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Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Office Christmas Party Disasters to Avoid

Office Christmas Party season is upon us and that means it's time to be on your best behavior. Remember: Santa is watching. And by Santa I mean your boss. And by watching I mean posting the video of you dancing on the buffet table on the Internet.

But don't despair. It's time for my annual roundup of office party tips from around the World...

How to survive the office Christmas party
Take it from the African Business Review (yes, that's right - The African Business Review), "there is a fine line between having a good time and making a complete fool of yourself." Their advice? Avoid alcohol and "behave appropriately." That means no "informing your employees that sexual attention may assist career progression." Seriously, it says that.

No hug ruling must be embraced by employers
I'm not making this up. Things have gotten so bad in Australia that the Sydney Morning Herald warns "a few hugs between co-workers in the office or at the work Christmas party could leave you open to a sexual harassment claim." Hope those folks never attend an office party in Africa. And if you do find yourself facing a lawsuit, remember: "a ''huggy'' workplace is no defence."

What happens at the office party stays with you for a long, long time
The Winnipeg Free Press offers a much more tasteful array of advice. They encourage you to "practice the art of moderation" and "make a graceful exit". And remember to hold your monocle in your left hand while you sip your Earl Grey tea lest your "shenanigans" be flashed across the "worldwide net."

So to sum up... don't have any fun at the office party. Wear clothing that covers most all of your visible skin (a burka or hazmat suit will suffice) and don't drink anything. No touching and no smiling. Try not to blink, lest your involuntary eye movement be mistaken for flirting.

Or better yet, use some common sense and enjoy yourself.

If you really need to be told by a newspaper article not to encourage your employees to sleep with you, you're probably not management material anyway.

Further reading:

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