When we woke up this morning we thought “how can we make sure not to act like an ass at the company party we may or may not be attending this holiday season?”
Thankfully, Mr. Manners (aka Daniel Lippman) of The Wall Street Journal published a helpful how-to guide on Sunday. Let’s review his tips:
1. Dress appropriately
Ah yes. If you work on the creative side this generally means “don’t try to look like you give a sh*t”, but we know that quite a few agencies do require their professionals to dress…professionally. A self-described “business-etiquette expert” from Palm Beach (think about that for a second) tells the ladies “don’t wear anything low-cut, too short, too tight, too revealing” before recommending that bros stick with “a nice pair of slacks and a sports jacket”. This comment shows that time moves a little differently in Palm Beach.
2. Don’t talk business
You pretty much spend every hour at work that you aren’t wasting on blogs like this one talking business, right? Generally speaking, your colleagues and superiors aren’t going to want to hear about clients or competitors or RFPs or KPIs at the office party. They might want to hear about your kids or your engagement or your new dog, but of course you’re always safest sticking to the pop culture stuff. Three freebie conversation starters:
- “Did Homeland jump the shark this season or last season?”
- “Sorry, but Ryan Gosling and Rachel McAdams just doesn’t work for me.”
- “I don’t care what anyone says: Donald Glover is better as a comedian than as a rapper.”
3. Don’t gossip
It kind of shocks us that people still trash talk their colleagues behind their backs, but it happens all the time. It’s difficult to completely avoid this sort of thing, but if you’re listening to it then someone’s doing it to you, too. Beware.
4. “Network with higher-ups”
In other words, make sure you take the opportunity to talk to the people who wouldn’t know your name any other day of the year. Being the networking specialists that we are, PR peeps don’t really need this tip. It’s more for, say, accountants.
5. Watch what you drink
Oh boy. Honestly, we try to keep it to one or maybe two on the cocktail front, because loose lips sink ships. If it’s just beer, though, all bets are off.
6. Bring your better half along
The WSJ audience is a little different than ours, and we have mixed feelings on this one. In the end, though, we have to agree. It’s always good to share a silent “OMG is that the guy you’re always complaining about?” or a subsequent “See, I told you my manager looks exactly like Weird Al!” moment with your spouse or partner. With today’s turnover rate, it’s hard to get to know your co-workers; some of them might actually be cool people.
Also: as a married, we are always up for finding other couples who like to drink and talk in public without being totally weird. (We know, we know. So lame.)
Were these points comically basic? Yes. But they’re worth keeping in mind unless you want your after-party to look like this: