Office party animals
Are you in line for fun and games, or just taking one step closer to being handed your P45? Here are eight ways to misbehave at your next work bash:
Turn up drunk
The fast lane to shame and humiliation
Turn up hungry
With nothing to line your stomach against the evil effect of free alcohol, you might as well just turn up drunk.
Turn up dressed to go clubbing
After 12 months carefully cultivating that sober, executive look, do you really want everyone to think that really you've been busting to sling off your suit and dance all night on the tables? Of course you should aim to enjoy yourself, but wear it on your sleeve and you'll lose that hard-earned respect.
Spend all night talking to your own department
It might be easier, confining yourself to the people you work with, but the office party is also a chance to network. The annual opportunity to get to know all those familiar faces that little bit better. So be friendly, not cliquey.
Follow up on office flirtations
When you're confined to one place, nine to five, it's only natural that a spark might occur between you and a colleague. More often than not, it's a harmless flirtation. A way to pass the time, before you both head back to your real lives (and possibly even your partners). So don't go thinking that person is going to welcome being hit on by you, just because you're in a so-called social situation. You're not. The fact is whatever you say or do at an office party could be duly noted and used against you for the rest of your time at the company.
'Screw the crew'
Even if you have more chance of scoring than Beckham himself, work and one-night stands don't sit well together. You can't just forget about it, or ignore each other when you're back at work. And even if things do work out, what happens if you fall out? Conducting a domestic over your desk does nothing for your promotion opportunities. Especially if it's the boss you pulled in the first place.
Bitch about everybody
Save it, people. This is a party, after all. You're not around the water cooler now. What's more, you could find alcohol loosens tongues a little more than you bargained for. Which means even those off the cuff comments could come back in your face, along with a drink and an embarrassing scene.
Be the last to leave
Even if you're having a ball, don't be the pumpkin left to lock up. Staying until last gives off the vibe that you don't know when to stop. That you're lacking the kind of judgement and self-control you need to be a player in the office. Plus you risk being saddled with the tab, for anything from the drinks to the damages. If you're not sure you possess the willpower to drag yourself away, book a cab in advance.
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