Wednesday, December 21, 2011

The Ten Commandments of a Successful Office Holiday Party

Thou Shalt Not Complain about the Festivities – Your work used to take you out on the town for an expensive luncheon at a reputable Italian restaurant. There was a delicious spread and an open bar complete with hard liquor and several different sorts of beers. Now the affair has been downsized to a meeting room in your work’s office. The food is OK, but the drink choices consist of two different wines, an indistinctive red and a run-of-the-mill white, and two different beers that can only be described as “less than shite,” Miller Lite and Yuengling Lager. This is grounds for serious complaint, right? It’s indicative of your company’s lack of appreciation for your daily efforts, yeah? Wrong on both counts. There’s a recession on, man! Take what you are given and be glad your company pays you for checking out movie sites half the damn day.

Thou Shalt Not Make an Ass of Yourself While Participating in the Game That Your Company Decided to Play for Fun – For our event, the company decided to set up a game show format and separate folks into teams. The winners would get a $10 gift card to Wawa. One of my categories was “Name the Artist.” Banking on my ability to identify songs easily, when the opening strains of “Ironic” came up, I should have been able to say the words “Alanis Morissette” right away. But, no! For some reason, “Natalie Imbruglia” kept coming into my head. By the time I had fully committed to the lady who banged Dave Coulier and wrote a song about it as my answer, I was only able to get the first name out before the buzzer went off. The host disallowed my answer. The rational reaction would, of course, have been to move on realizing that the game was all in fun. That is why I proceeded to complain about the decision for the next four hours in varying degrees of inebriation.

Thou Shalt Not Spill a Beer on a Bystander Whilst Complaining about Aforementioned Decision – Yeah, it happened. What can I say? Some very vociferous hand gestures went awry.

Thou Shalt Not Bring Your Significant Other to the After-Party – Most men seem to have a pretty good handle on this one. For the ladies: This is the one day of the year where it is not only allowed but encouraged for your male co-workers to not only flirt awkwardly with you, but to ogle you in any way they see fit. So make your poor idiotic male co-workers' day: Dress well (read: skimpily), refrain from vomiting, and, most importantly, leave your boyfriend, the reactionary fellow who looks like a crazed cage-fighter, at home.

Thou Shalt Not Take Your Flirtation with the Girl Who Has Quite Nicely Left Her Man at Home Too Far – You see, it is like a social contract. The ladies dress in a provocative fashion, preferably in a way that showcases cleavage and/or toned buttocks, and the men stare and think about what they could have had if they a) didn’t get hitched too soon, b) had been able to keep off those pesky 200 pounds, and c) were attractive in any way whatsoever. As long as the dynamic stays at this level, everyone remains happy. However, as a man, if you should attempt to take liberties, like engaging in ocular activities that cause drool to escape your pie hole, or taking a camera phone snapshot for later “inspiration,” or, God forbid, proposing a bathroom rendezvous, well then, you sir are a fiend and deserve to be left at the whim of the previously mentioned crazed cage fighter.

Thou Shalt Break the “Man Code” for Out-of-Town Co-Workers – They say there is honor among thieves. Well, there is also a code among men. Bottom line: If you are a single man dealing with a lady and you find out she has a man, it is your solemn responsibility to back off. Just picture this poor jackass in your mind and you should have no problem pulling the rip cord and bailing out of your terminal-velocity descent toward sure lady action. I mean, the poor guy is sitting at home watching Seinfeld reruns. Or heating up a microwave dinner that depressingly never looks like the image on the package. Or perhaps accessing Internet porn involving midget bestiality. He’s thinking his lady is missing him, and meanwhile she is actually talking to you, a testosterone-fueled beast with a borderline criminal determination to go to bed with double-breasted accompaniment. This is wrong! You should consider your male counterpart’s feelings and move on to a female who is not in a monogamous relationship. Oh yeah. Unless she is from another city. Let’s face it: If a chick has gotten on a train or plane to come to an event held at a beige-tinted office building followed by an after-party at a bar with the ambience of the average funeral parlor, she really wants to get some strange. It is your chivalrous duty to oblige her. If it makes you feel better, pretend her boyfriend beats her.

If Thou Are a Usually Reserved Female with a Story about How You One Time Went to a Strip Club and Got a Lap Dance from a Surely Curvaceous Lass Just for Kicks, You Definitely Must Share It – Seriously, that was unexpected. AND AWESOME!!!

Thou Shalt Accept Whatever Free Slop is Placed Into Your Hand – So I’m talking to this chick I work with, when I mention that I have to get a beer. Her husband says, “Oh, don’t worry, we have plenty.” And from a bucket on his table, he pulls an ice-cold Miller Light High Life Light. Now on a regular day, I would rather harpoon a particularly cute koala bear than drink one of these tastebud-depriving potions. But this was given to me by a seemingly kind fellow (albeit one with unfortunate facial hair) who was looking to make friends. So I figure I needed to either a) take intermittent swigs of said beverage until empty or b) smash the bottle over his head and castigate him for assuming that I would ever drink such filth. With these options at my disposal, I of course, chose…C!!!! That’s right! I took a sip, said, “Oooooooo, that is delicious and refreshing,” excused myself from the conversation, went to the bathroom, poured the rest of the concoction in the toilet, and later on that night blamed my vomiting on the horrid suds, telling my wife that I thought a bisexual beer Neanderthal had tried to roofie me. In other words, lemons became lemonade!

Thou Shalt Hit the Impromptu Dance Floor and Embarrass Yourself Thoroughly
– Here’s the thing: You work with mostly women. The men who do work with you are not what you call GQ models and, being that they have swinging d*cks, they most likely don’t dance very well. You on the other hand are what they call a late bloomer. Your biceps and triceps are somewhat defined. Your voice is filled with bass and suggestive of extreme virility. Heck, even the patchy facial hair you have been rocking as of late seems to be working. In other words, despite your growing gut, your yellowing teeth, and the possible spare nose hair, the ladies of your office will see you as a consolation prize to be treasured. So they will beckon you to the dance floor. They will play Rihanna. Katy Perry. Lady Gaga. All the artists that are truly your favorites, even though you pretend that you prefer Radiohead, PJ Harvey, or Bjork just to look cool. What should you do when your presence is requested in this manner? Well, the fact is you owe it to them. They’ve let you stare at them longingly for the last four hours. If you are at all gifted in the art of putting foot in front of foot in a rhythmic pattern, you absolutely MUST cut the proverbial rug for at least five minutes. You absolutely MUST submit to a possible lady sandwich. You absolutely MUST shrug off the occasional arse slap. And you absolutely MUST punch any lady who dares brandish a camera phone directly in the kisser. That’s blackmail shizz, for real.

Thou Shalt Know When to Leave – At some point, the people you usually talk to are going to leave. The ladies are going to tire of being admired like bulls at a livestock convention. Their significant others are going to show up. The tab, which previously was being picked up by your place of business, is going to close. You’ll think about taking off. You will then order two more beers. You will drink those beers. Being that you have spent the last six hours making fun of people you deem to be “creepy,” you will look around for more targets for your acidic wrath. You will see none. It is then that you will realize that for the last ten minutes you have been standing by yourself. At that point, if you are smart, you will grab your things, head for the exit, and get the hell out of there. Because if you can’t spot the creepiest guy left at the work holiday party, there is a more than 100 percent chance that stated individual is actually yourself.

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