Office holiday parties like reality TV shows 0

Anny Chih photo

By Anny Chih, 24 hours Vancouver



Attending an office holiday party is like being filmed for a reality TV show. A good general rule is to avoid anything you wouldn’t want to have to explain to your grandmother. On the top of the list are the following five things that are likely to win you a meeting with HR.

1. Drugs. Though it might not always seem like it, marijuana is still illegal without a prescription for medical use. Try explaining to a potential employer that you were fired from your last job for breaking the law during an office function. There are some situations where HR is scarier than the RCMP.

2. Theft. Unless you’ve won a raffle for the table centerpiece, it’s not for you to take. The same rule applies to tree decorations, cake platters, candy jars, glassware, and anything else you didn’t bring yourself. The five dollar beer mug isn’t worth wearing a permanent “office klepto” label.

3. Sex. This sounds like a no-brainer but most working professionals have attended at least one office party where two coworkers shared more than a drink. You’re not fooling anyone by sneaking into the washroom together, and your private affairs will be even more obvious if you go into the office the next day wearing the same clothes.

4. Excessive drink. If swinging a fist at the person who’s hailing a cab for you seems like a good idea, it’s time to get in that cab. It can be hard to avoid a hangover when you work with enablers who love an open bar, but a good trick is to walk around while nursing a drink. If someone offers you a shot, you can point to your glass and say you’re still working on one. On the other side of the room, casually leave your half-full glass on a table and return to the bar to take part in a new round to make it seem as though you’re keeping pace with everyone else — if you must.

5. Airing grievances. Unless your boss is a huge fan of Seinfeld, the office holiday party probably isn’t celebrating Festivus. Complaints about your co-worker’s lack of general hygiene, low bonuses, and everything else negative should be kept to yourself for a more appropriate time.


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