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How NOT To Get Fired At The Office Christmas Party…

It's that time of year, the Christmas festivities are about to begin and the daunting prospect of the infamous, office Christmas party is nearly upon us again…As if working with these people for 12 months of the year wasn’t bad enough. You now have to socialise, possibly even dance with them and worst of all, hold your tongues, after copious amounts of alcohol, in an effort to try and avoid telling them:

a) just how much you despise them
b) how much they have made your daily life a living hell and,
c) will they please STOP their endless noise regaling stories about their new kitten, replaying annoying anecdotes and their general, monosyllabic complaints about their mediocre lives…

Your Fashion-victim boss will be there too, in his smart, new Dad-jeans purchased, especially for the occasion, by his wife or maybe even his mother. He just wants to be loved, he wants to appear human and for everybody to like him. Again, you’re just hoping that you don’t say something you shouldn’t…

So, with the odds stacked against you, what can you do to prevent getting fired and waking up, the morning after, with more than just a hangover to worry about?

Your choice of outfit is certainly something to consider. Anything too low, too high, too bright or just too downright revealing will probably not get you into trouble with your boss but, it may cause a few tongues to wag and your usual professionalism may be called into question. Especially if you appear to get friendly with anyone as the night wears on.

Letting down your hair combined with consumption of alcohol can potentially compromise your position with your peers and at times your position within the company. After a few drinks, inhibition tends to wane and it isn't unusual for people to gossip and moan. It's well advised to keep negativity away from the party. A forthright conversation shouting at your colleagues or even your boss does not win you any friends. Nor does, telling your boss what a fool you think he is. He’s unlikely to be spending Christmas thinking about your prospects for promotion after that little outburst.

Not to mention, your amazing revelation on how to double the company’s profits may also fall on deaf ears if your slurred speech takes away any eloquence in your delivery. Remember, there is always a time and a place.

It can get increasingly complicated for you if you are privy to certain information at work and in your lessened sobriety you divulge certain information that really needs to be confidential. In the eyes of the law, could this get you fired? Well, it would depend on what beans have been spilt.

Loose tongues aren’t the only thing that could get you into a sobering mood. If we go back to the attractive young girl from accounts wearing the rather short and revealing attire. You may have spoken to her occasionally and there is a good rapport between you but, this is definitely an area where you should tread carefully. If you were to take something too far either a suggestive comment, or a seemingly innocent touch. Well, waking up the next day, our nameless young lady could feel rather aggrieved and there is every chance you could be discussing a harassment grievance with Human Resources, or worse still, the company lawyer.

Of course, this works both ways in a mixed gender company. Alcohol does impair your judgment. It is always advisable to ask yourself if you would do this sober.

One last and often destructive element of a drunken office party is the dreaded argument. There always seems to be a couple of people that never get on in a work place. It’s just chemistry, it happens. One tipple too many, a cross word taken the wrong way and a fist has been known to fly. This is high on the gross misconduct list and will certainly see you receiving a letter of dismissal. It also ruins the party for everyone involved. It isn’t something that anyone would wish to witness on their night out.

So, enjoy your Christmas party. It is the one time where you may actually forge new friendships or learn new things about your colleagues, which will help cement your team in the future but, please go easy.

Think, about how much you drink and how much you say.