It’s that time of year again, time for the endless drone of christmas music, too many people everywhere, and the dreaded office holiday party, a forced social event with people you can’t stand, but already see way too much as it is. Even though this is an unpaid event and is of the utmost annoyance, it’s very important that you approach the party with the same mild enthusiasm that you bring to the office everyday, because the holiday party can make or break your reputation, and even though you tell yourself that you don’t care what those idiots think about you, we all saw the mascara stains on your cheek after you overheard Martin last week commenting on the fact that you were eating a second piece of cake. So, in an effort to make sure that you aren’t mocked at work, something I for one don’t want to read about on Facebook, I’m offering up my advice for you on what not to do at your holiday christmas party this year.
Of all the varying factors at the holiday party, food is probably the most important. When you’re thinking about what dish you might like to contribute to the party, think about something you would like to eat, unless of course you are a vegan, which in that case you need to buy something with meat in it and try your hardest not to be offended and tell people about it while doing so. I know it may be tempting to show up with a vegetable tray, dirt still on the carrots, and lumpy homemade ranch dressing smelling funky in the corner, but nobody wants to eat that at a party. There’s a reason adult obesity rates are so high and if you show up with raw broccoli, you’re going to have a herd of angry people trying to catch their breath as they chase after you. While we’re on the subject of food, a few other things that you should under no circumstances bring as your contribution to the party, are scrambled eggs, a single raw onion, a jar of pickles, or a vending machine package of peanut butter and crackers. If you bring any of these items your reputation will take a severe hit, so just make life easy on yourself and pick up a meat and cheese tray for like 6 bucks at the grocery store.
It has been a fad in this country for way too long now, so karaoke will undoubtedly be a part of the office holiday festivities, but you should in no way feel compelled to participate. Nothing good can come of you trying to sing Jingle Bell Rock while your coworkers try to suppress their laughter, which in all honesty is completely reasonable given your terrible voice and lack of coordination as you try to liven things up by dancing around while you sing. It’s a lose-lose situation for you. The worst that could happen is you fall off the stage while your dancing and die, and the best possible outcome is everyone talks behind your back for years about how horrible you are at singing. And finally, it’s important that you walk the fine line between cordial and friendly. You don’t want to come off like a jerk, so you have to talk to people, there’s really no way around it, but you don’t need to come off as a friendly person that actually cares about what they have to say because if you’re not careful you might get roped into a relationship where they say hello to you every morning, and you are forced to reciprocate. Don’t talk about anything personal and if they insist on talking to you about their kids or their spouse, get a mouthful of punch and fake sneeze it all over them. They won’t want to talk to you anymore but they won’t be able to hold a grudge because it was just an accidental sneeze and what would that say about them if they hated someone for sneezing?
I hope this advice will guide and help you over the coming weeks as you prepare for your office holiday party. Bring good food, don’t sing karaoke, and don’t make any friends are the three most important things to remember. Your reputation will be better for it, and what is more important than keeping up appearances at work? Only one thing is more important and that is the paycheck you get for keeping up those appearances of being a hard working, team player. If you feel like it is all too much and you can’t stand the party any longer, just try to fake a smile, and think about how Santa might give you a new life for Christmas.