The Company Christmas Party

Some dos and don’ts.

December is here, along with the company Christmas party. For newbies experiencing their first such party, some advice…

During your employment, you will undoubtedly have to attend some company sponsored parties, be it a year-end party or simply going out for a drink with the boss. Your attendance is important as the company is trying to relieve some stress and promote camaraderie among the workers. If you are married, bring your spouse (if they are invited) as companies tend to like to create a family-like environment. If the spouse refuses to attend, it will send a negative message. Assuming they are going to attend though, be sure to brief your spouse prior to the function on any pertinent politics so he/she will not accidentally say something inappropriate thus causing an embarrassing situation to make you look bad.

Yes, it is time to relax and unwind, but it is also time to be on your toes. Alcohol tends to loosen the tongue so do not imbibe to the point of drunkenness. Now is not the time to tell off your boss or coworker. Do not say something you will live to regret, such as revealing a dark chapter of your past or how you screwed something up at work, which is how rumors are started. Keep cool and collected. If you are leery of alcohol, order something that looks like a regular drink, such as club soda and lime (which could pass as a gin or vodka tonic) or apple juice (which easily passes for whiskey). This leads people to believe you are a social drinker, yet allows you to maintain control over your faculties.

Aside from this, company parties tend to loosen up inhibitions and allows you to get to know your fellow workers and boss on a more personal level. Also observe protocol in regards to smoking. Some people enjoy a good smoke, others vehemently dislike it. Do what is suitable for the occasion.

If you are saddled with throwing the company party, understand this, an employee’s upwards mobility in the corporate hierarchy can be greatly enhanced by producing a good holiday party. I had a friend who was put in charge of an IBM Christmas party years ago in Poughkeepsie, New York. Employee families were invited to attend, including their children of course. It was a very big affair. Every child in attendance was given a good present by Santa (not something cheap), everyone fed on a sumptuous meal, there was plenty of libations, music and entertainment, and all within budget. My friend, even had enough money left over to make a respectable donation to a charity on behalf of the company. And, Yes, a photographer was on hand to take everyone’s picture. The company party ultimately catapulted my friend’s career at IBM where he served for many years. So, do not think of such an assignment as a burden, but as an opportunity instead.

Bottom-line regarding the corporate Christmas Party, have fun but don’t lose control, and please do not make a pass at the boss’s wife.

Ho, Ho, everyone!

Keep the Faith!

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Tim Bryce is a freelance writer and management consultant located in the Tampa Bay area of Florida. As an avid writer and speaker, Tim discusses everything from business and management, to politics and morality, to systems and technology, and our ever changing world.