Firstly, it must be acknowledged that not all Office Christmas Parties are created equal. A major factor in how enjoyable/hellish your OCP is going to be is how enjoyable/hellish your normal working environment is.
1. ASSESS YOUR OFFICE VIBE
Have a look at some typical office scenes below. Try to work out which picture best resembles your working environment.
If you selected A, B or C… well I feel sorry for you. You obviously work with a bunch of chumps who think ‘work place productivity’ comes about via Jazzercise or novelty office slides. (Just because you’re sitting with your legs in a ball pit doesn’t make your presentation any less tedious Graham!)
If you work in A, B or C I would advise you take drastic action to avoid the party entirely. Tee up the ‘Oh I think I’m coming down with something’ early, then on the day itself go for a really specific ailment as an excuse for not being able to make it. Something like “I’ve got jaundiced fissures on my adenoids,” or “I think I’ve got an undiagnosed case of Alliumphobia (fear of garlic).” A wishy washy “I don’t feel well” or “the beginnings of flu” just won’t cut it in this instance I’m afraid.
If you identified with D, your office might actually be bearable/ normal, so follow the rest of my simple steps to get the most out of your OCP.
2. DRESS APPROPRIATELY
Take a look at the pictures below – All sure to get you noticed, all festively fun and guaranteed to be appreciated by your colleagues.
No. That was a test, if you are nodding in agreement – you failed. You should not be wearing anything resembling the above. How do you expect to be taken seriously in January if you dressed your boob as Rudolph in December? Sure you’ll be known as ‘Fun Barbara’ or ‘Dickhead Pete’ but that’s not going to get you a promotion/pay rise now is it? When dressing for the OCP there is only one way to go – as Baby Jesus.
This hardly needs explaining but I will. If fancy dress were Top Trumps, Baby Jesus would always win. No one can take the piss out of you for dressing as the birthday boy. Plus, no one will think you’re being tarty or letchy – it is literally IMPOSSIBLE to do a tarty or letchy baby Jesus – so you are saving yourself from a lot of potential embarrassment.*
*Word to the wise, if a lot of other people have the same great costume idea, you might have a problem. Pack a spare ‘Herod’ costume just in case – you’ll know what to do.
3. PACE YOURSELF
This might sound like trite advice and it is. We all know ‘pacing yourself’ is a good idea and we’ve been told so on numerous occasions ever since we woke up with our head in a microwave at uni. Does that ever stop us having that fourth cocktail/beer/white wine spritzer and thinking, “screw it! Bring on the Jagerbombs!”? Well does it? No it does not. We all know alcohol is just too delicious to be drunk slowly, and the ‘but what about the consequences?’ button in your brain gets switched off after drink four. No, ‘pace yourself’ isn’t going to cut it, nor is ‘not drinking’ – you just look like a losers who hates Christmas. What you need is a sure fire way to ensure you stay JUST sober enough not to do anything too cringingly stupid. The best method for this is to create in the back of your mind a constant nagging sensation that there’s something you must remember to do.
Here are a couple of ideas for how to easily create that sensation.
- Build a bomb which you leave in your flat timed to go off at 4am. If you stumble home drunk, you’ll probably forget about it and end up killing yourself, but if you’re JUST sober enough, you’ll remember to disarm it before you go to sleep.* *Word to the wise, just be careful about your browsing history when googling ‘how to build a bomb’.
- Write a letter to your local police station confessing to a dreadful crime (the more gruesome the better). Give this to your flatmate/ Granny/ neighbour and ask them to post it for you first thing the next morning. Well done, you’ve just given yourself a great incentive to stay sober enough to get up early and intercept that letter.
4. STAY HYDRATED
Another way to counteract the effects of binge drinking is to keep well topped up with the old H2O. The problem is it’s usually a pain to get to the bar so you don’t want to waste precious hands on boring old water, plus you don’t want to look like the looseberry ordering aqua all night. Solution: Bring your own. I suggest wearing several camel packs (one on your front, one on your back), or copy this lady’s method –
which gives you the additional advantage of having something to do with your hands on the dance floor.
5. DO NOT KISS ANYONE
It is never acceptable to kiss anyone at the office party – even if it’s your husband/wife. No one likes a PDA, especially at Christmas. The best way to ensure kissing doesn’t happen is to have some botched lip surgery the week before the party.
Or, if you are on a budget (botched lip surgery can be expensive) invest in some Haddock Flavoured Lip balm, available at all good Fishmongers for £2.99. [10% off if you mention this website Discount Code: FISHYKISSY01]
6. AVOID TELLING YOUR BOSS WHAT YOU REALLY THINK OF THEM
One major danger at the OCP is that you go up to you boss and slur “and an…another thing… no one likes yooouuu, you smell of ham, and I never even do half the work you gimme anyway- I hide it in my sandwiches, ha ha ha! (dribble/stumble/head loll)” Depending on your specific gripe with your boss it could be A LOT worse than this. A LOT worse.
So how do you stop yourself from having an alcohol fuelled rant like this? Well I’m afraid you can’t. If you have unresolved Anti -Boss Feelings, they will come out at the OCP. The best way to avert catastrophe is to invest in a short course of hypnotherapy just before the party. Take along a picture of the most junior person in your office (the tea boy/intern/ stapler filler) and ask your hypnotist to convince you that they are your boss.
This way said rant will happen, you will get things off your chest, but the consequences won’t be quite so dire.*
*Word to the wise, it’s safe practice to then get this junior person fired so they can’t tell anyone how weird you are. Filling their bag with straws from the venue, then shouting ‘STRAW THIEF!” at the end of the night is usually a sure fire winner. (It probably wouldn’t be enough to get you fired, but let’s be honest no one likes an intern who steals straws.)
All that remains to be said is good luck and enjoy yourself! Oh and if all else fails and you do accidentally embarrass yourself at the OCP, just pull Sandra from accounts’ skirt down on the dance floor – it will provide an excellent distraction and take the heat off you.*
*or you’ll be fired for sexual misconduct, but it’s pretty much 50/50 – odds I’d be willing to take.