13 Office Holiday Party Fouls Slideshow


1. Forget to Eat Something First


It’s a rule every guest should abide by when heading out to a party. When you know there is going to be alcohol in your future, have a snack like cheese and crackers or pretzels before you go, regardless of how hungry (or not so hungry) you are. Do you really want the reputation of being the person who lost their lunch in front of the buffet line?

2. Lick Your Fingers Before You Shake Your Boss’s Hand


Whether they’re passing duck spring rolls or chicken fingers, don’t ever lick the last of the crumbs off the fingers on your right hand in haste when someone approaches you, especially if it’s someone senior. The same is true for messy foods like sliders, where you run the risk of squirting sauce down your front, or olives which require you to spit pits out in front of everyone else.

So what to eat? Stick with clean foods like cheese and crackers, crostini, and anything on a stick or in a shot glass (meaning soup, not tequila, silly). 

3. Mistake Festive Dress for Something Slinky


While the party might not be in the office, the traditional office dress code should be kept in mind when adding a little festive flair. Opt for holiday ties and jingle bell necklaces rather than slinky, body-hugging dresses and shirts unbuttoned to mid-chest. 

4. Enjoy the ‘Nog Too Much


It’s rich, creamy, and oh so sweet. But it packs a boozy punch, and it might not hit you until it’s too late. The holidays aren’t the same without a glass of the strong and creamy stuff, but prime yourself with a small wrap or roll before you sip. And remember to hydrate in between. You’ll thank us when you don’t wake up with a puffy face and a bloated waistline the next day. 

5. Whine About the Food

Veer/Ocean Photography

Fewer companies are throwing parties this year, 74 percent compared to 79 percent last year (and a whopping 95 percent in 2006). Gone are the lavish soirées with liquor fountains, free-flowing champagne, and round-trip tickets for out-of-town employees.

At the end of the day, the office holiday party is a generous gesture that isn’t required of the powers that be. So be thankful there is at least something to drink, hopefully booze, and something edible (and delicious) so that you won’t walk home starving.

6. Hog the Camera


Sure, knocking back a few at the party is a must — it’s a once-a-year affair, after all. But posing for too many pictures with all those good-looking interns might come back to bite you the next day when pictures start circulating around the office in typical rumor-mill fashion, especially if you have a glass in hand.

Plus, if you’re too busy working the camera, how else are you going to taste the spread of beef tenderloin sandwiches and mini grilled cheeses?

7. Get a Little Too Close to the Interns

istock/stray cat

You’re older, and they’re impressionable and cute. Don’t take advantage of the situation and mistake their eagerness to please (and get a job) for something more. And if you do, an office with a door, or the supply closet, is not the place to go. Do you really want to be caught when your colleague comes back to pick up his bag?

8. Be the First to Arrive (and Last to Leave)


OK, some days we’ll take any excuse to leave the office early. And when it’s a party thrown by your company, why not arrive right on time? Yet be wary of the difference between having a good time and being greedy. So forget about milking the four-hour open bar and inhaling passed appetizers created by the best restaurant in town. Remember, you’re representing your business and it’s not becoming of you.

9. Continue the Office Gossip


Nothing beats office gossip, but the holiday office party is not the place to talk about the hottest topics that are usually saved for whispers around the water cooler (or post-work drinks). You never know if the person you’re talking about is within earshot or how well your voice carries when you’re two drinks in. Don’t find out the hard way that your boss is standing right behind you.

10. Unleash Anger


Whether you’re mad at your colleague and his ineptitude, or frustrated with the lousy performance of your stock portfolio, don’t take out your anger on colleagues, or worst, your boss, at the office party. There are likely senior staffers who aren’t as inebriated as you and when it comes to review season, they likely won’t forget your behavior.

11. Take Someone Else’s Coat


You’re cold, tired, and drunk. But at the end of the night, be patient with the coat-check people (they’ve got a tough job and mix-ups are inevitable) and be extra vigilant that the coat they give you is yours. Sure, you might have been lusting after that fur-lined Chanel jacket they hand you, but that doesn’t mean it’s a sign from the gods that you should take it.

12. Make Friends with the Xerox Machine

istock/by nicholas

Nothing good ever happens when you combine alcohol, office parties, and copy machines.  Need we really say more?

13. Forget to Say Thank You


Be sure that you find your boss at some point during the night to talk, and at the very least say thank you. Same goes for the event organizer and any other senior staff that might be there.