Thursday, September 10, 2009

Hey Boss...Let's Party!

Susan: “Oh My God! Did you see Janice on Friday during the annual office party? Never knew that she was so flirtatious and vulgar after she sucked in barrels of beer. Her office image is that of a staid and professional person; but I must say, I seem to have lost that respect that I carried for her as an individual or even as my manager.”
Jeremy: “Absolutely Susan, I agree with you. Did you see her dance moves? Being a man, I was ashamed and embarrassed. Most men had the best time of their life just looking at her disposition..haha”
Susan: “Oh did you miss out the way Janice kept clinging on to her boss and other men? Look at her today, Monday morning, and she does not even remember what happened?

Have we as corporate professionals ever faced the above scenario as a victim / bystander / have heard of it? Unfortunately, office parties are a prime juncture to ruin your professional standing, estrange coworkers and failure to capitalize on the networking opportunities. At times, the attempt of being the life of the party might just cost you your job. In addition, if you are sloshed with alcohol, it might just cost you your life or you might end up killing someone while driving back home.

70% of the employees, yesterday and today, believe that an office party means beautiful ladies, good-looking men, loud music with the latest item songs from Bollywood, lots of flirting, bitching about the a**-licking colleague and last but not least, free alcohol pouring into everyone’s oesophagus. Alcohol gives vent to your animal instincts, which can be disastrous. The environment may be informal, but it is merely an extension of your office. The purpose of an office party is to bring workers together and promote camaraderie. The food and booze would certainly be free; however, it doesn’t mean you call in freeloaders. “…Formalizing the occasion, making the meal the focus of the event (instead of the disco / drinks) and choosing an elegant location may influence behavior in a positive manner,” says James Bland, Group Marketing Manager, Sundial Group. Nora Arant Brennan, Training Leader and Strategist adds, “…conducting a party in an elegant place unconsciously ensures that everyone behaves themselves. Those prone to misbehave get too intimidated to do so…”

Something important to know is that informal settings do not stop your supervisors and colleagues from assessing your behavior. The above description is certainly not a good agenda to discuss with your colleagues. Some more fuel for Monday morning’s conversation becomes the revealing dress that Janice wore for the Friday party. Do add that extra bling; however, dress, so that you do not become a magnet for unhealthy attention. Remember, what you will not wear to office, do not wear it to an office party. Use your tasteful discretion while selecting the party attire.

Office parties should be used to advance your career in a positive way, not to cripple it. Let everyone feel that you can handle professional social set-ups with poise and suavity. Use this opportunity to meet the senior folks in your organization. Let them know who you are by briefly introducing yourself; however, remember not to act like a glue-stick…give others the same opportunity. Stay a couple of hours, talk to each coworker and the bosses, and then graciously and gracefully excuse yourself. Let your reputation live to attend another office party.

While proceeding for dinner, be sure to select foods high in starch and protein that will help slow down the absorption of alcohol into your bloodstream. Always hold your drink in your left hand, so that you do not fumble with your wet palm while shaking hands with someone.

Office parties can make or break your career. Just live up to yourself!


  1. Its very true and It would be very helpful for those who are involving Office Parties..Thanks for your post.

  2. How true!

    I have gone through such situation. I used to respect my boss so much. There comes the party day and he is trying to physically come closure to my wife.

    I decided never to attend such parties! At least when this man is around.

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