs to Avoid.
Here's a list of people I wish were never born: 1. My ex-girlfriend. 2. The guy who invented the karaoke machine. 3. Hitler. Yeah, the guy who invented the karaoke machine is above Hitler on my list. While Hitler may have killed millions of people, the karaoke man has ruined billions of lives forever. Why these things have become a staple of holiday parties is beyond me. But lets face facts, these machines of ass-rape aren't going away. And because we have to live with them, here are songs to avoid:
"Heartbreaker" by Pat Benatar - You won't have the range or the passion to pull it off well.
"Love Shack" by The B-52s - If you want to deafen your entire workforce, sing this song. I'm sure it's healthy to bleed from the ears.
Anything by Styx - Because it's Styx.
"I Will Survive" by Gloria Gaynor - Because at some point, we need to be a bit more original.
"Killing Me Softly" by Roberta Flack - This song is longer than you remember.
Next time you're forced to choose a song, get interesting. Mix it up. Sing a song by Cake or The Killers.

3. Please, dear God, no Christmas Sweaters.
ONLY! Listen to me, ONLY wear a sweater if you've been invited to an irreverent office party that's encouraging people to show up wearing ugly Christmas/Cosby sweaters. If you want to break from the mold and show up wearing balls of gold hanging off your chest while the rest of your co-workers are in casual attire, don't blame me when the whispers and snarky comments start. This will end with you cursing the good Dr. Cosby's name while shunning the very co-workers who weren't dumb enough to leave the herd and attempt fashion experiments.

2. Don't rant about it being called a "holiday" party.
Here's something, Jesus was probably born in June. So what we're really celebrating is a pagan holiday. And while the point of an office holiday party is to get drunk, it's not to have someone brow-beat you with the "reason for the season." Great, celebrate the birth of Jesus or the Festival of Lights, but don't get up in my face because I don't wish you a merry Christmas. I'm an equal opportunity celebrator, and when it comes to my office party Jesus isn't signing my paycheck. So if my boss says, "We're calling it a Go Fuck Yourself Party" then I'll be the one painting the sign.

1. Know where all the mistletoe are hidden around the joint.
Susan may weigh as much as your sedan and have the comedic timing of a fart at a funeral, but that doesn't mean you want to lock lips with her. (Unless you're into that, which is cool.) But you don't want to get sprung with the "You know what you're standing under, don't you?" Suddenly, the 62 year-old woman who always complains about you leaving your dirty forks in the sink is tongue deep on your molars. As a rule of thumb, take a walk around the party looking at the ceiling. Memorize where all the mistletoe are, and try to avoid walking under them. Of course, this helps if you're trying to test the waters with your hot Scandinavian assistant who, you're almost positive, does not yet fully understand United States sexual harassment laws.
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3 Comments

#7 - absolutely. In fact avoid you're boss altogether.

#6 - violated.
http://tinyurl.com/5yaon9

said Baierman on December 12, 2008 3:20 PM.

You seriously need to write a book.

said Evan on December 12, 2008 4:02 PM.

This could NOT have come at a better time. I have my office party tonight and I will take the intent of your advice to heart. Even if you didn't mention it specifically, I think I can presume a couple more no-nos that I might be forced to pull off if I get hammered:

> Do not chokeslam your Operations Manager, no matter how small and annoying he might be. Quality Assurance may be fair game, but anyone who makes more than $10,000 in excess of your salary is probably not the one to pick on. But man, its going to be hard...
> No breakdancing. 'Nuff said.

My intent is to mingle with a few dozen people I can hardly stand, pour copious amount of free booze down my wife's throat, and take her drunken ass home.

said Will on December 13, 2008 9:54 AM.
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