The holiday season is upon us, which means time for office parties. Many careers have crashed and burned as a result of inappropriate behavior ‘neath the office Christmas tree/menorah/Kwanzaa thingy, so here are a few tips to make sure you still have a job come New Year’s Eve:
Do bring something to place in the “Toys for Tots” bin. Atlanta gift consultant Marnie Updegrove says it is perfectly acceptable to “regift” a waffle iron or Dustbuster that you received last year on an impoverished child. “For many children, the soothing hum of a small appliance or hand-held vacuum brings more happiness than they can imagine," she notes, "unless their no-count mother practices her exotic dancing routines in front of them.”
Don’t get all atheist on everybody. When your boss wishes you “Merry Christmas,” keep your opinions to yourself rather than saying “I don’t see what’s so ‘merry’ about a religion that used thumbscrews on rabbis during the Spanish Inquisition!”--unless you’ve already received your bonus check.
Do celebrate the season: Nobody likes a Gloomy Gus or Gertie who’s worried about whether Acme Widget gets that rush shipment of gadgets on Christmas Eve! Drop what you’re doing even if you’re facing an overnight deadline and get over to the bar or hotel where others are celebrating. They must want you there or you wouldn’t have been invited–assuming you were.
Don’t take hostages: Challenger Corp., a Chicago-based employment consultant, says holiday-related hostage situations are up 3.6% over the last two years, a fact that they attribute to a slumping economy. “Both salaried and hourly workers are feeling threatened, which accounts for the spike in cloak-room standoffs,” says consultant John Ervin. If you must hold someone against his or her will, make sure you pick someone from a lower pay grade than yours.
“Is that a peppermint stick in your pocket, or are you just glad to see me?”
Do open up your heart to your co-workers-it’s the “reason for the season”! If you’ve imagined Phyllis in accounting dressed in rubber underwear every time you submit your expense report--let her know how festive she looks in her red clingy knit sweater with the poinsettia corsage positioned directly above her left baby-feeder! Before you begin to nibble, however, remember that this plant is toxic for pets, and thus can’t be good for humans.