How to survive the work Christmas party

work christmas partyAs we quickly approach the second weekend of December, Christmas trees, decorations and lights will be sprouting around homes all over the UK. Around this time is also when many employers decide to arrange a Christmas party for their staff, which can be any one of something to look forward to, something to dread, but more commonly, something to deeply regret (in the morning after the night before!).

Venturing your way through the minefield that is the office Christmas party can be tricky business, but not something that is impossible to do to ensure your dignity, reputation and most importantly, job are all left intact!

Pace yourself

An open bar does not mean drink like it’s going out of fashion for the sake of it, and doesn’t mean you need to drink the bar dry. There is no drinking competition because the booze is free and besides, if you take it easy and get to watch other people’s drunken antics, you have perfect blackmail material for the rest of the year and will get plenty of brews made for you. Alcohol (within limits) can make the evening bearable if you are not looking forward to the party, but be aware of your limits. Remember, this is not a night out with your mates.

Don’t fling yourself at the nearest person

Whether the drinks are flowing or mistletoe is in the air, it is not an invitation to hurl yourself at Jane the receptionist. If you do suspect someone you like may be interested, approach with caution, be subtle, don’t be overly flirty. Control your libido and perhaps limit yourself to a kiss near to the end of the party. Gold spot breath sprays are perfect for this point of night; easy to carry about in your pocket and will mask the unpleasant odour of stodgy food and alcohol from earlier in the night. Should you and somebody else decide to take things a little further, condoms are essential to protect against an unwanted pregnancy or sexually transmitted infection.

The social media aspect

Your Facebook friends will not care for your opinions of the attractive work colleague you are lusting over, or wish to see drunken pictures you have taken of yourself in the toilets. Be careful of what you post on social media as what can turn out to be a bit of harmless fun can end up with disastrous ramifications. What started out as “Rob just stole a plant” may end up as “Rob just received his P45 from HR”. It is a social occasion but it is still a work event, and on Monday morning your boss will still be your boss. Plenty of alcohol and camera phones do not go hand in hand, steer clear of any damaging photo opportunities that can even put your job on the line or result in merciless jibes from colleagues until the next Christmas party!

Don’t over-indulge

Christmas time for dieters can be the most challenging period of the year. The buffet at the party will more than likely feature a whole range of fat-filled stodgy foods such as pizza, quiche and sausage rolls. None are beneficial for your waistline or your cholesterol levels. Alcohol is known to contribute to low blood sugar levels, dehydration, and the typical binge-eating session that many people fall victim to at the end of a heavy drinking session. As alcohol is an appetite stimulant, try not to make a pit-stop to the local kebab shop on your walk home. If you are attempting to lose weight, devouring a doner kebab is not the way to go. Some contain as much as 1,990 calories. This is almost the same as a woman’s recommended daily intake of calories, in addition to a staggering 70g of saturated fat – three and half times the daily guideline amount for a woman, not forgetting a whopping 16.5g of salt.

Don’t mention work

Show you have a life outside of the office and touch upon topics of conversation that aren’t related to the latest spreadsheet figures at work.  If you must, get in touch with the latest news before the party so you have something to talk about and ask people what their plans are for the festive period. You can inject a little creative storytelling into the conversation should you wish, just make sure to keep it clean and credible! Also, the work Christmas party is not the appropriate time to bring up the fact you want a pay rise in the New Year. Everyone wants to let their hair down and work subjects should be put aside for the night.

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