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Let's celebrate!

Web posted on December 07, 2003

Ah, tis the season. You know, that unavoidable time when you are all but forced to socialize with your fellow workers. Yeah, that's right -- the office party to celebrate the festival of your choice.

I always find this particular type of yearly enforced socialization ranks right up there with walking around downtown Guelph after 2:00am. Don't wanna do it, but sometimes it just can't be avoided.

I always have a blast at my staff party. The key is having the right attitude and an immaculate sense of timing. Oh, yeah, the most important part is being able to act innocent throughout the production. Fourtunately, I've got all that in spades, kids.

Now, a bit about the places we choose to inflict our co-workers on. We usually go out to some external purveyor of libation and chow. I have always had a great deal of respect for waitresses / waiters / bartenders / chefs / and hostesses. As far as I'm concerned, these brave souls should earn danger pay every December. I make sure I tip 'em big -- of course, I usually offer an even bigger tip if they spill the soup on my least favorite "boss type". Nobody's taken me up on it entirely, although one kind soul balanced a dirty pasta plate on my immediate superior's bald spot a few years ago. Bingo, a $20 tip for her! Funniest thing was that he didn't even notice: well, not until he sneezed a tortellini into his beer.

All those mucky-mucks who drink out of teacups and use the right utensil every time say that there are certain rules of etiquette to be followed at staff parties. Don't get drunk, don't hit on the boss (or his wife, child, favorite pet, etc.), don't pee on the ficus plant, don't photocopy anyone's butt,... all the standard warnings. Believe them on this one, folks -- it's much more fun to watch the other festival-goers doing the bad stuff, since you remember it next day and they probably won't. It's called workplace leverage, and is always useful in case of emergency. Yeah, I know, but it's a tough old world out there.

By the way, if the company is footing the bill, show some restraint. The bean-counters and tall foreheads will notice if you have three appetizers and four different desserts. Do it at the peril of your year-end festive holiday bonus.

A note about your fellow sufferers, um, staffers. We have underage kids working with us, so we have to keep an eye on the little nippers. You know, keep 'em out of the beer, use cuss words only in foreign languages (and no, pig Latin doesn't count), and try to set a good example with our table manners. Yep, that's right kids, no food fights.

We also keep an eye on the younger types who seem to believe that they can drive after a coupla beers. They can't, they shouldn't, and take those keys away if you have to. For that matter, the older types are just as bad for that. So, play safe and have fun this year at your festive get-togethers.