Office holiday parties can be corporate bear traps. Yes, there’s unlimited champagne. Indeed, that shiny dance floor beckons. But any type of reckless behavior quickly becomes the talk of the town. Herewith, a fool-proof guide to making a good impression at the annual shindig:
- Mistletoe is a decoration, not an aphrodisiac. Grabbing the babe from marketing for a quick smooch is unprofessional. Tackling that babe is likely to lead to a lawsuit.
- Sit with your species. They will tell you that there is no assigned seating. They lie. Trying to wedge yourself in at Brad Grey’s table is bad form. Trail him to the bar and strike up a casual convo in line. (At Sony’s annual bash, Amy Pascal and Matt Tolmach trade shifts as bartenders. We dare you to order a Sex on the Beach.)
- Dress accordingly. Your company just spent enough money to finance an indie pic. Would it kill you to put on a jacket?
- Don’t accost the buffet. Piling your plate up to your chin says that you are either starving or stoned — neither reflect well. Don’t accost colleagues either. Save the sniping for the office. (One year, UTA set up a boxing ring and let agents duke it out with padded gloves.)
- Thank the higher-ups. Whether you’re an exec or an assistant, it’s polite to briefly express some gratitude to the host.
- Eggnog is not your friend. Boozing it up can lead to inappropriate hugs, impromptu toasts and having someone from human resources frisk you for your car keys. (WMA had a B&W photo booth at its party. Pity the drunken agent who slurred “cheese.”)
- Don’t leave before your superiors. No matter the reason, it’s ungracious to exit the office revelry before the honchos head home.
- Do leave before the interns. Come last call, the party should be thinned out to assistants and interns. Let them stuff their pockets with jumbo shrimp, flirt and hook up by the valet stand.
Hey, you got the bonus.