To Drink or Not to Drink
Tis’ the season for holiday parties. Among those holiday parties are a handful of professional gatherings from your own office holiday party to ones you’re invited to [as a guest], or even your partners holiday gala. These holiday parties are meant to allow employees [and in some cases friends and family] to let loose of work and have fun outside of the office. Beware. This opens the door to the potential of so many dreadful things happening – mostly due to alcohol consumption.
It’s open bar, you’re unwinding from a busy day and in most cases, there may be food, but it’s not a substantial meal, rather appetizers of some sort are on the menu and while you pick and graze and try to fill your tummy to help absorb the alcohol, inevitability the food is never enough.
So, without further thought and since everyone is drinking; you are too. But is that the right/smartest thing to do? While this topic is debatable, my point-of-view is not to drink at work functions even if it is not your office party, but a friends or partners instead. A good rule of thumb is to not drink at all – not even one drink as one can lead to two to three and more.
Everyone is aware that alcohol causes people to act impulsively, impairs your decisions, changes your judgement, makes some people depressed or aggressive and even more negative side effects. You’re just not yourself, and you won’t be thinking clearly.
That said, why take the chance? We’ve all heard or even witnessed some horror stories about how a drunk colleague acted at an office party. You don’t want it to be you that everyone is talking and laughing about the next day. Have you seen Office Christmas Party? Don’t let that be your legacy.
While it may seem very innocent, and perhaps you work with some of your best friends, so it merely seems like a night out with good friends, but there are always others [maybe even executives] lurking around who will witness the immoral behavior that won’t ever be forgotten. Those impressions are usually the ones people remember the most, sadly.
My best advice especially to those new to office politics, and are trying hard to navigate the corporate world, do yourself a favor and not cloud your judgement and end up doing something very embarrassing during your office party. Opt for a non-alcoholic drink, keep your wits about you and have fun without the risk.
I completely understand not drinking may come with some pressure from your office mates. That’s why I am giving you some tricks of the trade that have worked for me to avoid the pushers.
Faux Drink – you don’t have to make an announcement that you are not drinking. Rather, be the one to go to the bar for the drinks or make sure to get your own. When you do, order a Club Soda and when asked what you are drinking, tell them a Vodka Club. It works every time.
Bait and Switch – If you don’t have the chance to be the one getting the drinks or someone hands you a drink, take it, carry it around and when you have a chance go to the bar, switch it out for your Faux Drink.
Slow Sipper – like the Bait and Switch, you may be in a situation where a drink is handed to you. Fine. Take it, but make your way to the bathroom from time to time and dump bits of the drink down the drain verses drinking it. People will think you’ve been drinking it the entire time, but you know differently.
Doctor’s Orders – it’s well known when taking antibiotics, you should not consume alcohol. When asked what you are drinking, reveal that you are on antibiotics, bitch and moan about how mad it makes you that you cannot drink.
Mingle – the more you mingle from person to person, having a drink becomes less of an issue. Truly use the office party as a chance to network with the big wigs in your office, meet new people, and when you run out of things to say, you can use going to the bar as an excuse to end the conversation. You can also offer to get others drinks and look like the office nice guy/gal. When you get to the bar, refer to Faux Drink as to how to order your own drink.
While I am not trying to be the Grinch that stole your holiday party, I am trying to save you from a lifetime of embarrassment in the last place you would want to be embarrassed. You’re welcome. Feel free to share your incredulous holiday party stories below for us all to have a laugh.