As Thanksgiving rapidly approaches, you may soon be getting an email to notify you of the company office party. That’s right, I said notify, not invite. If you’re thinking of being a no-show, think again. This shindig of a free meal and drink, it’s an opportunity.
Let The Brooklyn Reader show you how to navigate your company party and maybe earn a couple of cool points while you’re at it.
Take notes kids!
Preparation is Key. Double check the invitation for keys on how to dress appropriately. If you’re going bowling be sure to wear comfortable clothing and matching socks without holes in them. If the email mentions cocktail attire, look it up and abide by it. Ask the coordinator or a colleague who’s been on the job longer than you what people tend to wear. Whatever you do, don’t wing it. This is not the time to flaunt your individuality. If it’d make Santa blush, you might want to skip it.
Keep it Cute. We’re off of the playground so that old saying, “if you don’t have anything nice to say don’t say anything at all,” doesn’t apply here. You’re an adult and you must at least pretend to play nice. Keep the conversation light and polite. Avoid anything controversial, politics, money or work even. This is an opportunity to chat up someone new at work and could possibly come in handy down the line. Remember that Dave Chappelle skit, When Keeping it Real Goes Wrong? Yeah, don’t be that guy.
Smile, You’re On Camera. Everyone important will be there so at least pretend you’re having a good time. Hey, you could be at your cubicle or at home eating leftovers, suck it up! Speaking of important people, if you work at a larger company or remotely, this could be one of the few time you are privileged enough to share air with your boss or CEO. Take advantage of the opportunity to make your presence is known. You’ll want to act like you have some training here and introduce yourself with eye contact and a firm handshake.
RoxxyWrites Bonus: Offering your hand first for a handshake personifies confidence upon first meetings. So, you know, awkward introduction now, corner office later and what-not.
Treat Yourself to a Snack Beforehand. If you’re like me, you’re all like “Free food??? Where do I sign up!?!” Don’t be like me. Have a snack or light meal before you get to the party so you don’t look greedy and so you can spend more time socializing and less time on the buffet looking mad thirsty/hungry. Though it may not be work hours and you’re outside the office, you still need to conduct yourself like you have home training. Get one plate and swing back for a single dessert later.
Come Alone and Work the Room. Unless the invitation specifically encourages you to bring your people (it won’t, you know your job is cheap) leave that dude/chick you met the other night on OK Cupid at home. No, you cannot request to bring a friend and yes they will notice if your cousin wanders in towards the end. Walk around and chat with everyone, yes even that guy. Make sure you yuck it up with your bosses, laugh at their corny jokes, but don’t overstay your welcome. After all, tis the season, right?
Watch Your Liquor. Though this one should be obvious, I’ll still remind you to not get caught slipping. Though it could be tempting to get some liquid courage in you before interacting with the likes of your office, practice restraint. Yeah, this is a party and vodka is raining from the sky… and maybe you even hate every last coworker. Still, don’t fall into the liquid trap! Avoid shots at all costs, and limit yourself to one to two drinks. The one who signs your checks is likely watching, don’t try it.
All is Well That Ends Well. Don’t do the Irish Goodbye and leave without saying goodbye and thanking your host. Yes, you have to. You shouldn’t be the first to arrive or the last to leave. And whatever you do, don’t fall asleep… There will be iPhone pictures and plenty of judgment. Also, yes, you are underpaid but DO NOT, under any circumstances, take home doggy bags, leftover alcohol, or extra favors. No matter what their mouth says, they WILL talk about you later.
I realize that it’s a lot to take in, and perhaps you’d rather be home watching Facebook videos, but it only comes around once a year. If you want to survive to see the next one, act like you got some sense!
If all else fails, be yourself… Unless yourself is ratchet. In which case, be who you want them to think you are!