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Business & Technology
Dec 12 2012 3:18PM
 
Circulate, circulate, circulate – and don’t booze it up
CLEAN FUN: Employees should behave at the year-end party. Picture: Shutterstock
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Jim Jones

Here we are again. It’s year’s end, the holidays are just around the corner, everyone’s looking forward to a break after a year of hard work. And the year-end office party is just the time to let your hair down. Well, you might think so.

But be careful - there’s the morning after to be faced. You don’t want to be remembered by your co-workers or, far worse, by the boss for misbehaviour. Remember, there’s next year and its performance appraisals in prospect.

There will always be a Mother Grundy or two with their litanies of don’ts. But there’s also a litany of dos that can enhance your reputation.

So let’s start with planning before you even get to the party.

Remember, this is the time of year when the traffic cops are out in force, armed with breathalysers and looking out for prospects to fine. If you are intending to quaff the company’s champagne copiously, arrange for a taxi to take you home in case you get sozzled.

Then what should you choose to wear when scanning your wardrobe? If you’re a lady, pick that pretty but modest dress; you’ll look wonderful and feel good in it. Don’t, whatever you do, choose something that displays inches of cleavage or acres of flesh above the knees. That will just attract all the predatory wolves lurking among your colleagues, and fending them off could be difficult.

If you’re a man, the choice is more difficult. You don’t want to arrive in that dreary old grey suit you’ve been wearing this past year. But if you’re out to impress the boss, you don’t want to appear wearing skimpy clothes that show off all your muscles or tattoos to perfection. Boring perhaps, but neat and tidy is probably the best advice.

So now you’ve arrived at the party and the bar is only a couple of steps away from the door. Head for it, but beware of the effects of the demon drink. You don’t want to get sloshed and misbehave by drunkenly telling your boss or your coworkers exactly what you think of them or how they should be running the company, do you? It could be career limiting. Try to choose Appletiser over alcoholic fizz. It looks much the same in a glass and you won’t be seen as a prude or killjoy.

Then there’s the moment when you have to shake the boss’s hand and actually talk to him. He might not even know who you are, so introduce yourself and tell him briefly what you do. This isn’t the time to be asking for a raise. And it’s not the time to be holding forth on the market or how the company should strategise. The boss has been doing that all year and, to be fair, he’s as entitled as you to some year-end relaxation. By the way, I do know that the boss could be a woman, but the use of the word “he” is just generic, embracing all boss genders.

But be absolutely sure to thank the boss for the party and tell him how much you enjoy working for the firm. Remember, there’s an awful lot of unemployment out there and you’re probably lucky to be holding down a job. You want to make an impression of being upbeat about the firm so as to create a career-enhancing impression.

Then there’s that colleague over whom you have a secret, unrequited crush. Be cheerful and friendly – don’t flirt outrageously, or worse, proposition the target of your desires. Better to circulate, circulate, circulate. Get to meet the people you don’t know – it’s a good time to meet those below you in the hierarchy and those in the corner offices so as to have them remember you.

And now it’s the witching hour, so don’t be the last to leave. How many of us have been left sitting with a bunch of morose old soaks? Sure as the good lord made little green apples, no one wants to be trapped with the dregs.

Enough of this Mother Grundy’s advice. Get out there and have fun; it’ll soon be holidays and time to be heading for the coast.

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