"Best $2k I Ever Spent!" The GofG Office Holiday Party Survival Guide, Part I

by Alex Gilman · December 9, 2010

No matter how much you claim to love the holidays, there's no denying that even the fun parts of the season bring with them a certain increase in stress levels. Unwrapping presents, which is fun, means you also have to do your own holiday shopping, which is not. And getting to spend a week or two away from the pointy-heads in your office, which is literally the best thing in the world, means having to get drunk with them first. Which is not. So here's a few handy tips to make sure that you're not cleaning out your desk on January 2nd...

DO Get Drunk- With an Exit Strategy

Miss Manners would probably tell you that there's no faux pas worse than being drunk at an office party, and therefore to go easy on the liquor. Miss Manners is a lonely shut-in who's been working from home for the last 45 years, and has no earthly idea how much liquid courage you need to hear Gene from Accounting talk about how he lost his Civil War coin collection in the divorce for half an hour. By all means, hit the open bar with vigor, but have an escape plan for when you've reached your limit. Have a cab on hand, fake an emergency, or go with the classic Irish Goodbye- the goal isn't to stay sober, but to know when it's time to leave.

DON'T Sleep With Anyone You Share a Cubicle Wall With

Once again, we're trying to avoid the unrealistic advice here. "Don't Sleep With Anyone" is great in theory, but you're drunk (see above), lonely, and sadly, you have no other prospects. So maybe you decide to take a run at that girl in the mailroom with the harelip (she's really nice!). As with all mistakes (your half-finished novel, your investment in your brother's roofing business), your ability to sweep this one under the rug will depend entirely on your ability to avoid ever thinking about it again. Therefore, make sure that the target of your drunken affection is not someone you're going to have to see on a daily basis. This includes anyone that could be considered your boss, regardless of whether he/she tells you to "sit on Santa's lap." Remember, Mistletoe means Mistle-No.

DON'T Pocket The Food

Honestly, people? We shouldn't even have to say this, but every year someone gets spotted wrapping up cookies in a napkin "to take home to my little doggies," or some such nonsense. Cut the bullshit, Agnes, everyone knows your dog died in the fire.

We are in no way knocking the time-honored practice of stealing from a place that has most likely stolen your youth and your optimism. Magazines, iPods, staplers, phone chargers: all of these things can and should be taken at will. But stealing is about not getting caught, and there's no way your drunk ass is getting a full brownie platter out the door without the creepy IT guy spotting you. If there's a score you absolutely can't resist (full disclosure: I once snagged three full handles of Ketel One from a company party), you're best off stashing it in your office/cube/desk for now, and getting it out of the building when everything's a bit less crowded.

Tomorrow: Part Two of Do's and Don'ts, plus office party horror stories! Got a good one? Email us!

[All photos via Slate]