TrashBaggery have complied a handful of survival tips for the office holiday season. Your go to guide to avoid those Awkward Social Situations at work!
Unexpected gifts are Exchanged: So everyone agreed that there would be no gifts this year, but someone just happened to bring gifts to exchange, but you don’t have anything for them. This happens often, you don’t want to seem like, unkind or unthoughtful that you didn’t think of them.
Here are a few tips: - You ordered their gift online and it hasn’t been delivered - You forgot their present at home, because you were running late - Carry some gift cards in your pocket, just in case.
You don’t know the faces of the ‘higher ups’ in your company: That’s totally understandable, they’re in another division or on another floor. Here are a few tips to avoid that awkward moment when you don’t know who your boss is
- Do some Recon: At least know your higher ups names, and then you only have to put the names to faces.
- At the party, discreetly ask a trusted co-worker, who will help you identify them
Conversation Topics: It’s a social event, Try to not talk about work, (unless specifically asked by a supervisor). It’s alright to use work as an icebreaker, however you should try to steer the conversation in a light topics;
Here are some suggestions: - Favourite Holiday places - University/Hometown/Country - Favourite, book genres or Favourite Novelists - Musicians/ Music genres, - Hobbies like Photography, Art, Building/ weekend projects
Dealing with Gossip: So you’re having a pleasant discussion with your co-workers and the conversation takes an unwanted detour into bad mouthing the boss/company/co-worker, and just plain gossip. Only say something about someone if you’re comfortable with telling it to their face, really though, if you’re not going to say anything nice don’t say anything at all. Try to subtly excuse yourself from the conversation, here’s a few ideas to make your escape;
- ‘Oh! Look There’s more camembert, I love camembert, excuse me. ‘
- ‘I think I’ve missed placed my bag/phone. Excuse me, I need go look for it.’
Drawing a Blank: It happens to the best of us, that social faux pas when you forget someone’s name. These are some ideas to avoid that situation;
- Be honest. You remember meeting that person, but you don’t know remember their name, that’s okay try saying something like this, ’Hey, I remember we met at that lunch, Sorry but I’m just can’t put a name to that face’ They shouldn’t be too offended, it happens to everyone. - Find a trust worthy co-worker, who can help to remind you. - You can ask your partner to introduce themselves, - “Hi! I’m Dave! Sam’s Partner, Nice to meet you” Hopefully they respond with “Hi Dave, I’m Blank, Sam’s co-worker.”
Someone else draws a Blank: What to do if someone forgets your name?
Kindly remind them where you met, and something you talked about; “I’m Jane Smith from Accounting. We met at the Fun Run last year, we had the same colour ipod.”Try not to take it too personally, there are a lot of people to remember. It happens to everyone.
Partying Partner: If your partner is out of control and has a less than desirable track record for drunken bad behaviour at parties, just don’t bring them. And if someone asks, why you didn’t bring your partner, make a believable excuse why they couldn’t be there.
‘Oh he/she, is at his/her company’s Christmas Party, it was a shame there was a scheduling clash, she/he would have loved this party!
The Scapegoat: So you really don’t want to be there, and you have to attend, that doesn’t mean you have to endure the WHOLE event. The least you can do is make an appearance, you can always make an excuse to leave early, family events, Children’s Christmas recitals or your spouse’s Christmas parties are all classy excuses to skip out.
Attendance is not an option: The Company throws the end of year party to reward their employees, there’s nothing worse than declining to a party just because ‘You don’t want to’, its rude and ungrateful. Making an excuse to do with a important family event (before the date of the party) will keep you out of trouble.
Fashion collision (For the ladies): You painstaking put together a fabulous party outfit, and you arrive to find that someone has the same outfit as you. This is only awkward if you allow it to be. You should kindly approach the offending party with a smile then make a sincere and light hearted compliment on what great taste they have. Have a laugh and lighten up, have a good time. You shouldn’t let something so insignificant ruin your night.
Handling ‘That’ Co-worker: Handling ‘that’ co-worker who has had a little too much to drink, can be a little messy and awkward. The best way to go about it is to discreetly send them home before they embarrass themselves further. It saves their reputation and they will be grateful for what you have done.
Dealing with getting rejected: So, you finally did it, confessed you feelings and they’re not interested. At least you tried. Now move on if you can, it’s not your fault they don’t realize you’re awesome! You will find someone who does. Just remember, it isn’t high school anymore. When you get back to work next year, it will only get awkward if you let it.
The Rebuff: Getting unwanted advances at work can be awkward, especially if you have to see that person on Monday. Try to let them down a gently as possible. Make sure that they understand your reasons and tell them you don’t want this to affect their work relationship. Keep it classy and be discreet about it. Don’t do or say anything that you wouldn’t want done or said about you.
Common sense rules
Don’t drink too much, don’t get drunk. Try to keep your buzz on. Always eat before you drink. Pace yourself, try to alternate drinks with alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks.
Dress appropriately, according to the dress code on the invitation. If it’s a costume/ theme party (depending on your industry) try not to go overboard with the costume, you still want to be taken seriously on Monday. If there isn’t a dress code, keep it classy, don’t show too much skin.
Mingle! This is a great opportunity to get to know your co-workers on a more personal level. If you still think they are super boring think of it as a team bonding exercise.
PC Rules still apply: Keep Relaxed and don’t do or say anything that you wouldn’t normally do or say at work.
Be Gracious Thank the Team who organized the party and your boss, compliment them and tell them you enjoyed yourself.
Be on your best behaviour and under no circumstances, start bad mouthing the party/service/food. Grin and bear it. It will be over soon.
Remember to have fun! But not too much fun that you need to be escorted out. It’s a party after all, lighten up and have a good time.
Stay Classy Trash Bags!
Written by: An.