The Office Party and all that Jazz

Top tips for managing office etiquette and alcohol

It’s that time of year. Workers of the world unite in facing the whirl of parties, drinks parties and office forays into the festive season. Suddenly, all that diversity training and warnings from HR about harassment and office equality go pop with the cava cork.  A Sassy office plea for terrible party stories from our network delivered a plethora of hilarious and cringe-worthy stories including:

  • Telling the boss he is a *****r

  • Telling your female manager you could do her job with your eyes closed and wearing a pair of manacles

  • Twerking with the cutie new boy in accounts

  • Boozy lesbian snogs for a wine fuelled dare

  • Throwing up on a client, saying sorry and doing it again!

  • Getting so incensed by the office flirt that you throw a Campari on her white dress

  • Falling over and showing your knickers

  • Flirting with your crush object only to turn around and find yourself in full glare of his wife

  • Waking up in the morning and wondering why cutie new boy from accounts is lying next to you…then the memory kicks in

Of course all our respondents claimed in ferocious terms that they only witnessed these debacles and never, ever were guilty. Well, OK, but we all have to recognise that humiliation is sometimes only a Chardonnay away. Office parties are danger territory. People are tired, frazzled with organising families, de-mob happy and all that tinsel and bonhomie gives us the feeling that all is fun. Add to that the fact that most office parties put booze before food and you are creating the blue touch paper. All you need is a match of indiscretion!

So what can you do to ensure you walk out of the door in full Sassy splendour with absolute assurance that you can walk back through the office door with head held high? (No smugness allowed!). We are limiting our suggestions to three for each area – so there is no excuse for forgetting and waking up with Cutie.

First concentrate on the input:

  • Eat before you arrive. It doesn’t matter if it is just a quick sandwich from the corner shop – get some carbs and fibre into your system. Alcohol hitting an empty stomach reduces appetite and the sugar high just leads you to drink more.

  • Get to the bottom of the glass. Those parties with lovely servers walking round with bottles eager to top you up are DANGEROUS! It is easy to drink double what you think you have had by just topping up a half glass.

  • Keep a glass of water to hand and keep sipping it. Even better, alternate every alcoholic drink with a glass of H2O. Not only will you reduce your alcohol intake but you will be staving off that hangover

Then focus on output:

  • If there is someone you do not really like, speak to them early in the evening (with polite control) and then stay away.

  • Ask a trusted friend to give you the nod if you are straying from Sassy coolness (and commit to obey. Alcohol makes all emotions go out of the normal zone)

  • If you feel any emotion other than positive, walk away. If it is a real issue then you need to deal with it in the cold light of day.


And finally…

Be a real Sassista. If you see another woman heading for Christmas shame, don’t join the audience and laugh at her or delight in the gossip potential. Take her aside, talk her through with kindness and lead her away. If she chooses to ignore you then that is her choice – but she can never say you let her let herself down.


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