Zoom and myriad Covid-19 rules are upon us so I have updated my ‘10 Golden Rules For Surviving Your Company/Team Christmas Party’ (from five years ago) to reflect the times. One or two are still very pertinent, even on Zoom…
Love them or hate them, Christmas parties are the source of hilarity, heartache, headache, stomach ache, rank boredom, embarrassment, arguments, frank exchanges of views and, sometimes, the end of your career.
Here are some helpful hints to carry you through and ease the pain and avoid embarrassment.
- Eat before you drink – but not too much: food is the enemy of fun (“eating is cheating”). It’s very hard to get really stuck into the booze on a full stomach; but don’t drink on an empty stomach.
- Stick to one particular grape, beer, or spirit throughout the evening. Mixing your drinks is fatal.
- Try not to be the person that no-one wants to talk to. So don’t turn up plastered, don’t be dull – have some good chat lined up, don’t be a perv, don’t be in a bate, and quite honestly, if you really don’t want to be there, don’t log in.
- Don’t use the occasion to negotiate a pay-rise, bonus, promotion and/or new job. Just don’t. Bottle it.
- Don’t be too enthusiastic with hand gestures when telling stories or accidents might happen… such as spilling a full glass/bottle of booze over your keyboard/shirt/dog.
- Westerners misunderstand the Asian concept of ‘face’. To ‘lose face’ is not nearly as awful as causing someone else to lose face. Don’t cause anyone to lose face.
- Don’t punch anyone, however much you might want to, particularly at 1am after 10 pints of Stella. You’ll smash your screen and end up in A&E without a job.
- If you’re going to be sick, at least try to get off screen, but ideally to a loo (preferably with your computer switched to ‘mute’ just in case).
- Drink lots of water, in between drinks and before and after the party. Feel free to add paracetamol, ibuprofen, Red Bull, Gaviscon… you name it, but water is the only thing that’s really going to make a difference. Or not drinking alcohol.
- Log in to work the next day before everyone else. You will be widely admired, and very possibly ‘sent home’ at lunchtime for bravery. Don’t pull a sickie.
Most of all, have fun, and try to make it fun for everyone else; it’s not all about you…